Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


Goodreads blurb
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.

First line: “The monster showed up just after midnight.”

Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
My edition: A paperback published by Walker Books in 2015 (first published in 2011) with 236 pages.
Age: 13+
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Horror

why this book?.jpg
I’d heard so much about Patrick Ness, and everyone said he was so good, so I ended up ordering the book just before christmas!

the plot.jpg
The plot is about 13-year-old Conor, who’s mother is sick with cancer. His father doesn’t live with them anymore, and he has a grandmother (on his mother’s side) who lives not far away. Conor has a nightmare, and a monster suddenly comes during the night to him, telling him stories.

The reason why this plot was so good, was because it was so incredibly simple, but yet, made me cry and smile and laugh. I have found that often in books, simple is so effective, and it has been the shortest books I’ve read that I also remember the best.I really liked how everything reflected back to who Conor was and what was happening to him and his family.

the writing.jpg
I really liked how Patrick Ness writes, it’s very simple, just enough for me to “see” what happens and not a cent more. I liked how he also divided the chapters. They aren’t long, maybe four-six pages long – and it makes the book easier to read, and faster to be honest. This book seriously made me want to read more of Patrick Ness!

the characters.jpg
Conor was an amazing character. He’s an amazing character from page one, not only because I fell in love with how he took care of his mother, but also because he’s incredibly caring and strong. When I was younger I often felt like I had to be strong and brave for my family, so that they would be strong and brave. And therefore I saw myself in Conor a lot during this book.
His mother is a pure reflection of my grandmother when she was ill. All though she wanted to “cover” it up so much that I wouldn’t notice the worst parts, she still knew that I noticed and she tried to explain everything to me so carefully, so that I would never feel “left out”.
Conor’s grandmother and father are maybe minor in this story, but they are present too. And to be serious I felt like I saw my father in Conor’s dad, and I saw my great-grandmother in Conor’s grandmother. It’s also those books that are easiest to remember, and the books that stick with you the longest; the books where you can draw direct lines from the characters to people you know or yourself in real life.

a short summary.jpg
The book was simply amazing, and I loved how the story evolved. The “horror” element wasn’t as much in focus as I hoped it would be, but it was still quite the creepy story with the monster and what it did, and especially Conor’s dreams. Patrick Ness’ writing is also simple and beautiful, all though I at some points wished there were more descriptions!

I would recommend it to anyone who wants a short, but moving story. It’s a book I would say fit those who like fantasy that can be both realistic and unrealistic at the same time!


“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.” – A Monster Calls



One comment on “Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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