Friday, December 30, 2011

Review of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls
This is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss. The monster showed up just 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.

Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final story idea of Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.

When my book club selected A Monster Calls, I was unsure of what to expect. All I’d really heard about it was that it was good. Now when I look at the summary of this book, it gives me chills up and down my books. A Monster Calls stirred fear and sadness within me, and has made me want to pick up everything else written by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd.

If you haven’t already, go find a finished copy of A Monster Calls. It’s actually an illustrated book, which means that illustrations are embedded throughout the story. The illustrations add to the already dark tone of the novel and for me, also made me feel like the monster really was a creature of nightmares.

I loved the plot of A Monster Calls. Not only was I unsure of what to expect from that plot, at first I wasn’t sure what direction all of the plot threads were going. They coalesced beautifully.

A Monster Calls was probably one of the most emotionally difficult books I read in 2011, and I mean that in the best way possible. So much has been said about this book that I have a hard time figuring out what I can really add. A Monster Calls is a fast but moving read, and is well worth the time and emotional investment of the reader.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.


  1. I loved this book, and remember being all choked up by the end of it .... which was awful and great, all at the same time. I'm sure it made for an interesting book group discussion.

  2. I agree completely that this is totally worth the emotional investment. Well put!

  3. I loved loved loved this book. And yes it was emotionally difficult. Really for me since I'm a breast cancer survivor. I cried and cried during most of the book! The copy I read was an ARC that I had to pass along, so I need to go get a final copy.

  4. BTW I LOVE your blog design. Both cute and sophisticated!

  5. I am just sighing thinking about the emotions from A Monster Calls. What a wonderful and amazing book. I remember feeling SO much over the narration and the stories and when Connor runs away. Sigh.

    TOTALLY worth it all.

    Great review, Liz!

  6. I just bought a copy of this one because of all the awesome reviews I've been seeing for it. It sounds amazing and I'm so excited to read it!! It sounds incredible!



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