Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

The monster showed up just 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... The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. 

Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner 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 (from Goodreads.com)



This book is stunning, from the very first peak of it right through to the last word. Even pulling away the postage packaging left me awestruck at this beautiful book, with it's atmospheric hard covering and illustrations. Reading it is no let down either and while a short story at just over 200 pages, every single word made an impact and by the time I'd finished the last page I was an emotional mess. 


A Monster Calls is based on an idea by the late Siobhan Dowd. Having never read anything by either Dowd or Ness before (something I have now sworn to resolve)  I had no preconceptions about the book at all, nor any idea what it was about. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I got. A dark, heart breaking tale of grief and loss, entwined with ancient mythology and a journey of facing the truth as well as your fears. It's powerful, stunning, achingly sad and genuinely spooky, because the monster in this story is one we could all face. 


Reviewing this book is difficult, because I really don't want to give anything away, not even a small detail for fear of taking away from someone else the experience I had while reading it. I can just urge you all to add it to your wishlist, pick it up from the library, anyone from age 10-100...just get hold of a copy. Recommended a million times over.





Published by Walker Uk May 2011
Many thanks to the publishers for providing a copy for review.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the recommendation. I can't wait to read this one.

    Jennifer | Book Den

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  2. It is fab, isn't it. One of the saddest books I have read in ages and also one of the best.

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  3. This is the first review I've seen for this book, I'm so glad it's a good one.

    Patrick Ness is such a great author - Try The Knife of Never Letting Go which it the first in the Chaos Walking series :)

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  4. I need to get me some Partrick Ness. Heard so many good things! :)

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