A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness | Book Review

A Monster Calls

“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”


Blurb- At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting– he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd– whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself– Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

Review- A Monster Calls has to be one of the most beautiful and heart wrenching stories I’ve ever read. I picked up the book after hitting a small rut in my fantasy reads and I was in the mood for a quick contemporary novel. A few hours later, I was sitting in my bed wrapped in a blanket trying not to sob my eyes out.

This is a tough review to write because I absolutely loved this book because it’s so very important. I honestly feel like everyone should read this because it’s such a powerful and moving story.

Reasons why this story is so very important:

  1. This is a story about coming to terms with your own inner monsters and how to face them. Your monsters aren’t good but you have to come to terms with them before you can move on with your life. Conor’s monster is there to teach him the harsh realities of loss, and it’s hauntingly beautiful.
  2. Not all stories are happy. You don’t always get to go on an adventure and come home happy and all four (especially Conor’s) stories that the monster tells illustrates this.
  3. It deals with the hardships of grief and death. Yet, what I love about this book in particular is the word ‘death’ is never once mentioned throughout the whole novel. It’s tiptoed around and yet the reader can feel it in the tension and from Conor’s mother.

This is the kind of book that I absolutely love to read. It challenges sensitive subjects like grief and loss and it does in a brutally honest and heart breaking way.

Ness’ writing style is quite simplistic in this novel, but it makes sense. Conor is 13 years old and he’s going through one of the toughest moments of his life. We see how Conor knows that his mother is dying, yet he doesn’t want to face the truth. The story is also enhanced by Jim Kay’s stunning illustrations throughout the whole novel which truly portray the inner demon that Conor is facing on the way to the truth.

If you haven’t read A Monster Calls, I highly recommend picking it up. Trust me on this one. Oh, and if you do read it, I’d suggest having a box of tissues nearby.Rating-

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