Last month I read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness with The Magic Book Club – an online bookclub I co-host with three other bookstagrammers (you can find it here). I figured this would be a good choice for my first review on this blog.
Goodreads synopsis: 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 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.
My rating: 4 stars.
Everyone on bookstagram was raving about this book. Hypes always have me a little wary, but since this is a children’s book that was recommended by a lot of adults, I had pretty high expectations for it. A lot of those expectations were met: the story isn’t extremely predictable, the monster was amazing, and it wasn’t too sappy. I think it is a great book to teach children something about dealing with loss, that parents (and adults who enjoy reading children’s books, like me) can also enjoy. If you get the edition with illustrations by Jim Kay, count yourself doubly lucky: they are beautiful and definitely add to the story.
The ending was a little predictable, but I think only for adults. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I’ll just say that even though I guessed pretty much how the story would end, it didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment of the book.
The reason the book got 4 stars and not 5, is that even though it’s a beautiful and original story, I wasn’t as impressed by it as I thought I would be after hearing other people’s reviews. (Plus, I don’t give away 5 stars lightly; that score is reserved for my absolute favourites!)