Book Review: A Monster Calls

A Monster CallsA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So many truths contained in one heart-wrenching story. One quote in particular stood out to me:

“You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”

When I read that line toward the end of the book, I was immediately reminded of my pastor’s sermon this week from James 2:14-17:

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

And so, with the help of a “monster”, Connor summons the courage to do the hard thing – the right thing – to tell the truth.

After looking at many of the reviews, I was expecting to have a visceral, emotional reaction to the book, especially knowing that I’m an emotional person. But grief is a funny thing that affects us all in different ways. I kept waiting on the shoe to drop – the flood of tears – but they never came. This was a wonderful book, to be sure, about a very important subject and I have a feeling that I’ll be revisiting it in years to come. I imagine that people who are battling cancer or have a loved one that has been diagnosed with cancer would look at this book with different eyes and find comfort and resolve within it’s pages.  But the raw emotion of it would hit them… well… like a monster.

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NOTE: I listed to this book on Audible.  The audiobook version was very well done, but I would like to re-read the hardback edition for the illustrations, which are said to be wonderful.

View all my reviews

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