A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

253. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd. Illustrations by Jim Kay. (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 206
Ages: 12+
Finished: Nov. 19, 2011
First Published: Sept. 15, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: YA, magical realism, horror
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

The monster showed up just after midnight.  As they do.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Candlewick Press.

Reason for Reading: I was simply drawn to the plot and the cover.

A 13-year-old boy is dealing with the terminal illness of his single mother.  He has nightmares almost every night, is a loner at school, is bullied by one boy in particular and one night begin the visitations of a monster at 12:07.  The story deals with the normal emotions of a child dealing with the imminent death of a parent: grief, anger, etc. and the mystical world of the nightmares and the monster symbolize things the boy can't verbalize or rationalize himself otherwise.

This is a dark story but with a redeeming ending.  Don't let the fact that it is an illustrated book fool you into thinking  the book is suitable for young children.  It is definitely a YA title, dealing with some tough emotions, dark situations, frightening scenes and emotionally draining.  I lost my mother to terminal illness at age 24 and the deathbed scene brought tears to my eyes.  A powerful, haunting and gut-wrenching story.

The book is profusely illustrated in a very dark manner.  With what appears to be black ink throughout, some illustrations are mostly dark texturized blackness with no focal image while others are quite outstanding haunting images featuring the monster.  On their own I'm not sure I would appreciate them but they are a perfect match for the story being told.  This is a book I wouldn't be surprised to see on award lists.

1 comment:

  1. I thought this book was very well-done. I am glad you enjoyed it, too!