Book Reviews

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight 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.

A Monster Calls is the sort of book that grabs hold of you and all your emotions and only loosens its grip once you have read the very last page. But that’s not to say it lets you go completely, because this is the type of story that will stay with you forever. I knew this book was going to be emotional before I even started reading it. Even the description of the book shows that this story is meant to tug at your heartstrings and emotions, I just didn’t think it would affect me as much as it did.

The story starts with the introduction of our main character Conor. His mother is receiving treatment for cancer, he is being bullied at school, and he keeps having the same recurring nightmare. Then one night just after midnight the Monster comes calling for Conor O’Malley. Conor is not scared of the monster because the one from is nightmare is considerably worse. The Monster has called to tell Conor three stories and then after the three stories are told, Conor must then tell a fourth story to the Monster, and it must be the truth.

Right from the beginning I felt like I want to protect and be there for Conor because of the way his life is and the way he is treated at school and at home. When I was reading the scenes at the school where Conor was being bullied, I wanted to make it stop and tell him not to give up. The way in which Conor is written, you instantly become attached to Conor and you feel what he feels, whether that’s sadness, anger or confusion. Out of all then books I have read recently Conor is one of the main characters I’ve connected with straight away.

This is the second book I’ve read which Patrick Ness has written and I love the way he writes and tells the story. The anger Conor felt when he had to move in with his Grandmother, the frustration Conor has with his Dad when he came to visit him, and the moment he knew he had to say goodbye to his mother, was all written beautifully and full of raw powerful emotion.

There are also illustrations dotted around the book to give another definition to the story telling. Jim Kay’s black and white illustrations are stunning to look at and makes visualising some scenes more heart breaking.

A Monster Calls for me is one of them books that I will always remember and think back on. It is realistic and  powerful story that would be hard to forget. With the emotionally charged plot, the compelling writing, and the stunning illustrations, A Monster Calls is a must read for everyone.


I rate this book 5/5 stars

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