A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness, Jim Kay So, now it's been two weeks since I read this and I still haven't reviewed it. This always happens when I either really hate a book or really love it. If a book is really awful, it's hard to write a review when there are so many things wrong with the book. But in this case––and in the case of all amazing books––I find it so hard to write a review, because there's just so little to find wrong with the book. Not only that, but it's impossible to capture all of the emotions I felt while reading this. It's just really hard to put into words. And from the other reviews I've read, it seems I'm not the only one who feels this way.Ahh, I don't even know where to start.First of all, I must say I adore Patrick Ness with all my heart. His Chaos Walking trilogy is hands-down my favorite series of all time. And you know me ... I read quite a lot. He has a unique style, he creates realistic and relatable characters, and dang does he know how to capture so many emotions in so few words. It's just astounding.For those of you who don't know, the idea for A Monster Calls was created by YA author Siobhan Dowd. Unfortunately, she died of cancer before she could write it––which makes the book all the more poignant. Patrick Ness, who had never even met Siobhan, was asked to finish the book for her.I see how this plan could have not worked out. I mean, that's a lot of pressure to put on a guy. You take the idea of a famous author who can't write it herself, and it's just like, "Here you go ... Finish this." One could end up not knowing where to go with the idea, or trying too hard to do the deceased author justice and failing. But of course, I had high expectations for what Patrick Ness would do, and he did an outstanding job.So, here's the story: Conor's mother is dying of cancer. Then one night, a yew tree in their backyard comes to life and visits Conor in the form of a monster. It promises that it will visit four times––three times to tell its own stories, and the fourth time to hear Conor's story. Meanwhile, Conor is also dealing with his mother's deteriorating health, his fussy grandmother, his estranged father, and being an outcast at school. I'm not going to give too much away, because you really just need to experience this book. It's impossible to put it into words, because the emotions it evokes are just too powerful to describe. If you've ever been through any kind of grief, this book will really hit home. It's just so devastating and brutally honest. What's so painful about it is that it's not really about acceptance, as most books about grief are. It really captures two conflicting emotions––this desire that everything could stop and it would just be over, and at the same time this resistance to let go. But this isn't a hopeless book at all, either. It's about learning to acknowledge these feelings, and realize that it's okay to feel them––that every grieving person feels them, but it's just so hard to talk about.Man, I'm starting to choke up just thinking about it. And really, I don't think a book has made me so teary-eyed since ... well, since the third book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. My eyes were watering up so much through the second half of this book, there were times I could barely see the page. And I'm telling you, I'm usually an emotional rock. Like, only a handful of books/movies can make me cry. And this book did it. So, good for you Patrick Ness. I have teared up during ALL of your books, and I don't think I can say that about any other author. Oh, and of course the illustrations in this book are gorgeous. When you read this (that's right, when and not if) you should get a hard copy. The illustrations are really dark and beautiful and really add to the tone and the beauty of the story.I don't think I can say any more. Just, read this book. And all of Patrick Ness's books. They're all astounding.