I have so many books out from the library, and on hold, and on my TBR, that I can't remember the last time I just picked something up on a whim, because it was to hand, because I'd heard of it loosely and liked the author but didn't really know much about it. That's what A Monster Calls was - I got it as an ebook from my library on a rainy lunch hour, just because I could borrow it immediately and start reading it right then. I read and really enjoyed The Rest of Us Just Live Here last year, so I knew Patrick Ness' name, and thought I would enjoy something new from him. I did!
A Monster Calls is a YA/children's book, probably targeted at early teens. The protagonist is 13, and is dealing with his mother's illness, the problems that creates in his life, and the monster that comes to deal with him. It's a little Gaiman-esque, with a kid dealing with something tough and a world that is a lot like ours but not quite. It's cute and well written, and I very nearly cried at work reading it, which is mostly an endorsement. It was refreshing to read about a teenager who still acted like - and is treated as - a child, rather than the older YA set where people often act like 16-year-olds are adults, It's a quick read, and Ness crafts a touching little story.
For a book I picked up on a whim, I'm quite happy with it. I'd say it's four stars, and I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye peeled for more of Ness' writing. It's definitely a sad book, so if you're coping with some of the themes of loss and illness that permeate this book, maybe it's not for now, but that's up to you. If you're just signing up for a short, touching read, then you should have a look!
This review has been crossposted at CannonballRead, a race to read and review 52 books in a year!