A Monster Calls


How did I get it?:
It was a birthday gift from my sister!


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 one 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 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 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 of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.


I don’t know where to even begin with my review of A Monster Calls by the talented Patrick Ness. I think it makes it even more emotional that the reader knows that Patrick Ness spun this book from the final idea of Siobhan Dowd, who sadly died of cancer and couldn’t write it for herself. I have to admit, I haven’t read anything by Siobhan Dowd before, but I fully intend to rectify that. I do know, however, that Patrick Ness is an incredible writer and Siobhan Dowd left her ideas in very safe hands.  A Monster Calls is a stunning, moving book about coming to terms with loss. It moved me to tears and although I don’t have a heart of stone, it takes a lot for a book to make such an impact on me.

A Monster Calls is a beautifully illustrated book with drawings created by Jim Kay. They take the book to a completely different level. I couldn’t stop looking at the beautiful pictures. It may seem like it’s boring, because the illustrations are in black and white, but it’s really not. It just adds to the beauty and haunting nature of the book. I was captivated and could easily have read this book in one sitting.

I found the story so easy to love, but at the same time I hated it for making me feel like my heart had been ripped out. Seriously, I went through so many emotions but most of all it was just overwhelming sadness. I adored Conor, and wanted it to be a happy ending for him. I knew it wasn’t going to be though. I hated that he was suffering at school as well as home, but that just made the story that more credible. I thought Conor’s reaction to his mother’s illness was utterly believable and heart-breaking. I understood his guilt about his feelings towards his mother. Urgh. I’m tearing up just writing this review. This book really hit me hard.

The monster in this book is intriguing, very intriguing. I don’t want to say too much about it because I don’t want to spoil the story for others. I initially expected a gothic tale, before I knew what it was really about. Although A Monster Calls is aimed at Young Adults, I think those grieving could really find some comfort in reading this book.

A Monster Calls really did blow me away. The fact that Siobhan Dowd was coming up with this story whilst undergoing chemotherapy tore at my heart strings. This book will stay with me for a very, very long time and it has gained its place on my favourites shelf.

Would I recommend it?
Without a doubt!

A Monster Calls is a stunning, poignant read about how we cope with loss. Highly recommended!

20 thoughts on “A Monster Calls

  1. I’m glad you liked this! I know it’s without a doubt my favorite book of all time. I just love it to pieces.

  2. Terrific piece. This is such a beautiful book, but absolutely heart-breaking as well. I loved it, but also had a terrible time reading it, if that makes sense.

  3. I’m really torn about whether or not to read this book. It sounds interesting, but I’m really more if a happy book person and I’m afraid this book will hit to close to home for me, but you said you recommend it for grieving so I might check it out after a bit more time has passed. Nice review and a belated happy birthday! 🙂

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