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Posts tagged ‘Patrick Ness’

A Monster Calls – Movie Review

a-monster-calls.jpgMovies of books, don’t always go so well and I firmly fit into the category of person who believes mostly books do it better. I like the way I create a movie in my head as I read and sometimes the films, for the sake of action and time, change things up that are, to a reader, just wrong.

Having said that, I really enjoyed this movie. Patrick Ness, the writer of the source material, had a hand in the film and I think that showed, not just in the storytelling but also in the tone.

As a book it was moving, intense as you would expect from the subject matter; broken family, mother critically ill, bullying. The whole tale is about some of the dark places life can take us and ways to cope through them. The film echoed that.

It is not a faced paced film, it is slow as it weaves a story in several parts; Conor’s real life, the interactions with the monster (voiced with gravitas that only Liam Neeson can bring), and the stories the Monster tells. It is an emotional tale, filled with painful truths, bought to life in a touching and very real way.

The cast did an amazing job. Lewis MacDougall (Conor) is vulnerable, defiant, broken and ultimately finds strength though the journey the ancient tree monster takes him on in the search of truth, Conor’s truth. Felicity Jones does a great job of playing a mother who knows she is ill but struggles to hide it from her son, whilst giving him the love he needs. Conor’s Grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) is stern, distanced from him but tries as she understands they are all each other has, she delicately plays that balance of love, sadness and frustration.

It is a film that pulls at the heartstrings. As a mother I identified on many levels. As someone who has intimate knowledge of bullying, it strums a note. As a reader who loved the source material it is a film that doesn’t disappoint.

If you get the chance go see the film, even if you don’t pick up a copy of the book, I highly recommend it.


The Rest of Us Just Live Here

I received my copy from the publisher
By: Patrick Ness

Life for a high school student is filled with stresses related to dating and exam scores and that is how it should be, not everyone can be a chosen one. Not everyone is the one who has to face the zombies, kill the vampires or defeat whatever the latest threat to a town might be. Stories are always told of those people but what of those who share the town with them. This is the story of those whose lives go on at the edges or outside all that action. To Mikey though that is as it should be. Mikey just wants to graduate, get the chance to go to prom before the high school gym gets blown up again and maybe kiss the girl. This is life.
This book is a wonderfully engaging story. As a counterpoint to Mikey’s life we do get hints as to what is happening in the extraordinary world, but so what? Mikey’s life is interesting, filled with stresses that we can all identify with. (Well apart from a mother who basks in the spotlight of fame.) Mikey has a close group of friends, is protective of his sisters and protective of his best friends secret, no small ask when that friend might be something pretty spectacular, such as a god. Then of course there is the girl he believes he should be with and the guy she seems to fancy.
Ness has taken the concept of a story about the spectacular or supernatural and turned it on its head. In the process he has given us a wonderful tale rooted in the mundane, it is a highly relatable tale dealing with depression, mental health issues and eating disorders. There are some serious topics packaged here and as always Ness deals with them in a manner that makes them seem less taboo. Once again Patrick Ness has proven what a masterful story teller he is.
Highly recommended.
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: 27th August 2015
Format: hard cover 352 pages
Genre: fantasy, high school, growing up, friendship
ISBN: 9781406331165

More Than This

I received my copy from the publisher


By: Patrick Ness

A boy, feeling desperate and totally alone, drowns. His final moments painful and then he dies. Then without reason he wakes. Alone still, naked, bruised and thirsty. Nothing makes sense in this moment. How is this even possible. The place he wakes to is vaguely familiar but deserted. The boy struggles to understand what is happening to him. He manages to pull himself together sort of but what is the point of this? Does all this mean there is still some hope? What is this life after death?

And that is all I will say about the plot. Sometimes a book comes along where it doesn’t matter how you slice it telling any more than the bare minimum will be to give spoilers. This is another masterpiece from the wonderful pen of Patrick Ness. The world is visceral, you can see and feel just what he wants you to. You are for the most part as uncertain as The Boy. As he uncovers bits and pieces you may think you see where it is going before you find yourself twisted around and facing a new direction. Ness writes with a masterful hand but he is a writer who makes you think. This is not just book you pick up and flip through the pages, this is a book that requires the reader to be engaged in the story, and because of it’s complexity and the wonderful way Ness strings his words together, that is in no way a chore.

