Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

"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."

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness (inspired by Siobhan Dowd)
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 215, Hardcover

I'm breathless.

This THING. This BOOK. No, not book. This perfect, perfect masterpiece. It left me breathless. Astounded.

No words.

Conor is having nightmares. And nearly every night at 12:07, a monster comes. Made of the yew tree that lives up the hill from his own house, where he lives with his ill mother. At school, everyday is miserable, as everyone treats him as nobody, feeling pitiful for his mother. The monster somehow becomes his friend, and not only does the monster visit him, he also tells Conor tales, three, specifically, that will lead to Conor's own truth.

Everything about this book was just so REAL and DREAMY. If that made any sense at all. I felt all of the feelings that Conor felt, even when they were abstract and cloudy. Yes, this whole book was like a dream, a nightmare. Is this all a hallucination? Is it reality? What's wrong with Conor? Yet, everything was so simple. The tales that the monster told Conor strangely reminded me of the Deathly Hallow's tale from Harry Potter. It definitely has the same, haunting, gothic taste.

The images that were represented in the story just. JUST. Wrapped it all together with a pretty bow. It tied it all congruously and it was just so scary how perfect it all was. It's actually agonizingly beautiful.

The characters personality all reminded me of someone in Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking Trilogy. I guess I loved Conor so much because he reminded me of Todd. The connection just worked so well for me, that I kind of fell in love with this book as well. And for readers out there who have read this masterpiece and The Chaos Walking Trilogy, does the yew monster in the story NOT remind you of the Spackle? Their voice was so similar, I loved it.

In conclusion, I'm terribly sorry for my review that absolutely doesn't do this book any justice. Everyone has to read this book, and just savor the illustrations for themselves. Patrick Ness, this is what you do to me. I will utterly read anything you write, may it be a math textbook, a cookbook, I'll read it.

Grade: A+

Source: Library


  1. Loved reading your review of this book! Loads of people who have read it have high praise for it so I think it must be a book worth checking out. I absolutely adored your line: 'I will utterly read anything you write, may it be a math textbook, a cookbook, I'll read it.' Patrick Ness must be A-MAZING for someone to say that :)

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate you reading my review. Seriously, you NEED to read them. =)