A book hasn’t made me cry like this in YEARS. It took me altogether too many hours of sobbing and hugging my dog before I could sleep after finishing this one.
Conor has a relatively happy life with his mum. His dad lives in America, and he doesn't get along with his grandma. But Conor's mum is sick; she's going through treatments and is weak and poorly all the time. Conor knows she'll get better - she has to - and when a monster comes walking in the middle of the night to see him, he knows that he's there to help her do just that. Or is he?
Books about grief are such a personal thing. In this case, I think Patrick Ness has captured that raw, unutterable pain so perfectly that no matter what a person is grieving, whether a death or a loss of any kind, they will find something of their pain reflected in these pages. As always, his writing is beautiful, the imagery stunning, and the illustrations only add to that. It's a harrowing journey, these 200 pages, and the bleak yet beautiful nature of both the words themselves and the images complementing them create an experience unlike anything I've ever read before.
I'm finding this hard to review, actually, just because I felt it so deeply. I think that's a case for a lot of people, and it's why this has become such a classic. It's a challenging read, but my god, it's so superbly done. It's cathartic and tragic and even healing as it shows how one boy deals with his unending grief and works on moving forward.
It's going to be in my heart forever.