Friday, December 27, 2013

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (Thoughts On)

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Pages: 215
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Christmas gift from My Favorite
Rating: 5/5

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


I'm doing a few reviews backwards because I didn't write up reviews during the #ReadingCram. Oopies. A Monster Calls is an example of a book that I wanted because of the cover. I actually knew nothing about the book other than a few favorite bloggers loved it. When I got a gift card from My Favorite, this is one that I purchased. 

I had been told not to get the Kindle version so that I could see the illustrations. That they make the book even better. Boy were they right. The illustrations are beyond awesome and added so much to an already stellar story. 

My version has a blurb from John Green on the cover that says something about Patrick Ness being a beautiful writer. And beautiful is just how I would describe it. This was my first Ness but it won't be my last. The writing was lush but still stark enough to fit the story.

The story itself started with an idea from the late writer Siobhan Dowd. She is another author that I need to read immediately. This story was heart wrenching but yet it healed at the same time. I know that sounds crazy - that it breaks your hear while healing it - but it really did.

The story is about a 13 year old boy as he struggles with his mom's cancer. A few minutes after midnight, a monster shows up at his house. The monster tells him that he's going to tell him a few stories and then have Conor tell him one. 

It's a short book at just over 200 pages and I read it in one sitting. I had to find out what happened. The pacing was just wonderful and there was laughter mixed with the sadness. I went into this one blind but came out of it with a deep appreciation for the imagination of Ness. The way the story was weaved and the ultimate sad but satisfying ending, was mind blowing. The illustrations added another layer of awesomeness. I almost can't put into words an adequate review for this one because I'm still processing it all.

If you like books that make you think and that are beautifully written, A Monster Calls will not disappoint.


  1. YES YES YES!!! I'm so glad you loved it, too. As Heather says, "It's a good cry." lol

    I finished up Ness's Chaos Walking series today, and I can honestly say that it was an EXPERIENCE to read that series. The characters were so convincing and multifaceted and it was just amazing. I hope you'll try it!

    1. It was so awesome. I finished the first in the Chaos Walking series last week and picked up #2 today. As soon as I finish my current read I think I'm reading that one. The cliffhanger in #1 is killing me!


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