A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I should probably let a few days pass before I write this review. But it feels like I should do justice to the book and do it now.

My heart is gone. It hasn’t been broken; it has been turned to dust. Beauty has that kind of power. So do certain kinds of sadness. And, God, does this book have every kind of beauty and sadness there is in this world.

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, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

From Goodreads

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A Monster Calls published by Walker Books (2012)

This is the sort of story that I can feed the monster inside of me with. It’s juicy and raw, with a sweet and sour sauce. I hope my monster enjoys it because all of my other parts have.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1) by Ransom Riggs

This book has grown in popularity ever since the screen adaptation by Tim Burton was announced. It has a huge fanbase and I’m sure that when the movie comes out, everyone will rush to the bookstores to get it. So it’s time to review it.

Synopsis

After his grandfather’s mysterious death, sixteen-year-old Jacob travels to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for a good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children published by Quirk Books (2013)

It hooked me from the very first sentence:

“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.”

I’m lucky to have thought “oh, I know that feeling” when I first read it. It is precisely because of this that I defend the idea that a book must have, mandatorily, a good opening line. But this book has way more than one great line. And that’s mainly the reason why I didn’t stop reading it when I got slightly bored with it after the leading mystery was solved.

Ransom Riggs has the kind of writing that makes you feel guilty of putting the book down before you’re officially finished with it. That’s why I don’t regret having stuck with his peculiar story until the very end. Even though it gets too weird at some point, his writing makes everything seem better, sound better, work better.

I won’t spoil anything. Instead, I will leave here one of my favourite passages from the book in an attempt to seduce you into his strange world:

“Stars, too, are time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours had collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize that we are not alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries – but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.”

Fae

If you’re fond of peculiar things, click here:

The Book Depository

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman

Synopsis

This is a stunning collection of short stories by acclaimed fantasy writer Neil Gaiman. His distinctive genius has been championed by writers as diverse as Norman Mailer and Stephen King. With The Sandman Neil Gaiman created one of the most sophisticated, intelligent, and influential graphic novel series of our time. Now after the recent success of his latest novel Anansi Boys, Gaiman has produced Fragile Things, his second collection of short fiction. These stories will dazzle your senses, haunt your imagination, and move you to the very depths of your soul. This extraordinary compilation reveals one of the world’s most gifted storytellers at the height of his powers.

                                                                                              From Goodreads

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Fragile Things published by Headline Publishing Group (2007)

At the end of the introduction of his book, Neil Gaiman says:

“Stories, like people and butterflies and songbirds’ eggs and human hearts and dreams, are also fragile things, made up of nothing stronger or more lasting than twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation marks. Or they are words on the air, composed of sounds and ideas – abstract, invisible, gone once they’ve been spoken and what could be more frail than that? But some stories, small, simples ones about setting out on adventures or people doing wonders, tales of miracles and monsters, have outlasted all the people who told them, and some of them have outlasted the lands in which they were created.”

The stories in this collection are not fragile. They are strange ones, tales of monsters who are sometimes just human, of nightmares and many different types of horrors. There is nothing frail about fears or adventures. Neil Gaiman’s stories are strong because they sound true and there are very few things stronger than truth.

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