A Monster Calls is a portrait of grief. I know that doesn't sound too promising but let me tell you, the way Ness handles the tale is ultimately heartwrenching but at the same time, beautiful. If you have never been in the position of having someone, let alone a parent, sick, then you simply will not be able to empathize. But this perhaps was a bit too close to home for me right now. My dad has been sick for the last three weeks. It's nothing life threatening, thank God but I have been there with my mom. And now with my dad, watching your parent be in pain, wondering if this is it, I can't articulate effectively the rush of fear that floods you but A Monster Calls can. Conor's journey is framed by an unlikely fairy tale that gorgeously depicts a boy coming to terms with something no child should have to go through. The illustrations serve to enrich the experience of reading the novel and anyone who fears the book is too heavy in its themes should not be afraid to try it out. It is sad, there's no other way to say it but there's a bit of frail hope in all of it. For us, this is a fictional story but it does not hurt to remind us that for many others, this is reality. I do recommend it.