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review 2017-08-03 21:03
The New World - Patrick Ness  
The New World - Patrick Ness

12/31/16
Nothing else was really grabbing me, you know? I saw an ad for the film Monsters of Men, which brought me to Ness and thinking it's been too long since I read it, because when I was recommending the series to Natasha as truly excellent sci fi, I couldn't remember much except lots of twists in the spaghetti. In fact, while I remembered that the series was Chaos Walking, I managed to choose the wrong title as first in the series three times in a row. There are only three novels in the series you understand.

personal copy

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review 2017-07-15 00:00
A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Jim Kay 4,75 stars

Read in one sitting, bawled my eyes out for the last third. I can't write any kind of coherent review right now, other than to say I loved it and it broke my heart.

(Also, I read this as a part of a 24h readathon, of which I have four and a half hours left. What can I possibly follow this up with?)
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review 2017-07-06 12:59
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

A sad and depressing book. The writing is decent and the story unusual, but I can't say I enjoyed it all that much.

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review 2017-06-27 03:58
Sometimes you need a monster...
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Jim Kay

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

opening lines

 

The monster says that Conor is the one who called him. But Conor doesn't understand - if the monster isn't here to save his mother, then why? The monster tells Conor three stories and then asks Conor to tell his truth. Conor's truth is the one thing he doesn't want to face. Conor's mother has cancer and is undergoing treatment. Conor feels like he is invisible at school and he is feeling many different emotions that he doesn't know how to deal with. Conor's grandmother comes to help, but Conor feels like she just makes things worse.

 

This is an amazing story. It deals with the difficult subject of terminal illness and the emotions all family members face in this situation, especially children. The monster is a great character and the stories he tells have meanings even though Conor has difficulty figuring them out.

 

Conor is going through such a difficult time and I really felt for him. I understood his anger and just wanted to give him a hug. The people around Conor want to help him, but they really don't know how. I think that happens a lot in these situations because like Conor, people don't always know what they want or need.

 

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm planning to. If it is anything like the book, I will like it, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

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review 2017-06-26 18:14
A Monster Calls / Patrick Ness
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Jim Kay

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.  But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…  This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.  It wants the truth.

 

 

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

That’s when our worries plague us—in the middle of the night when there’s nothing we can do except stew about them. Your nightmare is now interrupted by real-life worries that are worse. Deal with it!

I’ve lived through a similar situation. I was at my father’s side when he died, after three weeks of lingering in hospital after a car accident. I went through all the stages of grief, repeatedly. Denial, bargaining, anger, depression, acceptance. I had the advantage of a couple of decades of experience more than Conor, but the emotions are the same.

I can’t even remember who I was talking to on the phone, days before Dad died, when I said, “Why can’t this poor man die? What’s holding him here?” Because his life was never going to be the same. He would never be physically or emotionally whole again. His life would simply have been a frustrating struggle and he didn’t deal well with frustration. All in all, it was a relief when he made the decision to let go. I was grateful that he was able to leave, but I have missed him every day since then.

I shed a lot of tears towards the end of this book. I think it would be an excellent offering to any young person who has lost a parent or whose parent is on the brink of death. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be relieved when that parent is released from pain. Whatever you feel, it’s okay.

Apologies to my real-life book club for choosing yet another “cancer book.”

 

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