A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness is honestly one of the best books I have ever read. Illustrated by Jim Kay, this book tells the story of a thirteen-year-old boy named Conor who wakes up at seven minutes past midnight to find a monster outside his bedroom window. For a long time he has been having nightmares almost nightly, but this isn't the monster from those nightmares -- this monster is different and wants something from Conor: the truth. Filled with emotion, characterization, and great writing, this novel tells Conor's story as he faces his mother's illness and the nightmare that haunts him.
I've been trying to find this book for a few months now at a used bookstore (what can I say, I'm cheap =P), but hadn't been able to find it until I visited Powell's bookstore in Portland when I was at Bricks Cascade (I'm sure I could have found it at a normal bookstore like B&N, but I haven't looked -- I know they have it online). I actually ended up buying it new anyway (it was only $16.99), and I definitely don't regret it. I started and finished this novel a few days ago and couldn't put it down while reading it. It has so much great characterization, plot, emotions, description, tales, not to mention the fabulous illustrations that accompany the text and simply the fact that the writing was very well done. I really want to read it again, but I'm forcing myself not to so I can read some of the other books on my mile-long list of books to read.
But honestly, this book is highly recommended. I am really, really grateful to Katie (aka Ezorov) for telling me about it and "nagging" me to read it because I loved it and it is now definitely one of my favorite books. On that note, today is her birthday, so you should all go say "Happy Birthday" to her over here in the birthday topic I made for her!
And if anyone's wondering, this is where my recent banner/avatar came from. I may write a more "official" review of it later on, but I just wanted to throw this out there that it's an amazing book and highly recommended.