The only thing I knew about this book when I picked it up was that there was a movie coming out (is already out?) based on it and I wanted to see said movie. So there I am, wasting time in the airport bookstore and I buy it on impulse because sometimes that is the only cure for cranky early morning flights. I then put it aside and mostly forgot about it for a week. I picked it up again last night and read it straight through in one sitting.
Connor has a re-occuring nightmare that he can’t quite face, a terrible one that haunts his nights. His mother is dying of cancer and his absent father lives in America, so when the Yew tree behind his house wakes up and walks to his bedroom Connor is anything but scared. The monster tells him that he (the monster) will tell Connor three stories and then Connor must tell him one in return, but it must be a true story and Connor knows that the monster is talking about his dream.
It’s a simply told story, but if you’re familiar with Patrick Ness’ work you know that the actual story is anything but simple. There are complications and it’s messy and it feels more real then a lot of things, despite the fact that there is a tree monster influencing Connor’s behavior. The book was written by Ness, but it was based on notes from Siobhan Dowd. This does not make the book feel in anyway disjointed, though it does make me curious both to see those notes and what another author would have made from them.
Highly recommend, and I look forward to seeing what the movie will be like.