When a boy refuses to grow up, he visits the monsters. When a boy needs to grow up, the monster comes to him.
The clock hits 12:07AM and Conor O'Malley is visited by a Monster, but it's not the one he was expecting. This isn't the monster from his nightmare. It's not the monster that's slowly taking his mother's life. This monster is here because Conor unwittingly called upon him.
Taking a story idea from the late Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness has created a most memorable monster. A Monster Calls is horrific, harrowing tale of a thirteen-year-old boy being forced to grow up as he watches his mother slowly succumb cancer. When the monster awakens him at 12:07AM, Conor doesn't get what he expects. Instead of the punishment he longs for, the monster comes bearing three tales and expecting the fourth tale to come form Conor's lips. The monster wants the truth, Conor's truth. But is Conor ready to accept his fears and admit what his nightmare really holds?
I know it's stereotype to think that a juvenile book contains no merit - even though I dislike J.K. Rowling, I will admit that Harry Potter holds some weight in the world of literature - A Monster Calls is the most powerful novel I've read this year thus far. It outmatches anything I read last year, as well. It's a curiosity on how Siobhan Dowd would have written it had she not passed on, but Patrick Ness doesn't fail in giving us this masterpiece. The illustrations within the book are beautiful in that haunting sort of way.
Until next time, keep on huntin'.