Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Page Count/Review Word Count: 216
I didn’t think much of this book, but I bumped it up from a three-star based on the writing to a four-star thanks to the illustrations by Jim Kay. Perhaps this book has been over-hyped, who knows? I was just hoping for so much more.
I think what we have here is a case of the story behind the story being better than the story itself. I have respect for Ness for what he did in terms of taking Siobhan Dowd’s idea and bringing it to life, because there’s nothing worse than an idea that dies with someone. I just didn’t get the “lyrical and transcendent” storytelling that the blurb promised. It reminded me more of R. L. Stine imitating John Green but with a few storytelling techniques pinched from The Princess Bride and The Empire Strikes Back.
All in all, this book was okay, and I guess I can see why people like it. It just wasn’t for me, and perhaps that makes me heartless. It was hard to care about Conor or his family because they were all so self-obsessed, which I guess is kind of the point of it. Great art, though.