A Monster Calls reads much like a storybook or a fable. The illustrations, faster pace, and stories-within-the-story all contribute to this feeling, and probably make it more accessible for younger readers. The illustrations and storybook feel definitely make this book stand out. The struggles Conor was facing (and was in denial about) were vivid and believable. The monster was equally well-done, its presence heavy and its wisdom deep. The characters felt real and the problems addressed had me frustrated, anxious, and then sobbing by the end. I liked that this was a quick read, but left quite an emotional impact.“Can you heal her?” Conor asked.The yew is a healing tree, the monster said. It is the form I choose most to walk in.Conor frowned. “That’s not really an answer.”The monster just gave him that evil grin.My main problem with this book was that I couldn’t always relate to Conor’s anger. I had trouble understanding some of his choices, along with the root of his anger. Maybe it hit a little too close to home in this weirdly confusing way (sorry, I know that makes no sense to anyone but me), but it forced a gap between me and the story. It wasn’t enough to make me dislike the book, though, which is good .