Thursday, 8 January 2015

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Thursday, 8 January 2015
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
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.
I'm sitting on my sofa with half a mug of cold tea in my hands and there is only one thing that I know for sure: I have no idea how I'm going to put this book into words.

How can I possibly describe the feeling that I got when I read this book? How can I tell you that I felt every twist in my gut as though the things that were happening to Conor were happening to me? How can I even begin to explain how real this story felt?

I think the reason that every person who reads A Monster Calls finds it so special is because Patrick Ness takes these feelings of betrayal, anger, solitude, fear, melancholy and he makes them real. Ness weaves the words and quotes and stories in such a lyrical way that makes the reader connect. Every single person can relate to these emotions. Every single person has felt scared in their lifetime, has felt like they're invisible in a room full of people and this is why A Monster Calls will break your heart. It tells you what it means to be human.

The illustrations in A Monster Calls are a huge part of the story without distracting or taking away any of the emotions. They are so eerily beautiful and there was a part of me that was comforted by the drawings throughout the book. If you haven't read the story or if you don't own a copy yet, definitely pick up a copy with the illustrations. It will add an atmosphere like you never thought possible.

My favourite part about the whole thing was that we were left completely in the dark. The monster comes to Conor to tell him stories with truths about human nature. All that the monster asks in exchange is this: Conor's truth. The readers are left guessing about this truth during the whole story. The only thing we know is that it's Conor's worst nightmare. It's the one thing that he's absolutely terrified of and he can't bear to tell anyone, he can't bear to think about what this truth would reveal about himself. It's only at the very end of the story that we find out what had been troubling Conor - what had scared him into many sleepless nights. And that's when I broke down into tears.

A Monster Calls is an absolutely stunning read. It will break your heart in ten different ways, make you cry for yourself and the characters and leave you feeling absolutely raw. The emotions that this story causes are incomparable and the illustrations bring an eerie yet comfortable feel the book. I couldn't have asked for anything more and I certainly don't think that there would have been a better story to introduce me to Patrick Ness' writing.

"Stories don't end with the writers, however many started the race. Here's what Siobhan and I came up with. So go. Run with it. Make Trouble." - Patrick Ness


  1. I completely agree with everything you've said here Natalie. This is such a haunting and thought-provoking book and it is really one of those books that lingers, you know? Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    1. It definitely is one of those books that leaves you thinking about it for days and days (even weeks) after reading.

      I'm glad you liked the review! I was worried that I wouldn't do the book justice.