As always a wonderful and intriguing read.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Published: 05 September 2013

Format: Hardback 480 pages

Categories: Mystery

ISBN 13: 9781406331158

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

More Than This – Book Trailer

So the awesome Patrick Ness has a new book coming out. His books are often intense and more than a little thought provoking. The kind of books that can stay with you. So here is the trailer for the new book.

And here is Patrick Ness talking about the new book.

I am all sorts of excited for this.

The Inky’s Longlist 2012

Inky Awards 2012 long list has been announced, I’m a little late with this as I’ve been having internet problems. The Inky’s are awards for the best teen literature and are broken up into best Australian author (Gold) and best International author (Silver). The complete list is as follows


Gold Inky Longlist

  • Shift by Em Bailey
  • Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar
  • Brotherband 1: The Outcasts by John Flanagan
  • Act of Faith by Kelly Gardiner
  • Queen of the Night by Leanne Hall
  • Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart
  • Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan
  • The Coming of the Whirlpool: Ship Kings 1 by Andrew McGahan
  • The Deep: Here Be Dragons, Vol 1 by Tom Taylor (illustrated by James Brouwer)
  • The Reluctant Hallelujah by Gabrielle Williams

Silver Inky Longlist

  • Bitterblue by Kirstin Cashore
  • BZRK by Michael Grant
  • Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
  • Storm: Elementals 1 by Brigid Kemmerer
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

A huge congrats to all nominated authors, and best of luck.

A Monster Calls

By: Patrick Ness

Connor isn’t going through the easiest of times. His mother is really sick and his father is living in another country with his new family. School isn’t going that well either, most people – teachers and students seem to ignore him, except the class bully. Then there is the nightmare.

One night though, something strange happens and a monster appears. he says he will tell Connor three stories and at the end Connor will have to share with him his truth. Connor has no real idea what that means, but doesn’t find the monster all that scary, not with the nightmare coming every night.

Even with everything going on; his mother going back into hospital and his grandmother trying to look after him, Connor can’t ignore the monster. As Connor’s life spirals out of control the monster is there to teach Connor some of the hardest truths he will ever have to learn in his life.

This is an incredible story. The concept was created by Siobhan Dowd who passed away before she could write it and it has been bought to dark and stunning life by the masterful hand of Patrick Ness. I would in no way say this is an easy book to read, however it is certainly compelling.

As the reality of Connor’s mother’s illness comes to light you can’t help feeling for Connor, his hurt, his frustration and his confusion. Even when his behaviour is at it’s worst. The monster is a strange creation whose motivation may seem uncertain but never wavers right till that moment he clearly states his purpose. This is a story that contains some harsh truths, it remains though a heart wrenching tale told in an exquisite manner.

Highly recommended but no light read.

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Published: 01 September 2011

Format: Hardback 204 pages

Categories: Fiction Fantasy Family Death Bereavement

ISBN 13: 9780763655594

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Monsters of Men Book Trailer

Chaos Walking is a truly fantastic, award winning YA series by Patrick Ness.

Here is the book trailer for the final book of the trilogy – Monsters of Men.

Random bit of information, the first book of the trilogy has one of my favourite first lines: “The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. About anything.”

The dog’s first sentence in the book is: “Need a poo, Todd.”

2011 Carnegie Medal

The Carnegie medal is an annual award given to the writer of an outstanding book for children. The award was established in 1939 in memory of Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, and is awarded by libraians who nominate titles for the shortlist.

This year’s winner is Patrick Ness for Monsters of Men. Monsters is the third installment in Ness’s Chaos Walking series. The previous two books – The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer – were shortlisted for the Carnegie in 2009 and 2010 – this is the first time in the prize’s history that all the books in a series have been contenders.

The trilogy has been highly awarded; from the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize to the Booktrust Teenage Prize while Monsters of Men was shortlisted earlier this year for the Arthus C Clarke Award, making it only the second young adult work to have been considered for the celebrated science fiction prize.

Ferelith Hordon, chair of the Carnegie 2011 judging panel, called Monsters of Men an “extraordinary achievement”.

“Within its pages, Patrick Ness creates a complex other world, giving himself and the reader great scope to consider big questions about life, love and how we communicate, as well as the horrors of war, and the good and evil that mankind is capable of,” she said. “It’s an enthralling read that is well nigh impossible to put down.”

Past winners include some of the best-loved names in children’s literature, from Arthur Ransome, who took the inaugural prize in 1936, to CS Lewis, Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett and Anne Fine.

A huge congratulations to you Patrick Ness.

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