Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


Title: A Monster Calls

Author: Patrick Ness

My rating: 5/5

Goodreads rating: 4.23

Genre: Young Adult

Publisher: Walker Books

Summary (Goodreads):

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.



Why the hell did I not read this sooner? I am reconsidering my sanity at the moment. This book was so good. There is literally no more I can say. This book was amazing! As soon as you start reading it you can tell it has something different to it. And the illustrations were stunning and done by the talented Jim Kay which if you didn’t realise is the guy who has illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and are going to do the next six books. That guy can seriously draw!


This story follows Conor who has been having these strange nightmares ever since his mother had taken ill with Cancer. But having an estranged dad, being bullied and having a sick mum isn’t the only problems he is dealing with. A monster from a yew tree is visiting him and Conor doesn’t know whether to believe the monster is speaking the truth or to dismiss it as his imagination.

So this book is brilliant because the plot is rather simple, but then it keeps adding layers and layers. It doesn’t have an epic turns or twists, it’s kind of like a contemporary, meaning it just follows the life of an normal boy dealing with some heavy stuff at the moment. It only gets a little more interesting with the visiting of the monster. I love how the monster was incorporated with the plot as this higher being almost. I’m still not sure if the monster was real or not or if the monster symbolised something. It properly did and I’m just being incredibly stupid.

Because the story was so short, pacing wasn’t really an issue. The story unraveled it’s self gracefully.


Oh my gosh the writing in this book is brilliant! Literally it reads as a middle grade, with it being so simplistic but it has such an innocent beauty as well. I don’t know what else to say but even to what word he used, it was all genius. How the monster was described like the monster could either be the devil or the angel at any given time.

How Conor’s whole emotional range was described is what made me tear up at the end. Ness is brilliant at this kind of stuff, marvelous. You really feel for Conor and everything he is going through and even relate to him in a small way if you have ever experienced something like your parent dying or your guardian facing something which leaves you feeling alone or responsible or guilty.


There are only really two important character that the novel focuses on a lot, or maybe three if you include Conor’s mother. Conor and the monster he called.

Now the dynamic of the relationship that this monster and Conor has is hard to explain. The Monster is not like a father, or uncle, or friend, but maybe more as an aggressive guardian angel. The Monster helps Conor conquer is fear of the truth and he stays with Conor until the end.

Conor as a main protagonist is realistic, relatable in some aspects and just another innocent kid with understandable thoughts and fears in others. I wish I could of followed Conor’s story more to be honest. I wish the whole book was longer!

What I liked:

  • Conor as a protagonist
  • The writing was extremely smooth and enjoyable to read
  • The Monster

What I disliked:

  • That it wasn’t longer.

Verdict: I want to reread this story again and again and again. Partnered with an awesome protagonist and great plot, this story makes you think and feel deeper. Although this marvelous idea couldn’t have been written out by Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness does more than enough to tell this story excellently.

I’ll write soon.



5 thoughts on “Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

  1. Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

    I’m so glad that you loved this one! I loved it as well and it made me ugly cry for a solid 10 minutes after I finished it. I love Patrick Ness’s writing so much and Jim Kay has become my favourite illustrator after reading this and the illustrated Harry Potter!


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