A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Title- A Monster Calls
Author- Patrick Ness
Inspired by an idea from- Siobhan Dowd
Illustrations- Jim Kay
Stand Alone
Format- Hardcover
Publisher- Candlewick Press
Published- September 27th, 2011
Pages- 206
Source- Library

Conor has been having a nightmare since his mother started treatments for her cancer. A monster comes for him but it isn't the monster he was expecting. It's not the one from his nightmares where falling and screaming highlight the dream. The monster has been around for a long time and wants something from Conor. He will tell him three tales and he Conor will tell him the fourth. In the fourth tale Conor must tell him the worst thing of all - the truth.

Holy. Crap. This book was unbelievably fantastic. It is a masterpiece. It's a book with brilliant storytelling far beyond what I'm used to. It's a book with images that make you stare in awe. It's a book that transports you into its world and makes you imagine a giant of a monster leering at you making you feel small and inferior while making you brave enough to face it. It's a book that is supposed to be dark and it is but it's oh so much more than that. It's magical. It's a book where you read over and over again. It's a book if you don't have it you must buy it so you can keep it in your book collection forever and ever. It's a book you need to read.

Conor's mother has cancer and he has been taking care of himself without any trouble. Then something shifts. The monster visits him telling him he is from the yew tree, a tree that produces poisonous berries. He tells him about the tales he will soon come to know. They aren't to teach him anything. They are there for him to realize something. Then Conor will tell him the truth. The truth that has been haunting him for what seems like forever. He doesn't dare tell anyone especially not Lily who blabbed to everyone of how his mother got cancer which changed the way everyone saw him. Now teachers look at him with sympathy while fellow students just look away. Well except for Harry and his ever present followers. He scrutinizes Conor but Conor doesn't give in. He isn't afraid of anything, not even the monster, not that monster anyway.

Conor is a very good boy. He cares about his mother and takes care of himself. He feels he's invisible to everyone else. I couldn't really say in the beginning if he preferred it that way or not. He stands up to the monster when he first meets him which kind of... not shocks... but I guess gets the monster questioning why he's not afraid. The book may seem at a glance very gloomy and sad especially with the story having the images it has accompanying it (the illustrations are beautiful by the way) and the premise of the story but it really isn't... I was only really sad at one moment. The book didn't really get me in a funk afterwards like other books I've been reading lately. It is such an amazing story which makes it impossible to explain how great it really is. I couldn't really describe Conor more than him feeling like an outcast throughout and not appreciating the looks or attention from the adults in his life.

His grandmother comes around to take care of him and his mother (that's another part of the shift). She's this strict and scrutinizing person who doesn't consider that Conor doesn't want her around. Doesn't need her around. His mother is doing just fine. His father is in America with his new family. I find it kind if rude that he moved to America and now he doesn't make the effort to see his son. It's because of his new wife but still. I feel like that's jab at America. We are pretty awesome too you know. Over analyzing I know. Anyways his mother is a pretty big pain and I really don't know what her problem with him was that she can't show him some sort of affection. She's all rules and the things she's saying, I could see why Conor wanted nothing to do with her.

The Monster is like death from The Book Thief. He was so cool being illustrated and whenever he spoke you can hear the wisdom in his voice but you also felt like Conor should back away because this thing... he had a twisted way of looking at things. He's so symbolic because he's a monster but you know that it's not just a physical monster. I found it crazy how everything connected and how the story revealed itself to me. The person who originally came up with this story actually died from cancer and when you read it entirely you think about that. It's just. Wow. I can only go on for so long telling you how you must read this book. It's the perfect book in every single way that starts and ends perfectly. Everything in between is pretty great too of course. This book deserves praise and a bunch of people clapping around it. It need fireworks. Definitely needs fireworks... so I loved it. It's going in my favorite pile. It deserves it.


  1. Hehe! Dunno why I'm smiling, but I loved this book as well :) Have you read the chaos walking trilogy (also by Patrick Ness)?

    1. No, but I really want to now!
      Ah, love when I see fellow book lovers especially when I just read a fantastical read :D

  2. This looks scary! My first thoughts is that I'd never read something as scary as this but then again I've read The Book Thief and I loved the "scary" parts. :)

    Tanja @ Ja Ĩitam, a ti?

    1. It's not really scary at all... I don;t know how to explain it right but it's setting just looks like it's going to be scary but it's just more than that.

  3. This looks totally and utterly creepy (in a good way). Those illustrations are SO cool! Books for Kids

    1. They were really beautiful. The whole design and addition of these illustrations showed EFFORT. They made sure this book would be amazing and it was.

  4. I remember seeing this one once! I think the cover is captivating and the story sounds like a must read. This is on I plan to read and think I know someone who I may buy it for as well. :) Awesome review!

  5. Nice review!



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