A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I was on the fence as to if I would blog about this book. I really enjoyed it, but I don’t know if I will be able to discuss it accurately, or to do it justice. However I have decided to give it a go.

First here is a bit about the book:

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.

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

-Candlewick Press Website

The Monster that comes to visit Conor tells him during his first visit that he will tell Conor three stories. When the third story is finished the Monster wants to hear a fourth story, a story of truth and Conor must tell it to him. The Monster tells stories about different people who lived during different times, and each story has a lesson.

This book was very intense and I think that is a big part of the reason that I didn’t know if I would blog about this particular book. The stories that the Monster told to Conor all showed him how humans can be complete contradictions and how they can justify anything. He also showed Conor that telling the truth can sometimes be the most difficult thing to do, and that depending on the truth being told some may rather die than let the truth be known.

I told you, this book got intense.

On the surface I thought this book would be about a young boy coming to terms with losing his mother, but there is so much more to this story. It is dark, haunting, and really makes you think. This book is full of truths about humans and how we act and what we value. I honestly was not expecting this YA book to be so full of insights and lessons. I thought I was just going to be reading a creepy monster story.

The illustrations are something that should be made note of in this book. They are all very dark and use only black, white, and shades of gray. Some of the illustrations are very clear, and some are very messy and hard to completely understand, they are almost abstract. The clarity of the illustrations definitely follows the story and when things are intense in the story, the illustrations reflect this and are a bit more difficult to see. This was honestly something that was kind of subtle, but I loved it. The illustrations honestly take this book to the next level.

As for rating this book I would give it a 4 for quality and a 3 for popularity. This book was very interesting and it is well written and I think with a little bit of a push it will become quite popular. This book is actually being made into a movie that will be released later this year, or early next year I believe. I think that once the movie comes out this book will be one that will be impossible to keep on the shelves. So overall this book gets a final score of 7 out of 10 from me.

Honestly give this book a shot. This book was intense and I am still in kind of a haze after finishing it. Also I am trying to not give too much away about the actual story, because no one likes spoilers. So that is why this post is a little off and kind of vague. But really pick this book up, it is a quick read and I think you will enjoy it.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, or you would like to learn more about the author please check out the links below:

A Monster Calls on Amazon     A Monster Calls at Barnes & Noble     Author’s Website

Just a BTW: I am in no way affiliated with this author or publishing house. I was not compensated for this post/review, and all opinions are my own. I am just a fan sharing my experiences with all of you.


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