A Monster Calls
AUTHOR: Patrick Ness
PUBLISHED: 27th August, 2013 by Candlewick Press
GENRE: Middle Grade, Fiction, Contemporary
FORMAT I OWN: Paperback (Borrowed fromm Library)
MY RATING: 5/5 stars
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.
Hello bookworms and welcome back! I’m here today to chat with you about A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness! This wonderful middle-grade book evoked so many feelings within me. It was incredibly written and overall a very powerfully moving book that made me cry at the end. Read on to see my in-depth thoughts…
For this review I am going to switch my structure around and start by discussing Patrick Ness’s writing style and the plot of this novel. Ness’s writing style is incredibly beautiful! For a children’s book, it’s wonderfully poetic. It’s also quite simple, but it’s simplicity did not take away from the greatness of his writing. The things he says paints clear images in my head and evokes certain emotions within me that I really applaud him for being able to do so simply!
The plot of this novel is basically our main character, Conor, a 13-year-old boy dealing with the reality of his sick mother and him coming to terms with what this monster has come to take from him. The story is so moving. It was slightly mysterious because Conor is hiding his fears and his reasons for feeling so angry and sad from not just the monster, but from the reader. As it progresses, it builds up, getting more intense, thick and emotional and I felt myself aching along with Conor. Absolutely incredible.
The characters were great too. It focuses mainly on Conor and how he is dealing with his mother and with the people around him who treat him differently for it. You don’t know why he feels the way he does until the very end of the book, however Patrick Ness constructs Conor so well. He’s so young, only 13 and he is experiencing having to deal with his mother who is extremely sick to the point where she may not get better. Patrick Ness, in my opinion, really executed the mind of a young boy in this kind of situation and my heart was completely invested in him, so much so that I was sobbing and crying my ugly cry for him at the end of the book!
The minor characters did not play a huge role, but they were not flat or one dimensional either. They contributed to the book and without each character involved in the story, it would be missing something.
This novel focuses on loss, love and hope (as it says on the blurb). And although I did just take that from the back of the book, it honestly does strongly focus on this. It focuses on how a young person deals with losing one of the most significant loved one in their life in the most unique and beautiful way. I was so invested and this book wrenched my heart in ways I can’t explain. It was dark, truly dark but had elements of lightness within it.
There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in-between.
The answer is that it doesn’t matter what you think, the monster said, because your mind will contradict itself a hundred times each day.
Humans are complicated beasts!