February 20, 2015

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Mosnter Calls by Patrick Ness
Source: bought hardover
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: Jan 1st, 2011
Age Genre: Middle Grade
Challenge: TBR - Cleaning my Shelves
Challenge: Flight of fantasy
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The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...
This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.
I know, I know. What the heck? How could you've given this book three stars!? Well, it's... complicated... I... I mean... I think... I think I missed something, with this whole book.

I love Patrick Ness. His Chaos Walking trilogy is one of my favorite series - and quite possibly the most gut-wrenching and painful series I've ever read. I know he can wreck havoc on someone's emotions, that he can totally tarnish and destroy your soul (and repair it with the same expertise). So, I had no trouble believing all those reviews saying how this book made them into a sobbing mess. I was even eagerly waiting for it to happen!

But then it didn't.
I know. I can't really wrap my head around it either, but the fact is... for most of the book, I felt nothing. Not toward Conor and his struggle, not toward the monster... I was just reading it, nothing else. Around the end, when his mother had The Talk with him, I finally felt a little wet in the eyes, and I was hopeful the ruthless sobbing will be coming next.

But it didn't. Thirty seconds later, my eyes were dry, and stayed that way. I honestly feel like I might've missed something. I mean, I should've felt something. Why didn't I?! The book was well written, and had the classic Ness imagery. And still... nothing!

Another thing that was hard for me is that this book is super short. It's only 205 pages, and that's while counting in all those wordless pages of illustrations. So, really, it's probably more around 160 pages, if that. It felt short, to me, too. Like, I didn't really have enough time to get to know everyone and everything. Maybe that's why I wasn't moved by the story.

Writing this review - giving the book this rating - was so hard. I really, really, really wanted to love it. But I don't regret getting this book. If anything, it's a gorgeous addition to my shelves - what with the stunning illustrations and the gorgeous second cover...


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