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LyraLynne

United States

Was born in a small US town and has always loved reading and writing. Was inspired by JK Rowling to start writing. Was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and went through chemotherapy in 2015. All is good now. Loves fall and winter and their holidays.

Message from Writer

I follow everyone, no matter what. If you show up on my dashboard or in my notifications, I'll follow you and check out your profile if I haven't already. :)

Quotes to remember:
“The sky’s only the limit if you don’t believe you can make it to the stars.” -Me

"Everyone is an independent snowflake so get over it." -Me

"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." -C.S. Lewis

My writing blog is lyralynnewriting.weebly.com if you want to go check that out. :)

Humanity's Light: A Review of A Monster Calls

February 18, 2019

    The imperfections of humanity are what give us our strength. The struggles we face and the wars we fight only cause us to rise, despite the impending inevitability of oblivion. It is only too truthful, though, to say that we grow from each other, and being lonely is one of our greatest weaknesses. Even if we think we long for solidarity, and push the world away, it takes a part of our soul that can only be filled by another human being. The book, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, is an enthralling fictional representation of these, and other of our darkest fears and realizations.
    With common interludes of black and white sketches from illustrator Jim Kay, the message behind the book is one that can appeal to all audiences. While technically fantasy, the true humanity of the story makes it mirror realistic fiction perfectly. It's a tale of grief, and recovery, of pain, and the recognition of it. The symbolism woven throughout creates a parable of the common loneliness that humanity shares, and therefore, is impactful to most everyone. 
     A young boy, Conor, is grappling with the terrible fact that his mother has terminal cancer, and it takes a monster, the representation of his denial and self-imposed solidarity, to get him to confront his feelings. This monster takes him on all sorts of journeys, all while encouraging the boy to admit the truth. His anger and fear are perfect metaphors for the horrors of today's society and how we as humans deal with them. 
    This book is so much more than just a story, it's an idea, executed exceptionally. The character of the monster inspires the appropriate amount of fear and respect, the boy's actions plucked at the heartstrings of the reader, and the use of pictures gave it another atmosphere, commanding the silence and displaying the story in a way that just words could not have hoped to achieve.        
    When Conor first meets the horrific monster, he is surprisingly calm. His quiet confidence masks the fact that he is struggling, as when the monster attempts to frighten him, he simply responds with, "So come and get me then." The fact that the monster is the rendition of his inner pain is what helps to alleviate his fear.
    The monster describes itself as ancient, and everlasting, so it seems to demand Conor's fear. It explains to Conor that it will tell him three stories. Then, the monster claims that Conor will tell him a fourth, "and it will be the truth." A truth so awful and frightening, that it appears in his nightmares as a different monster, one he doesn't want to acknowledge. While his new monster isn't this terrible dream, it seems to know something about Conor that he refuses to admit.
    Conor's feels alone in the world, not wanting to bother his mother with anything, and trying to avoid his feelings. Even though there are people who care for him, he pulls away. Throughout his journeys with the monster, he starts to gain confidence, standing up to bullies and starting to address his emotions, all leading up to the moment that would change everything. The story is so inspiring and it gave me hope for overcoming my fears and shortcomings. 
      What drew me to the book was its unique premise: its a book about sorrow, with solemn, inspirational pictures woven throughout. What kept me reading was how much this book saw into my soul. It played with my hopes, my fears, my deepest insecurities, and it provided me with answers to why I wanted to hide away from the world. A Monster Calls shocked me with its truths about myself, and I didn't realize just how normal my reactions to my life were.
   In this case, I was both the boy and his mother, dealing with cancer on the one hand, and denial on the other. I went through chemotherapy in my middle school years, when I was beginning to figure out the kind of person I wanted to be. In the same way as Conor, I refused to admit to my trauma, so I pushed everyone, included those closest to me, away. Patrick Ness miraculously drilled through my barriers to affect the raw, wounded side of me, the way the monster did for Conor.
    How can you accurately describe that which has affected your life so much? A Monster Calls has been that one book that changed me. It helped me to recognize my monsters, and to acknowledge the prisons I had built for my emotions in an effort to separate my pain from the world. This is a story for people who love John Green-type books, and other dramatic realistic fiction, though anyone could enjoy its fast-paced thrill. It's tales of fantasy woven into a story about the common themes of humanity's need for companionship. It's a story for the young, the old, and everyone in between, for families, for individuals, for those who truly feel like they have no one in the world, and especially for those who've lived in the fear of the truth.

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