A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is such a book.
Though I don't usually post reviews, I wanted to share my enthusiasm for Monster, especially since I haven't seen many reviews of this book around the blogosphere. Trust me...this is a gem of a novel. One that I will buy in hardcover and be proud to add to my collection of favorites.
A Monster Calls is the extraordinary tale of Conor, a 13-year-old boy, dealing with a painful truth, as he tries to handle living with his mother who is undergoing cancer treatment. Now wait a minute. If you're thinking, "Yeah. This is not my kind of book. It will be too sad and depressing," may I suggest that you give this book a chance (and trust me, you'll only need the first chapter). Not only did I fall in love with Conor, but I was fascinated by the monster "that comes walking" to visit him.
Okay, that's all I'm going to give away about the story line. But let me share one more thought. Most of you have probably read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (and if you haven't, why not? this is one of the most amazing books ever written...ahem, but I digress. sorry for the opiniated aside) and most you remember how you felt when you finished that novel. When I first heard that The Book Thief was about a girl living in Nazi Germany who steals books, I put off reading it because I thought it would be too depressing and not really my kind of book (whatever "my kind of book" actually means). After many recommendations, I finally borrowed it from the library, became completely immersed in Liesel's story, smiled and cried as I read it, hugged it tightly to my chest when I finished, and declared it one of my all time favorite books.
A Monster Calls is a very different story, but it had the same effect on me. In my humble opinion, every word is perfect, every illustration is perfect. Words that come to mind are powerful, haunting, and yes, sad.
But every word, every tear is worth it. Read it. You won't be sorry.