A monster wakes Conor up in the middle of the night. He does his best to frighten the young man, but Conor isn’t scared. Not of the monster, at least. The monster assures him that this will soon change.

He proceeds to tell Conor what’s going to happen: he’s going to visit him three times. On each of these visits, the monster is going to tell Conor a story. Each is a story from a different time that the monster walked.

The monster is going to tell Conor three stories, and then Conor will tell a fourth. The nightmare that he’s had, that same awful, terrible, horrifying nightmare that he has every night – Conor must tell it to the monster. And he must tell the truth, or else the monster will eat him alive.

And somehow, it’s not the thought of the monster eating him alive that scares him the most – it’s the thought of having to tell the truth about his nightmares.

Tongue Scale: rated “SLAP ON THE WRIST” (you may look to “My Rating System” for reference)

This rating isn’t necessarily due to foul language, but just some jabs and some name-calling. Conor is bullied, and it’s not exactly nice words that are exchanged.

Firecracker Scale: *not applicable*

Gore Gauge: rated “FIST FIGHT”

As mentioned above, Conor is bullied, but at one point, in a moment of pure rage, Conor unleashes himself and his anger on Harry, the boy who has tormented him for months. Conor finds within himself a strength he had never possessed, and pretty much beats the boy to a bloody pulp.

Another time, in a similarly emotional moment, Conor destroys his home, angrily smashing and crushing things that definitely don’t belong to him.

Other Negative Content:

Obviously, Conor’s behavior, even if his actions were due to anger and even if they did aid in the healing process, is not condonable. Beating that child = definitely not okay. Destroying his home = definitely not okay.

*Spoilers* But they were all symbolic. These actions and exercises all led up to Conor eventually being able to let his mother go, to accept his own feelings, as terrible as they may have been.

Positive Content:

I can’t say too much, for fear of giving anything away. But this book deals with a sensitive issue. And this book deals with it very delicately, and then not so delicately. And the arrival of the monster, the telling of the three stories, and then the fourth – it all builds to create one very beautiful, very heartbreaking story about guilt and letting go, and I love it.

In other news…

Hi, followers (or not followers, although you can always change that). I’m back. I know I’ve been gone for a long time, but I’d like to come back, and I’d like to be back for good. It’s been a difficult past year, but I’d like to get back to this. I love reading, I love reviewing, this is something I’d like to continue doing indefinitely.

Maybe I’ll pick a specific day of the week to post, I’m not sure. Maybe not. I like being able to remain casual with the blog, but then if I’m too casual, I forget to update. So I don’t know what I’ll do.

Also, if anyone has attempted to contact me at my “harpercollinsalexander@yahoo.com” email, I apologize. I haven’t accessed it or checked it in months. You may, however, contact me at my alternate email address, “supercool-beans@sbcglobal.net”, which I check regularly. Again, so sorry.

Have a fabulous week everybody.