Tuesday, January 10, 2017

{Book Review} A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness, Inspired by an idea from Sioban Dowd
Illustrated by Jim Kay

Publisher: Walker Books
Format: Hardcover, 211 pages
Genre: Low Fantasy
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The monster showed up 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… This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Run, don't walk to your nearest book retailer and read this book right now.

Then go to the movies and watch the movie. I'm not kidding.

“Don't think you haven't lived long enough to have a story to tell.” 

My thoughts:
This was the first Patrick Ness book that I had read and this is somehow the most hauntingly beautiful, inspiring, thought provoking, and devastating book I have ever read. No exaggeration.

A few years ago, a friend of mine suggested this book to me and I believe it was one of the first books I read in one sitting. A book that stayed with me for days and days after I finished read it. I read a ton of books and rarely do I find one that knocks me over like this one did. 

Anyway - the main character is Conor who is dealing with way more than any kid should at home. At 12:07am each morning, he's visited by a Monster. The Monster tells him that he will tell him three stories on three separate nights, and on the fourth night, the Monster wants Conor to tell him his story...

As far as fantasies go, this is a great one. It's a good starter for if you haven't read much fantasy and have a hard time suspending disbelief. Ness is a master of making you care about every single character you come across and you don't even notice that there is a literal Monster in the book. In fact, he's the dopest character IMO.

"If you speak the truth, the monster whispered in his ear, you will be able to face whatever comes." 
The Movie: 
Years later, I got to see this movie during the preview weekend. I'm so glad I went alone because there are parts when you're just crying. Just sometimes for a reason, sometimes for no good reason at all. I knew how it would all end and maybe that was why - but I surely did not care. Reason number one to see the movie: Liam Neeson is The Monster.

Check out the trailer here:

My only teeny tiny issue is that this seems like it's for young children and teens, but by gum it sure is DARK. So proceed with caution if you're taking a little one with you. 

But what a masterpiece, for real. Don't miss this one guys. Literally. 

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Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 Goals (also, hi - I'm blogging again)


I can't believe it's 2017 already. I mean, I'm glad, because 2016 was bizarre. But still...

Figured I would start the welcome back of my blog by listing some of my goals here (so you know, now I have to actually do them).

Blog (way, way) More.
That was easy. Last year I wrote maybe 2 posts compared to the 290 posts I wrote in 2011. So I would say, anything between 2 and 270 this year will be a super duper win for me. Including:

  • Books I like, and books that are sort of not great
  • My top picks for NYC restaurants and wherever else I've been
  • In depth reviews on hotels I've been to and other such travel related oddities
  • Like, whatever else.

Read More.
OMG I literally used to read around 100 books per year. I'm not kidding! Sure I didn't have a full time job when I was doing that but I can try to get to maybe 40 or 50 books this year. More of the following:

  • Fantasy (Epic, High, Low, Magical Realism)
  • Sci-Fi (Cyberpunk, Soft Sci-Fi, Steampunk)
  • Plays
  • Dystopia
  • Ok never mind there are too many genres to list

Travel More.
I take around 4 vacations per year and it's usually to the same places: LA, Orlando, Miami (more on these later) I also tend to do all my travel at the tail end of the year. This year I would love to do some sort of travel throughout. Including but not limited to:
  • Weekend Warrior trips (Lake houses, ski resorts, Bed and Breakfasts Upstate NY etc.)
  • International trips (UAE, Caribbean, Europe)
  • Repeat Visits / Unfinished business visits (ie. New Orleans omg omg omg I need to go back)
Thanks and welcome back to my blog!