A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I had no idea what to expect with this book.  It’s like it’s a mixture of an adult novel with a children’s book, but it was too dark to be a children’s story.  The format copied an illustrated book format with some amazing pictures.  It was such an interesting read…it had me reaching for Kleenexes and dying to know what the monster wanted.  What did I do with all the happy books!?

Title: A Monster Calls

Author: Patrick Ness (inspired by Siobhan Dowd)

Summary (by Goodreads):

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting — he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments.

The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.

From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd — whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself — Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

My take:

So the book is about a 13 year old boy named Conor who has a reoccurring nightmare.  He wakes to find himself face to face with a monster at his bedroom window.  The monster says that he will tell Conor 3 stories and then leave him alone, but in return, Conor must give him the 4th story.  The 4th story must be Conor’s truth…his personal story.

During all of this, Conor’s mother has been battling cancer.  His grandmother comes over to try and take care of him while his mom is sick, but it just doesn’t seem to help.  At school, Conor is getting beat up by kids, but is also being treated differently from students and teachers since everyone knows about his mom’s illness.  It’s like everything he once knew has all changed.

The monster still makes routine appearances and slowly gives his stories one by one and slowly the countdown begins to Conor’s truth…Conor’s story.

It was a good read.  A lot of figurative and imagery is used.  Like I said above, it made me reach for Kleenexes…I didn’t think I would…it got the better of me!  I recommend reading it.  It’s only 206 pages and a number of the pages throughout the book are illustrations, so it’s maybe only 170-180 pages total.    The illustrations were amazing and really helped with the feeling of the book.  I’ll post a couple below.

If you read it, let me know.  The read wasn’t a fluffy, enjoyable, good feeling read.  But I’m glad I read it.


Monster going to meet Conor.

During one of the monster's stories.


3 responses to “A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

  1. This book reminds me of the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It is about a little boy who is taken in by the ghostly inhabitants of a graveyard when a man murders the boys’ parents. It has pictures like this book has, and there’s a good entertaining dose of supernatural stuff. I highly recommend it, since you liked this one so much. Maybe I’ll read this book someday.

  2. Pingback: Top Ten Books To Read In A Day | mystmusician

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