Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: May 5, 2011
Format: E-Book

Page Count: 216


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, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth. (taken from

“You do not write your life with words... You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”  

I knew from the beginning that this book was going to impress and wreck me at the same time, and I was right. Patrick Ness' talent shines in this beautiful tale of love, rebellion, and most of all, anger.

I have a hard time understanding why anyone would label this book as a children's book. Yes, the main character is a thirteen year-old boy, but that in no way marks A Monster Calls as a juvenile tale. From page one and on, it becomes evident that this book is about so much more than a young boy and his fears. It's about sickness and forgiveness and resentment and selfishness and all of the emotions that make a human human, regardless of age.

Conor is young, but in many ways, he is all of us when we face extreme adversity and heartbreak. From the moment he is introduced to the readers, we can see the pain he covers with sarcasm and rebellion. My heart ached for him as he watched his mother's health deteriorate and wondered where he would end up in this unfair world.

At the core of Ness' story is grief. This is no lighthearted tale about mythical creatures. It is a story of healing and hurt, pain and loss, all told through the voice of a young boy who is wise beyond his years. It's brilliantly done, and even though it's a short read, it'll leave you full of emotion. I'll be recommending A Monster Calls to everyone, both young and old.