The Importance of 'A Monster Calls'

The Importance of 'A Monster Calls'

Why I love Patrick Ness and Jim Kay's masterpiece

I've read a lot of books in my 19 years. And while it is hard for me to pick a favorite author, I recently tend to land back at Patrick Ness. A British-American author and journalist, Ness has a very interesting way of looking at the human condition in relation to young adults without any sort of patronization.

The first book of his that I read was The Knife of Never Letting Go, which is the first book in his highly acclaimed yet not widely known Chaos Walking trilogy. I loved it, and went on to finish the series by my junior year of high school. About three years later, I read three more of his books, all of which were amazing. But the one that has stuck with me - and hopefully will never leave me - is A Monster Calls .

I've been hearing about A Monster Calls for years. It has reached critical acclaim, and was recently adapted into a film (in theaters now, here's the trailer!). I was not sure what to expect upon reading it this summer, and I must say that it is easily the most important work of fiction that I have ever read.

A Monster Calls tells the story of 13-year-old Conor, who is dealing with his mother's battle with cancer which is evidently coming to a quick end. One night at 12:07am, a Monster appears outside Conor's window and proceeds to explain that he will return at tell Conor three stories and after, Conor must tell a fourth. Between these stories, Conor must deal with the real people within his life as well as his mother's illness.

These three stories are taken from the Monster's lifetime, and they each teach a lesson that Conor can learn from and can all be applied to his current situation. And in the end, these stories help Conor cope with and understand what is happening to him.

The work itself was an idea from Siobhan Dowd, who at the time was diagnosed with terminal cancer. After Dowd's death in 2007, Ness picked up the story and put it onto paper. Illustrated by Jim Kay, this work is a literary and artistic masterpiece that necessarily fills a void.

The importance of this work lies in its message and ultimately in the way Ness writes. He clearly and without insult explains the grieving processes in a way that a child can understand. The stories that the Monster tells Conor explain to him that everything he is feeling about his mother's condition is okay -- his fear, anger, and eventual desire for it to just be over. All of these feelings are okay, and they are natural.

As someone who experienced the death of a classmate at a very young age, it is hard for a child to truly understand what death means. And, as someone who experienced the death of a grandparent in my senior year of high school, essentially waiting for someone to pass is a painful experience that does not get easier to live with in time. But this book provides an explanation in a way that is as easy to grasp as it is beautiful.

I absolutely adore this book, with everything that I am. I have not stopped thinking about it since the day that I read it. Thank you, Patrick Ness, for beautifully and eloquently writing this necesary piece of fiction. And thank you, Soibhan Dowd for having the idea to put it out into the world.

Cover Image Credit: Jim Kay

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Lil Yachty's 'Lil Boat 2' May Not Be Enough To Keep Him Afloat

Here's what you need to know about "Lil Boat 2."

On March 9, Lil Yachty dropped his newest album, “Lil Boat 2.” The album consists of 17 songs, most of which were probably better off not being on the album and seriously failed to impress me, despite its early success on iTunes.

In all of the reviews I have ever written, I normally organize it song-by-song, giving feedback to each track. This time, however, I think I can save all of us time on this article by just being completely honest about Lil Yachty’s “Lil Boat 2.”

Most of the songs from 1-10 on the tracklist are NOT worth listening to.

Other than those three, every other song from the top ten songs on the tracklist were absolute garbage.

The beats to the songs weren’t that bad but, overall, it just sounded like Lil Yachty and his features were WAY too high to be in the studio.

Yachty’s flows, bars and rhyme schemes were ALL weak throughout the entire album, and if it weren’t for the final six songs on “Lil Boat 2,” this review would be nothing but bashing Lil Yachty.

From the 12th track on the album, "MICKEY" (ft. Offset, Lil Baby) the album runs through much more smoothly, regardless of how basic those last couple of songs are.

I imagine Lil Yachty’s fanbase consists mostly of teenagers who eat Tide for Internet views and anybody who knows nothing about what a real rapper is.

Seriously. I cannot stress how elementary this album is. If you’re looking for new rap music to listen to, check out Tory Lanez’s album, “MEMORIES DON’T DIE,” or Logic’s “Bobby Tarantino II.”

Both of those albums are so much better than “Lil Boat 2” that they make Yachty look like an amateur — which he is.

Final Score: 5.8/10
Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Did Draco Malfoy Ever Get The Clout He Deserved?

Yes, he was literally the worst for a majority of the series. But does this one moment make up for it all?

The new trailer for the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” series just dropped and I have a LOT of feelings. Mainly:

With the release of this new trailer, the only natural thing to do is to binge watch the "Harry Potter" series. Now, if you don’t know about "Harry Potter" series, I’m going to assume that you were born literally minutes ago. For those of you who do know what I’m talking about, let’s chat.

Throughout the series, we see some pretty rotten witches, wizards and muggles. The worst being Bellatrix LeStrange, in my opinion.

*Side note: Voldemort killed meticulously and with his own “reasoning” that supported his actions. Bellatrix killed for sport. No reason was necessary to support her choices. Regardless of who I thought was worse, it doesn’t change the fact that they were both 100% assholes.*

Throughout the movie, and even more so throughout the book, we are able to see slight character arcs for a majority of these lesser-evil villains, such as Petunia Dursley, Narcissa Malloy, Snape, and Draco Malfoy.

After Snape, Draco had one of the biggest character arcs in the series. He saved Harry and, ultimately, through his actions, gave Harry one last chance to defeat Voldemort. How? Well, Pottermore explains it best, but to put it simply, he refused to give Harry, Ron, and Hermione up to Bellatrix and the Snatchers.

This moment is so pivotal and apparent in the books, yet on screen, while it’s still a huge moment, it still gets downplayed. The weight of the moment isn’t truly felt and could be taken as more of a mistake on Malfoy’s part. That moment, if not understood correctly, could change many viewers' opinions about Draco's transformation from elitist, bigot, selfish snob to a (slightly) unknowingly ignorant, scared, defeated teen.

Damnit, J.K. Rowling, you’ve done it again. Even after all these years, somehow I still always seem to find something new.

Now let’s talk about how the new movie will allow the Ministry to apparate onto Hogwarts?!

Cover Image Credit: Review Me Twice

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