Friday, August 17, 2012

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I gave this book a rating of four out of five. Conor's parents are divorced, and his father has moved to America. However, the biggest problem he's dealing with is his mother's battle with cancer. She has some good days, but most of them seem to find her tired and in pain. Then, the dreams start. Or are they dreams? The yew tree in the backyard starts to speak to Conor, and it tells him three stories that will teach him lessons about people, and himself. In the end, Conor must tell the tree a story, and it must be the truth. Conor's story will force him to face his most terrible fear and truth.
This story is not an uplifting, inspirational story. It's sad. Conor feels lost and alone with his dad away, his mom frequently in the hospital, and living with his strict grandmother. He's pushed away any friends he might have at school, and bullies enjoy tormenting him. All the while, Conor must try to accept the truth about his mother. I found the yew tree's stories interesting, because they didn't turn out the way Conor expected. The stories involved rewarding and punishing positive and negative characters, but it wasn't always easy to tell one from the other.