Most young adult fantasies are safely detached from the real world. They exist in fictitious lands that bare only certain semblances to our lives. While many tackle familiar issues, the screen of the alien is always there to obscure everything. Not too much for the message to be lost, just enough for it to be fun. A Monster Calls smashes through that screen, picking the reader up into a world feels every bit as beautiful and terrible as the one we wake into each day of our lives.