A Monster Calls broke so many rules for my "typical read" category. It's contemporary in setting, for one thing, and I often choose historical times, fantasy, or futuristic worlds. The circumstances are sorrowful; the main character's mother is dying of cancer, his dad is elsewhere, and his grandmother is struggling, too.
Oh, then there's the monster. The poor kid is buried in problems.
Never mind that.
The art is perfect. The story is masterful. Go fetch this book, and for the love of Mike, don't buy it as an ebook. Show some sense.
From the author website:
The monster showed up just 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…The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.
Twice Carnegie Medal-winning Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself, beautifully illustrated by Jim Kay. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults, and the only book to win both the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal.