Fantasy, Fiction, October, Reviews, YA Lit
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Review: A Monster Calls

17262384A Monster Calls

by Patrick Ness

Publish Date: August 27, 2013 (first published January 1, 2011)

Publisher: Candlewick Press

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥


An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

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.


This book was not what I expected. I expected monsters and a good Halloween-esque book. What I got was a monster trying to help a young boy accept that his mother was dying. And I loved it! It made me sad, it made me want to cry, and realize that sometimes you have to be honest with yourself to truly accept some horrible truths.

Conor was a kid I think most readers will be able to relate to-after all, who really wants to accept that their parent is dying? He becomes an angry kid, who lets bullies hit him because he thinks he deserves it.

The monster was a character I found myself liking, surprisingly. He made Conor face the truth of what was happening with his mom, and that it was ok for him to feel and think certain thoughts.

Like it says in the description, this book is a darkly funny book, which deals with loss in a unique way. It’s one I think people should read.

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