A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

Synopsis: 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.

Review: I just closed this book after finishing it, and I am still crying as I write this review. And I need to make a point of that because NO book has EVER made me cry before. And this book has me sobbing.

Before I launch into my thoughts, this book has some background that I feel is important. Siobhan Dowd was a YA author. This book was originally her idea. She developed the characters, the idea and the premise. Unfortunately whilst planning this book, which was to be her fifth, she passed away from breast cancer.

YA author Patrick Ness (Who wrote the Walking Chaos books) agreed to pick up this idea and write the story with the agreement that it was to be his words and style.

The end result is an epic and beautiful story, but just so touching and sad. Almost everyone I know, knows someone who has been affected by cancer. Some survive and others do not. This book in many ways acts to heal the reader.

Conor is the main character. His father moved to America and he doesn’t see him. His mother is dying of cancer. Each night at 12:07 Conor is awakened by the old Yew tree in the back garden, which he has called his “monster” because it talks to him. Whilst it’s big and foreboding, it acts as a friend to Conor, and tells him stories. These stories don’t necessarily make sense to Conor at the time, but they all have their place towards the end.

A quote: “I did not come to heal her, the monster said. I came to heal you.”

Throughout this book are the most beautiful illustrations done by Jim Kay.

This book serves to provide comfort and closure. And it tells us it’s okay to be angry, and to be true to ourselves. We hear many stories and anecdotes and it’s in the books final pages that everything comes together and the tears start flowing.

Honestly… read this book. Patrick Ness has done such a remarkable job with this story, and this book serves as a tribute to Siobhan Dowd’s memory.

Rating: 5 out of 5

What do you think?

  • aleeza rauf says:

    i’m really embarassed that i haven’t read the walking chaos trilogy yet, considering how much people love it and all. i own this one too, and i really can’t wait to get to both :)

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