Why We Need More Books like A Monster Calls

8621462The 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 one 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 is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth

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There are no words for me to say that could accurately review this book. It is incredible. The writing is amazing, the pictures that are added in are great, and the content is so heartbreaking and NEEDS to be heard. I can tell you all of these things until I am blue in the face, or…I could tell you why we need more books like this one in the world (and hope that I do it justice, but I am so scared that I won’t be able to).

Sometimes the subjects of books can be the hardest thing to read. They can be graphic, they can show situations you don’t want to imagine, and they can hit too close to home. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness definitely hit too close to home, but it was this feeling that had me power through this book.

I needed this book, and there are so many others in the world that need this book (possible spoilers ahead, but I swear I will try to keep them out of here).

In this book Conor is dealing with life with a sick parent. His mother is fighting cancer. A boy is taking care of his mother and trying to grapple with the idea that this could be it. Just process that for one minute. A child is taking care of his parent who is more than likely dying. No child should ever have to do this, but he did. And so many other kids in the world today are probably going through a situation similar.

Not only did this book show Conor taking care of his mother, but it showed him facing the demons that all children with a sick and/or dying parent face. The sympathetic smiles, the teachers that let you get away with anything because you are going through a lot, the friends who are kind of there but not there, the feeling of being invisible, the anger…all of these situations and emotions are portrayed in this story; all very real, all I have dealt with. And if I have dealt with these things myself, what are the chances that there are many other people who have dealt with or are dealing with this in their lives right now? Pretty high.

I found that this book was something I could relate to, and something I needed when I was 13 and dealing with my dad being so sick. This book described the feelings that I had, the motions that I went through, and the anger that I felt. It also gave me the most accurate definition of the truth, and had me realize that back then I also had those truthful feelings. I know that not everyone loves reading about something that hits this close to home, but I am one of those people that needs these books to relate. I need these books to help me see that my grieving is ok, that my feelings are ok, and that I am not totally and completely alone. I can’t be the only person that has had this thought.

This book is also an excellent way for someone who does not quite understand the situation or the grief. This is the perfect way for someone that feels like an outsider looking in to find a way to communicate to whoever it is that is going through this situation. Honestly, I have yet to find a book that handles this better. And I am not saying that you should read this book to feel bad for them. No one wants you to feel sorry for them, especially in this situation. They want someone to listen, to attempt to relate without saying they relate, and to be able to kind of get it.

It is so rare for me to find a book about grief, about handling cancer in the family, that I feel just really hits home. This book shook me to the core. It had my body aching with grief, and it was a great way for me to deal with some of the depression and sadness that I have been feeling lately. I connected with this book, and I am so sad that it took me so long to find. This book will forever be a favorite of mine.


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