Thursday, 18 August 2016

A Monster Calls Book Talk

A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness
Release Date: September 27th, 2011

Spoiler Alert

Synopsis: 


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.

My Thoughts:

I gave this book 5 stars. It was beautiful and touching, it was exciting but at the same time it was sad. It spoke of how things aren't always black and white, good and evil. Everyone has their flaws and strengths. This won't be an incredibly long review, because it wasn't a very long book, and I don't want to get too metaphorical with you guys and analyst every single thing that happened in the book and what I think it means, I am not your English teacher. I'm pretty much going with obvious things. 




I originally got this book because I found it eat my local book store for only 6 dollars, and I couldn't decide which book I wanted to get, so I ended up picking this one up. Also, I hear that there is going to be a movie adaptation, and it has Liam Neeson, I think. I could be wrong, but I am excited for the movie nonetheless.




This book starts out with a boy, and right from the start, you can tell that something serious is wrong, he has had to grow up so much for just a 13 year old boy. 

It's books like this that are a bit harder to categorize. It's a book about a boy coming to terms with his mother dying and in order to help him, a tree monster comes to visit him every night at 12:07 A.M. It takes form from the Yew tree that is kept in Conor's backyard. Each night it comes to him and tells him a story. 




The first story is about a king, his wife is dead so he remarries. Unknowingly a witch, she is wicked, but she quite likes being queen, so when the king dies and all of his heirs, but one, also die, she hatches a plan to marry the final heir once he reaches age. Now this young prince has fallen in love with a farm girl, she is sweet and fierce and smart. One day they run off to elope, taken over by passion they do "it" under a yew tree. The prince wakes the next morning to find that his soon to be wife, has been brutally murdered. He then starts a charge against the queen, since she is obviously the culprit. The towns people uproar and are determined to burn her at the stake for witchcraft. The yew tree decides to take action and goes to the castle, picks up the queen and takes her far away, so she doesn't die. It turns out that the prince, knew what would happen if the farm girl died, so during the night, he killed her and in the morning blamed it on the queen. He was a much loved kind, a good one too. Not everyone is good or bad, they are a combination of two. That is what the story told me.




The second story is about a a parson or something like that and an apothecary who don't exactly get along. The apothecary wanted the Yew tree in the parson backyard because they have many healing properties and such that could save lots of people. The parson refused saying that he wouldn't let him tear down the tree just to use it for medicine. The parson doesn't agree with anything the apothecary stands for. At first you think of the parson as the good guy because he is kind and good and tries to save the Yew tree in his backyard because it is still a life and all that. And then the apothecary is mean and grumpy, but he saves lives, but the preacher has taken away a lot of his work. One day the parson's daughters get sick and he is desperate so he goes to the apothecary. The apothecary asks him if he would give up all his beliefs if the apothecary would save his children, the parson said yes. So the apothecary did nothing. The yew tree then came alive and shook down the parson house. The moral of the story was that not everything was black and white. While the apothecary was old and mean, he still saved lives, and the parson who was kind and faithful, could have saved many lives with the one tree in his backyard, plus, he threw everything he believed in out the window for his daughters.




The third story was about an invisible man. He wanted so dearly to be seen, and he lashed out, he became invisible. He then realized that being seen was worse than not being seen at all. 




Conor's truth, was hard, but it was a very relatable one. He wanted the suffering to be over, his mother's and his own. It was a hard realization to face, and he was incredibly brave to come face to face with it. 




I don't think I would like to be any character in this book, I either don't like them, or they are going through too much emotional trauma, that if I were in their place I would probably break my back from the weight of everything. It's a very heavy book while still remaining a quick read.

Quotes:


“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”  

“Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.”  

Stories are important, the monster said. They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth.”  


       “Because humans are complicated beasts, the monster said. How can a queen be both a good witch and a bad witch? How can a prince be a murderer and a saviour? How can an apothecary be evil-tempered but right-thinking? How can a parson be wrong-thinking but good-hearted? How can invisible men make themselves more lonely by being seen?     
 "I don't know," Connor shrugged, exhausted. "Your stories never made any sense to me."  

The answer is that it does not matter what you think, the monster said, because your mind will contradict itself a hundred times each day. You wanted her to go at the same time you were desperate for me to save her. Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.” 


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