A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I’ve been meaning to read a Patrick Ness book for some time, having seen his quotes floating around the internet. Last week I rejoined the library for the first time in maybe eight years and realised that ebooks are now a thing and I could therefore get a book out without leaving my bed… And promptly downloaded his bibliography.

A Monster Calls was the first one I read and I wasn’t sure what to expect, having not read the blurb beforehand. I was pretty sure I would be moved… I was right and then some. I never would have thought that a book about a story telling tree monster that appears at midnight would actually be the one story on the topic of grief that I identified most strongly with.

In between snippets of tales about apothecaries, evil queens and nightmares Patrick Ness weaves in complex feelings on losing loved ones, right and wrong and whether such a thing exists, truth and love. It’s not a happy tale, but the Monster never promises one. I adored it.

Personally, I feel like in a few pages I had my feelings around losing a parent validated, in a way. Not that, at nearly 25, I needed them to be… But it’s still nice to find a book that shows you exactly how you felt and how it was ok to feel that way.


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