Sunday, 8 May 2011

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness 
The original idea for A Monster Calls came from the late Siobhan Dowd, a brilliant writer of teen fiction who sadly passed away in 2007 before she had time to write this book. Award-winning author Patrick Ness was asked to take Siobhan's spark of an idea and run with it. He has certainly done that.

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

Conor is visited nightly by the monster. It comes from the graveyard behind the house

he shares with his mum, but this is a different kind of monster from the one in the nightmares he's been having since his mum became ill.

The monster from the graveyard tells Conor stories from long ago, and these tales lead Conor to confront his nightmare head-on, with life-changing consequences.

A Monster Calls is a beautifully written (and illustrated) novel of two parts. The tales told by the monster have the traditional feel of folk stories - with a twist, while Conor's story is a heartwrenching journey through his mother's illness and his own attempts to deal with the difficulties that brings. The interaction between Conor and the monster is funny and touching and brings the story together seamlessly. The two parts blended together create an intensely moving and gripping book, the only criticism of which is that it's impossible to put down.

Age group 12+
Published by Walker Books 03/05/2011

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Begin the Begin

And so begins my attempt to review some of the MANY books I have. Some are already read, others yet to be explored. They are in tottering piles next to the bed, languishing in corners of the house in varying quality 'bags for life', double-layered in my floor to ceiling bookcases and overflowing from the proof copy shelves at the bookshop I work in.

Having recently moved house and been forced to hire a removal van for the sole purpose of moving my books, I have decided that the time has come to give them the attention they deserve and hopefully give someone (anyone?) some great recommendations in the process.

So here goes...