Welcome to the comments and discussion of the Young Adult Cancer Book Club! We are reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, after an idea inspired by Siobhan Dowd. Catch up on pages 1-22, pages 23-43, pages 44-65, pages 66-85, pages 86-107, pages 108-126, pages 127-141, and pages 142-158.
Let’s get started!
Commentary by Clarissa:
Conor is stuck in a waiting purgatory, seemingly isolated and unseen. “…Time kept moving forward for the rest of the world. The rest of the world that wasn’t waiting.” The words are subtle, but the meaning is strong. The audacity this world has to keep moving forward and to not wait with Conor! Then Lily offers a beautiful gesture in a note when she apologizes and says, “I see you.” It feels like a gift that Conor needs in this moment.
Now Conor’s sense of knowing is growing stronger and less avoidable. He’s pulled out of school to see his mom and that alone means it is serious. Conor and his mom finally have “the talk” and he becomes angry. She grants his anger permission now and forever in the future. She wishes she had a hundred years to give him. He is determined more than ever to speak to the Monster.
“What’s the Use of You”
The Monster owes an explanation now, as Conor channels his anger into a full-on attack. He’s let Conor down by not healing his mother. “I did not come to heal her. I came to heal you,” the Monster explained. Conor grapples with this explanation, finally accepting that he does in fact require the monster’s help. It’s time for the fourth tale.
Join in next Monday for comments and discussion on the next 20 pages of the book!
Thanks for joining us for pages 159-172 (“A Note,” “100 Years,” and “What’s the Use of You”) of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness! Join in next Monday for the next chapters of the book!
We will talk about a few chapters each Monday until the book is done. If Monday happens to be a holiday, then the post will publish on Tuesday. Once we finish the book, we’ll use one more Monday to talk about general feelings from the book and anything else you’d like to discuss. We’ll also have a video chat book club discussion at the end! Join in, in the comments every week! Also, there will probably be spoilers so read along with us!
Excited about the young adult cancer book club? Have any suggestions for future reads? Let us know!