” You do not write your life with words, the monster said. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.” – Patrick Ness.
This book has been sat on my bedside table for approximately two years now and because I’ve just been buying more books they just ended up getting stacked on top of it. This past week though I’ve been struggling to do much reading so I had a long look at my book stack and finally decided that it was time to pick this beauty of a book up.
In the past I have read several books by Ness and have greatly enjoyed them all and this book is no exception. It has been a long time since I’ve read anything by Ness, so it was really lovely to read more of his writing and I still have more to look forward to as I also have The Rest of Us Just Live Here on my TBR ready to read. I am so glad that all those years ago one of my best friends of the time introduced me to Ness through the Chaos Walking trilogy as his work is always really unique and incredible. You can also tell I love his work as except for J. K. Rowling and Lemony Snicket, he is the only author for which I own more than one hardback copy of his books.
A Monster Calls was originally an idea by Siobhan Dowd, but unfortunately she didn’t have time to write it herself before she died. As a result of this, Ness was asked to write it and fortunately for us, he did. The story follows Conor who has these nightmares, the same every night featuring a monster. One night, Conor is visited by a monster, but this one is different to the one inside his nightmares, in fact, he is entirely different and what he wants is the truth…
I was gripped by this book from the very beginning and by this I don’t mean chapter one, I’m talking about the Author’s Note. I feel like I could read absolutely anything by Ness and he’d still be able to captivate my attention. The Author’s Note was a lovely addition beforehand giving the story a bit of background so that we saw how it worked its way into Ness’ hands and through him into ours.
From my review of Illuminae a couple of weeks ago, you will all have noticed that I am a sucker for a beautiful layout which this book certainly has. The book has been illustrated by Jim Kay (who is also doing all of the illustrations in the Harry Potter Illustrated Edition books) all in black and white. Some of them take up whole double pages, while others are around the edges of the text, but they are all gorgeous and marvellously done. I probably enjoyed the images as much as I enjoyed the writing.
I really enjoyed all of the characters. In fact, the only negative point I have to make is that I never understood the character of Harry. He was just… odd and different to the other bullies which I didn’t really get. However, the fact that this small character is the only negative thing I can pick out in the whole novel is to an extent a good thing because I absolutely loved everything else.
This book is probably the first book to make me cry this year and while crying isn’t necessarily a good thing, with books I find it good because it means that the author has created characters the reader can really get attached to. Also, I’m not counting crying at Harry Potter books as those were rereads, haha!
I really enjoyed this book and it is definitely now one of my favourites and I rate it 5/5. This is definitely a must-read for any Patrick Ness fans and those who like a bit of fantasy mixed with, I suppose, horror.
Have you read A Monster Calls or anything else by Ness? Let me know in the comments below!