Friday, 2 November 2012

A Monster Calls Review

A Monster Calls
- Patrick Ness

Illustrated by Jim Kay

Based on an Idea by Siobhan Dowd

Publisher: Walker Books

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. 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 one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...
This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.

Conor is a teenager who’s mother is sick. Very sick. One night when a monster comes to visit it’s not the monster he is expecting. The monster tells him three stories...stories where the truth is not what is first appears...

First I have to say the illustrations in this book are beautiful – dark, atmospheric and reflective of Connor’s mind at this time. I could look at them for hours. Jim Kay has done a beautiful job. Second Patrick Ness has a wonderful hand of writing stories where there is no black and white – nothing is simple. He makes you think. Connor is going through a tough time – the toughest time of his life. His mother is his only family – his father is living in America with his new wife and child. All the teachers and his old friends at school behave differently towards him now. Connor is as isolated as can be and no-one can reach him – apart from the monster.

I cried while reading this – this is a full box of tissue books. Connor is struggling to come to terms with what is happening and how his life has changed. I think everyone should read it. I will admit to being biased as my mum has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer for the last 18 months. It’s buying her time and some of the emotions that Connor has are very familiar and relatable – luckily I’ve had a better support from my friends and family than Connor has.

A Monster Calls invokes a range of emotions from despair, guilt, sadness, anger and sympathy. This book will surprise and enthral you – and is one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. It will not be the happiest book you read this year but it will be one of the best and one of the most important. Highly recommended.

Recommended for fans of John Boyne and Michale Morpurgo. 10 out of 10.   


  1. I absolutely loved this one too. What made it even better was that I had no idea what the book was about before I read it - and it went in a direction I totally wasn't expecting.

    Tanya Patrice

  2. I have wanted this book for a while now... but I have pause now. CRYING? I hate to cry, but yet how you connected to the book made me... well, first want to ((HUG)) you and second read the book. *sigh* If I cry I'm sending you my kleenex bill! ;)

  3. I do like yes :) I'd read it for sure

  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book- I absolutely LOVED it- and I cried buckets too.
    Great review!