I've actually given up writing a review for this book because all my previous attempts were just vicious cycles of cheesing myself off, feeling like a poser, anxiety, then depression because trying to remember my first Patrick Ness experience was just all sorts of thorny in my throat (why did that just sound a little bit dirty?).
But my friend Samantha said to spare no one and shove this down people's throats… and the poseur in me wins again (As it often does. I'm sorry, sometimes I can't help it).
Just one question though, will this be a given every time I attempt to read any of his books? 20 minute crying jags after turning the last page? I just want to come in prepared next time (with caffeine and complex carbs) and maybe get the paperback first so as not to ruin the glossy pages with my snot and tears.
It's tricky to spew the platitudes A Monster Calls rightfully deserves because how it will affect you really depends at which point in your life you're reading this. Which is of course, true for every book out there but none seemingly as obvious with this one. Because this book is both about and not about a 13-year old boy who's been getting regular visits from a giant talking yew tree since his mother became sick. And its genius lies in how that seemingly innocuous, predictable setting delivers a message as universal and genuine as it did.
Personally, I wouldn't have been able to read this book a year ago. It would have been rubbing alcohol to paper cuts. So it felt a lot like this book has been waiting for me (kinda like a stalker, yeah). The monster once told Conor that stories are wild creatures that may wreak havoc when you let them loose, and this broke a bit of mine in order for it to be fixed in places I didn't even know were broken.
I came in blind and you should too.
The universe wants to be noticed, I read somewhere, but this book… this book deserves it.