A Monster Calls is a book that I picked up after seeing a trailer for the movie. I have always been one of those "I want to read the book before I see the movie," or "The book was better," kind of people.
So, I grabbed it with little expectations or knowledge of what the book was about. I am very glad that I did.
The book is about a thirteen year old boy named Conor. Conor lives with his mother who has cancer. The story follows the boy as he works through his feelings about his mother's illness. The journey of how he does this begins with a monster made from a yew tree visible from his bedroom window outside of a church.
The monster tells Conor three tales throughout the book which lead to Conor telling a tale to the tree monster. The monster teaches Conor more about life in these tales than Conor can understand at the time, but all becomes revealed in the final pages.
Like I said, I had very little expectations for this book. My curiosity was peaked from seeing the trailer for the movie and I thought "Well, that sounds very counselor-y." I started the book and I couldn't put it down. I read it all in one sitting. It was incredible.
The story gives attention to the people taking care of a loved one with a life threatening illness. It shines a light on how others, especially teenager, treat those in this position. From a counseling perspective, it offered a huge insight into teens in this position and what they are feeling.
Overall, this book taught me a lot. The words of wisdom provided by the monster are astounding and poignant. It has helped me see things through a different set of eyes. Not to mention, the artwork throughout the books lends itself to the story as much as the actual words. It is all done in black and white, no color, which was very purposeful.
I would highly recommend this book.