Book Review: A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness


Release Date: September 27th 2011
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 215.
Find it on: Goodreads. Amazon.


Think you know what the monster is? Think again…

“The monster showed up at midnight. As they do. But it wasn’t the monster Conor was expecting. He’d been expecting the one from his nightmare. The one he’d had every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming….”

The monster visits Conor, an ancient, wild monster that comes in the form of a yew tree. He says that Conor called him here. Each night he tells Conor a story, and after the third story, Conor will tell him the truth, the truth Conor does not want to face up to…

This book is very beautiful and moving, and I definitely had to stop for some tissues towards the end! The concept was created by Siobhan Dowd, the young adult author who sadly passed away from cancer. Patrick Ness takes up the mantle, in hope to write a book Siobhan would be proud of. It’s very sad, sweet story about a boy dealing with a really difficult thing. Anyone who has ever had to go through something similar will find the story especially moving. I myself have recently gone through the passing of a loved one and that had a big effect on how much the story touched me. The writing is very poetic and lyrical and it really shows the depths of human grief, how much it can affect you and change you as a person.

A Monster Calls is a book that is somewhat difficult to review, it deals with a subject which is very sensitive, in a very frank and realistic way. It deals with grief and loss and the hardships of losing someone you really care about. It is a truly wonderful book. That being said it definitely wasn’t what I expected. Hearing the name A Monster Calls and seeing the eerie dark cover, I was somewhat surprised as to the contents of the story, but it absolutely blew me away.

One thing I would suggest is that if you decide to read this book, don’t go for a kindle edition – but a physical copy of the book, the illustrations are gorgeous, they’re so beautiful and fit the tone of the book so well, reading it on an e-reader would completely diminish the experience. It is not the most easy of reads, at times it is heart breaking and painful, but it is without a doubt worth your time to read.

It is hard to say much more about A Monster Calls, other than that it is truly wonderful and if you’ve ever dealt with grief or loss in any capacity, buy this book now.

Looking for something similar? Try: This Dark Endeavour or Revolver.

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5 thoughts on “Book Review: A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

  • Peter

    Oh you got me really curious there. 🙂 I love a good cry, and yeah sadly a lot of my familie have passed away the last couple of year, so I know the deep greif. Sound absolutely devastating about the girl who first write it/got the idea.

    I would never buy it on Kindle. We are just papersniffers all writers/readers and Youth Culture Denmark, so it will absolutely be a paperback for me.

    Great and very different tip. I like that a lot. Because, it’s not what most people post at bookstagram. I like books that are not too mainstream and it’s great, if they are deep and you have to do a litlle hard work to get through (he says without even finishing Dracula ;)) (But I will)

    I actually liked that you didn’t tell what problem the boy struggles with, and that you don’t tell to much. It’s a great respect for the readers of your blog, but it also makes us curious and that’s just as good as authors cliffhangers. Well done you.

    Wow, very pecualiar but while reading this review, I thought that you might be the type for reading The Turn of the Screw, and now just about in the ‘related’ field, I see just that title. Are your reviewed list opdated? I seems like you have more reviews than them on the list, or is it just me?

    🙂 Peter

    • thebibliophilechronicles1

      I’m very sorry for your loss. It is a very interesting book that explores grief, it’s probably one of my favourites of 2014. I think a lot of people buy books on the kindle now and then don’t get the chance to appreciate the full content of the book, this one especially I think would be so disappointing on the kindle. I prefer paperbacks myself but it’s always nice to hand hundreds of books right at your finger tips. The blog was in need of being updated so you are correct that not all the posts were linked on my list. Thankfully I had some free time today to update and redesign a bit, I hope that makes things more accessible.

      • Peter

        Thank you. 🙂

        I wil definitely buy in for my february reads. Sounds great, that you have some time for your blog this weekend.

        We have been a lot on instagram to get to know readers of English literature and to find good blogs or booktube through that way. And I must admit I have missed readers, that had a bit more to say than just posting a picture and ‘This was SO GOOD!’. So I liked the instagram posts with the small stories.

        Keep up your good work. It’s great that the publishers send you ARC’s, but I definitely understand them, you write great reviews.

        have a great weekend

        (I’m making a tutorial for my youth writers, so they can learn to make better BookTubes with their DSLR’s. Sometimes the pillows on their couch is in focus, instead of themselves ;-))