A Monster Calls

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How did I get it?:
It was a birthday gift from my sister!

Synopsis:

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. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.

Thoughts:

I don’t know where to even begin with my review of A Monster Calls by the talented Patrick Ness. I think it makes it even more emotional that the reader knows that Patrick Ness spun this book from the final idea of Siobhan Dowd, who sadly died of cancer and couldn’t write it for herself. I have to admit, I haven’t read anything by Siobhan Dowd before, but I fully intend to rectify that. I do know, however, that Patrick Ness is an incredible writer and Siobhan Dowd left her ideas in very safe hands.  A Monster Calls is a stunning, moving book about coming to terms with loss. It moved me to tears and although I don’t have a heart of stone, it takes a lot for a book to make such an impact on me.

A Monster Calls is a beautifully illustrated book with drawings created by Jim Kay. They take the book to a completely different level. I couldn’t stop looking at the beautiful pictures. It may seem like it’s boring, because the illustrations are in black and white, but it’s really not. It just adds to the beauty and haunting nature of the book. I was captivated and could easily have read this book in one sitting.

I found the story so easy to love, but at the same time I hated it for making me feel like my heart had been ripped out. Seriously, I went through so many emotions but most of all it was just overwhelming sadness. I adored Conor, and wanted it to be a happy ending for him. I knew it wasn’t going to be though. I hated that he was suffering at school as well as home, but that just made the story that more credible. I thought Conor’s reaction to his mother’s illness was utterly believable and heart-breaking. I understood his guilt about his feelings towards his mother. Urgh. I’m tearing up just writing this review. This book really hit me hard.

The monster in this book is intriguing, very intriguing. I don’t want to say too much about it because I don’t want to spoil the story for others. I initially expected a gothic tale, before I knew what it was really about. Although A Monster Calls is aimed at Young Adults, I think those grieving could really find some comfort in reading this book.

A Monster Calls really did blow me away. The fact that Siobhan Dowd was coming up with this story whilst undergoing chemotherapy tore at my heart strings. This book will stay with me for a very, very long time and it has gained its place on my favourites shelf.

Would I recommend it?
Without a doubt!

A Monster Calls is a stunning, poignant read about how we cope with loss. Highly recommended!

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RHCP Summer Blogger Brunch

Yesterday I attended Random House Children’s Publishers summer blogger brunch at Random House’s lovely offices in Pimlico alongside many other wonderful bloggers. This is the first time I’ve met up with fellow bloggers and I have to say, they were all absolutely lovely. It’s nice to be around so many like-minded people that don’t judge you for your bookish habits/obsessions!

The first thing we did was to help film Lauren Kate’s UK book trailer. Her book Teardrop is coming out in November. We had to write down the last thing that made us cry on a card. Luckily (for me) we were able to hide our faces as we were photographed. I can’t wait to see the result of this video. I’m also looking forward to reading Teardrop. I haven’t read any Lauren Kate books before so I’m intrigued…

Unfortunately Beth Reekles was unwell, so couldn’t attend as guest speaker. We did have her lovely editor Lauren Buckland to answer some questions and discuss Wattpad and Movellas. It was incredibly interesting.

The RHCP team told us about a few upcoming releases. All of which sound fabulous! I’ve highlighted the top five that I’m particularly looking forward to. (Click on the book image to take you to the Goodreads page, an easy way to add it to your TBR pile 😉 )

Far Far Away Tom McNeal

Published 4th July 2013

Published 4th July 2013

In a small town where nothing ever happens, everything is about to change..

Jeremy can hear voices. But when he admits this, the townspeople of Never Better treat him like an outsider. Life has been tough after his mother left and his father became a reculuse, but one voice in particular proves his salvation: the voice of the ghost of Jacob Grimm. Jacob watches over Jeremy, protecting him from an unknown dark evil whispered about in the space between this world and the next.

But when a provocative local girl Ginger takes an interest in Jeremy (and his unique abilities), a heartbreaking chain of events is put into motion. As anyone familiar with the Grimm Brothers know, not all fairy tales have happy endings..

Hurt- Tabitha Suzuma

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Published 5th September 2013

A new thrilling, emotional novel for teenagers from award-winning author, Tabitha Suzuma.

At seventeen, Matheo Walsh is Britain’s most promising diving champion. He is wealthy, popular- and there’s Lola, the girlfriend of his dreams.

But then there was that weekend. A weekend he cannot bring himself to remember. All he knows is that what happened has changed him.

Matheo is faced with the most devastating choice of his life. Keep his secret, and put those closest to him in terrible danger. Or confess, and lose Lola forever.

Stay Where You Are And Then Leave- John Boyne

Published 26th September 2013

Published 26th September 2013

From the bestselling author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS comes a moving and uplifting story of an ordinary boy’s search for his missing father during the First World War.

The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield’s father promised he wouldn’t go away to fight- but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn’t know where his father might be, other than that he’s away on a special, secret mission.

Then, while shining shoes at King’s Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father’s name-on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor. Bewildered and confused, Alfie realises his father is in a hospital close by- a hospital treating soldiers with an unusual condition. Alfie is determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place..

Blackberry Blue- Jamila Gavin

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Published 7th November 2013

Step into a magical world of enchanted forests, talking animals and wicked witches….A breathtaking collection of six brand-new fairytales by award-winning author Jamila Gavin.

Here are six magical stories to thrill and enchant you. Watch Blackberry Blue rise from the bramble patch; follow Emeka the pathfinder on his mission to sava a lost king: join Princess Desire as she gallops across the Milky Way on her jet-black horse.

These beautifully written and original stories will delight readers of all ages, and the stunning illustrations by Richard Collingridge will take your breath away.

The Ransom of Dond- Siobhan Dowd

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Published 7th November 2013

A previously unseen story by acclaimed, multi-award winning author Siobhan Dowd, with exquisite artwork by Pam Smy.

She’d known from the day she learned to walk what destiny awaited her.

Wonderfully atmospheric, this is the haunting story of Darra-who, as the thirteenth child to be born to her mither, is destined to be sacrificed to Dond, the dark god of the underworld. On the day she turns thirteen she’ll be rowed out to sea, where she will leap overboard with a rock tied to her ankle. She can’t think of a worse birthday present.

As ever, Siobhan Dowd’s compelling prose swells with emotion from the first page.

I’m so excited about these new releases and I can’t wait to get my hands upon a copy! Every blogger at the event was also given a goody bag with Cross My Heart by Carmen Reid, Rolling Dice by Beth Reekles and Teardrop by Lauren Kate amongst other goodies. I can’t wait to get stuck into these books.

The summer blogger’s brunch was a pleasure to attend. I loved meeting the RHCP team who are delightful and other lovely book bloggers.