What’s it about?
The monster showed up just 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… The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.
This is a sad book, there’s no getting round it you’ll probably cry or like me, very nearly will. From the opening chapter you know this won’t end well.
“But she wasn’t in the kitchen. Which meant she was probably still up in her bed. Which meant Conor would have to make his own breakfast, something he’d grown used to doing.”
Although at 13 I was definitely making my own breakfast, but this just seems more poignant and heart-breaking in this book and this is only chapter 2!
From the start I wanted to know what was Conor’s monster? I had this feeling by his actions in his Grandma’s lounge and at school that it was some kind of grief/stress induced schizophrenia (if that even is a thing) – and I was torn between it needing a diagnosis and not as I do like things to be quite cut and dried. I wanted more clarity and confirmation. However, knowing Ness’ style and genre I found myself questioning what was real and what wasn’t; obviously the tree trucking up to school wasn’t which made me then question Conor’s condition more. But I suppose for the purpose of the book’s target audience and age range it probably didn’t need a name, but I was left wondering…..and overthinking it!
I loved the black and white illustrations in this edition; they were very dark, atmospheric and haunting which match the book perfectly.
Due to its subject matter I don’t think this is a book you enjoy, it’s a book you appreciate and hold dear for the comfort it may give someone in this situation and my eyes were filled with tears during the last few pages.
p.s for now, I think I’m all Nessed out!
Watch the forthcoming movie trailer here
Connect with the author, Patrick Ness