The monster showed up 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…
This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.
A Monster Calls is the story of thirteen-year-old Conor O’Malley, whose mother is undergoing treatment for cancer. His mother’s terminal illness provides a stark backdrop for Conor’s story, and the reason for the appearance of the ‘monster’ at his bedroom window.
This book is as beautiful as it is harrowing.
It is a story that centres around the pain of losing someone you love to terminal illness. Patrick Ness is credited as stating that A Monster Calls is a story “about loss, but also the fear of loss, and there’s not a person in the world – young or old – who hasn’t experienced that.” (Link)
This is a story about grief, about guilt, and about the importance of admitting the truth. It is about facing your monsters: the real ones at your window, and the ones of your nightmares.
Day 14: Book whose main character you want to marry
Daughter of the Forest – Juliet Marillier
The answer to this challenge actually came down to two Juliet Marillier books: this one, and the third in the series Child of the Prophecy. Both books have amazingly strong, dedicated and loving men as the love interests – it was hard to choose!
But I guess you could say that Red was one of the first fictional men I fell in love with. And so the challenge goes to him. 🙂
Daughter of the Forest is partly based off of the traditional story ‘The Six Swans’. After her evil (and she is purely evil) stepmother turns her six elder brothers into swans, Sorcha is forced to flee into the forest. There, she embarks on a mission to save her brothers, a mission that causes her extreme pain and heartache. Forbidden to make a sound, Sorcha’s life is endangered on several occasions – men, fever, rain and fire all prove dangerous to Sorcha, but one man takes her under his protection, waiting (for his own reasons) for the day when she can speak again. That man is Red (or Hugh of Harrowfield – his full name).
It’s hard to explain how amazing the character of Red is. He has all of the characteristics of your typical hero – strong, brave, caring. But he also has a harsh temper, is proud and can appear cold. And that is part of the reason I love and admire his character so much. Even knowing that he is a character, his attributes (even the not-so-good ones) make him that much more real. I feel like I could reach out and touch him.
Really, it’s too hard to explain just how awesome Red is. And Sorcha, too. So I highly recommend that you just go on and read it. Give it time, as you get to know not just Red and Sorcha but all of Sorcha’s wonderful brothers, too. But trust me, this book is worth it.