Hi there! My name is Jennifer, and I work with young adult books at the Charleston County Public Library. Welcome to my random thoughts about books for teens. If a book grabs your interest, click on the title to reserve a copy…or click here to search CCPL‘s e-books. Happy reading!
To appreciate this haunting new fictional story, you must know Siobhan Dowd’s real-life story. She was a human rights worker and a popular author. A Monster Calls would have been her fifth young adult novel. She’d created the idea, the characters and the novel’s beginning.
Yet, she died of cancer in 2007 at age 47, taking her artistic energies with her.
But he’d heard about her monster.
Ness embraced her story, infusing his own creative vision to give it a full life, with gut-gripping results.
He tells the story of 13-year-old Conor O’Malley in a choppy, disjointed third-person point of view that mirrors the confused emotions of a boy facing a terrifying reality: His mother’s cancer is not responding to medication. One last treatment stands between her and death. To make it all worse, Conor’s father lives across the ocean immersed in his new family. That leaves Conor alone with his grandmother, an aloof figure with whom he shares little except the mutual fear of his mother’s illness.
Then, the monster calls:
The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.
Conor was awake when it came.
This monster seeks truth – Conor’s truth.
I’m a word lover, always have been. Words convey images and ideas in a way that nothing else can, and Patrick Ness spins some serious word magic in this book. But illustrator Jim Kay’s macabre pen-and-ink drawings add a depth of imagery that words alone could not. Check them out.