Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker Books
Date: May 2012
Buy the Book • Goodreads
At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting — he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments.
The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.
From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd — whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself — Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.
Wow. How on earth can I review a book like this? How can I possibly put into words all the emotions this unbelievable story put me through and do it justice? The answer of course is that I can’t. All I can do is plead with anyone who reads this review that you NEED to read this book. Please, please PLEASE just read it. Its outstanding, breathtaking and if I could award it a thousand stars I truly would.
The main character, Connor lives alone with his mum in England, his father having moved away to America several years ago. His mum is ill.. very ill. Connor is only 13 and having to deal with looking after the house and his mum, deal with school bullies, deal with the betrayal of his best friend and also deal with the prospect of losing his mum and having to go live with his Grandmother who he has never got on with all that well.
In the midst of all the horrible stuff Conner is having to deal with, he is also having a repetative nightmare. One that is so horrifying he can’t actually admit out loud what happens in his nightmare. Then one night at 12.07am a monster calls! He is awoken by a monster looking through his bedroom window. The monster takes on the form of a massive yew tree and rips Conner from his bedroom window. The monster keeps visiting at the same time and Connor would have attributed it to a dream if it wern’t for the fact that he keeps waking up with his bedroom floor covered in yew leaves and berries!
Eventually the monster reveals that its purpose in visiting Connor is to tell him three stories. Once all three stories have been told Connor will have to tell the Monster a forth story. That story is Connor’s truth. And Connor knows this is the truth of his nightmare.
I honestly don’t know what to say. I was told to read this book by a fellow blogger and did so without really looking into what it was about. If I had known what it was about, I may have hesitated to pick it up. This is not my usual genre at all. But boy am I glad that I did. Although this story is heart wrenching, emotional and had me in tears by the end, it is also filled with love, family, friendship and discovery.
One other thing that makes this story amazing is the pictures. The illustrations were drawn by Jim Kay and I must applaud the man for capturing the feel of the story just perfectly and also enhancing the actual story itself by providing such eerie yet stunning pictures to go along with it.
If you havent gotten the picture yet, this book is amazing. I recommend to all. It is a beautiful story about a real life situation, not sugar coated but with a very real and very important message. Very worthy of the five stars.