Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Illustrated by:
Jim Kay
Juvenile/ Young Adult
Low Fantasy
September 27th 2011 by Walker Books
Literary Awards:
Kate Greenaway Medal (2012)
Galaxy British Book Awards for Children's Book of the Year (2011)
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Young Adult Literature (2011)
Red House Children's Book Award (2012)
ALA Teen's Top Ten Nominee (2012)
Carnegie Medal in Literature (2012)
The Inky Awards Nominee for Silver Inky (2012)
Galaxy National Book Awards for Children's Book of the Year (2011)
Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Books of the Year (2011)
Grampian Children's Book Award Nominee (2013)
YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (Top Ten) (2012)
My Rating:
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.


Here's a really awesome book trailer!

Let me just start by informing you that the original idea for this book was thought up by Siobhan Dowd before she passed away from breast cancer. Patrick Ness was asked to write the story and though I haven't read anything of Siobhan Dowd's and wouldn't know how she would have portrayed this story, I think Ness did an outstanding job.
Here is some art from the book to give you an idea of how dark and nightmarish this book is. 

I happen to LOVE dark sketchy nightmarish art like this. Jim Kay was the perfect illustrator for this novel. The above illustration was probably one of my favorite in the book. The only thing iffy about it is that this is considered a children's book and I'm sure that some younger kids might find these illustrations to be rather scary. To be honest, though, when I was very young, let's say around 8 years old, I couldn't get enough scary books to quench my thirst (Thank you, R.L. Stein for writing so many Goosebumps and Fear Street books!).
Because this book has more of a theme than plot, I don't feel I can give this a very lengthy review without throwing in some spoilers. If I do happen to spoil something, I apologize. I've read a few other reviews on this book that went into lengthy detail about every single little part of the book and even though I could write all day on the psychological aspects of this book, I'm just going to try my hardest to keep it short. Instead, I can talk about how I think it could resonate with almost any and every age group instead of just children. This novel covers the theme of death and shows how easy it is to confuse fact from fiction while dealing with such horrible circumstances. Because of this, I thought there was an understandable amount of character development going on.
 Agh! I feel like I can't even write anything without getting straight to the point which I will do below but please do not read on if you do not want to read any spoilers.

[This is a story about a boy whose mother is dying of cancer and how he calls forth the monster within himself which he sees as a nightmare.]

Alright. I'm just going to leave it at that. I have so many feelings about this book that I cannot coherently type out. Maybe I will try again when the words come to me.
Notable quotes from 'A Monster Calls'
 "Stories were wild, wild animals and went off in directions you couldn't expect."

“Stories are the wildest things of all, the monster rumbled. Stories chase and bite and hunt.”  


  1. This book is amazing.. AMAZING. I read it on an ereader and then checked the book out from the library also ... I have no idea why this is even an ebook. It doesn't give the hardback copy justice at all. Love the book trailer also!!!


    1. Yes, this book is SO good! I wanted to give it more than 5 stars! I really wish I owned it now! :)