In an awesome interview, Patrick Ness said the following about A Monster Calls:
“I think the novel is about loss, yes, but also about the fear of loss, which is universal, I think. Everyone knows what it’s like to lie in bed late at night worrying about if the worst ever happened. Loss, I think, we can handle better than the worry that leads up to it, which can kill us. That’s what I was really interested in exploring.”
You guys, this novel is scary. Not in the way that you want to sleep with the light on and every slight noise makes you jump – the kind of scared where you want to call your parents and ask them how they are and tell them you love them. The kind that makes you wonder when something bad is going to happen. This book will bring you face-to-face with the reality of life, and life is going to bring you to your knees.
I don’t think I can summon the words to explain the ride this book took me on. When I finished it, I set it down and literally sobbed. So emotionally engaging – I promise you it is absolutely impossible to remain impervious.
Conor wakes up at night to find that the tree in his yard is looking at him through his bedroom window. That, however, is far from the scariest thing Conor has faced. How can he be scared of a monster that he isn’t even sure actually exists when he is already faced with something even more frightening – reality? This novel is brilliantly written and executed, and becomes a great deal more than the sum of its parts. It isn’t just Conor’s story you’ll be reading – it becomes something universal. You’ll realize, quite early on, that you’ve become the story.
The book actually says it quite well:
“Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”
So, pick up this story and let it loose. I promise you that this book has to be read. It isn’t an easy story to experience, but it is a phenomenal one.