A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 215
Rating: 8.8 (Best Book)

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.

I have several crying-over-book moments. When I finished reading the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, for example, I cried like a baby as my frail heart cannot handle the farewell between Harry and his other children--which also marked his farewell with his loyal readers who had been fighting The Dark Lord along with him. Then, when I was reading The Martian. Not because this book breaks my heart or something, it's just because I can finally acknowledge the greatness of God for He still allows me to read something amazing like that. There are also several minor books which have made me weep some tear or hiccup. The point I am trying to make is my tear-glands are actually generous gland--in producing tears. 

The fact that I did not cry when I read A Monster Calls somehow astonishes me. 

But, this is not the first time I do not cry over a book which has made everybody else cry like hell. Sabtu Bersama Bapak comes in mind since I heavily criticized this particular book for not being a good work of fiction at all. 

I don't know why I do not cry while reading A Monster Calls. Is it because I read it on my way train home? Or is it because a random passenger suddenly played gospel songsinside the train loudly, like I want to scream, 'Have you learned that there is a technology called headset, Sir?' I just can't understand what crossed his head. 

Either way, even if I am not crying, A Monster Calls is not something I call a hollow book. Its tear-jerking formula is not plotless (yes, I am still looking at you, Sabtu Bersama Bapak), making A Monster Calls rich and cornucopian in quintessence. The main idea by Mrs. Siobhan Dowd is successfully grasped by Ness in his witty and beautiful way of writing. What I love from Ness' writing is his modest diction--but magically Ness can craft these words into something wonderful. 

A Monster Calls may tell us a story of thirteen-year old boy who must endure something beyond his age could endure, but it is exactly what adults must endure every day as well. Adults bear such heavy burden and we still say everything is fine and cry inside at the same time. Until a monster named truth comes and we even are really scared to admit and embrace the truth. A Monster Calls teaches us to be courageous and embrace the truth like an old friend. Truth--no matter how painful it is--can relieve our burden in the end. 

That makes A Monster Calls an important book which everybody must read. It slaps us who act tough that it is fine to cry, it is fine to admit our weakness, it is fine to acknowledge the truth.

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