A Monster Calls was not what I expected.
...but it was good.
I love Patrick Ness' ability to bring you close to the emotion the characters are feeling. It's something I've noticed in his writing that I haven't picked up on in a lot of other stories.
(It's the British vs. American, very generalized thing about external vs. internal action that I've been blabbing about for the past few weeks)
A Monster Calls is about grief, anger, regret, and death. It's also about hope, letting go/peace, and forgiving yourself.
In the story, a young boy is confronted by a monster who tells him three stories, all containing a twist. Then the monster asks for the boy's story.
Between the stories, we read about this boy's life and the things that have happened to him that created a monster inside him.
It's a powerful story about how much of a monster we can be to ourselves, and how complex the emotions of loss can be.
I don't tend to read general fiction like The Faults In Our Stars (although it looks lovely) because I'm not interested in 'real life'. I'm interested in communicating about real issues, couched in a fantasy or science fiction world.
Patrick Ness is a master and his stories are excellent study material for the writer wanting to bring more to the table than a general romp in fantasyland.
I'll be moving to a new blog in March -- I'll still be talking about stories, but I'll be widening the field to include film and television (and the occasional play). Details to come.