REVIEW: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd

Sunday, July 19, 2015

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.


The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.

Okay wow.
For a book this short, this book sure has a lot of things to say.

I didn't really know what I was getting into when I started reading this book. All I know was that a lot of people liked it. Actually like is an understatement. They love it. And I am bad with hyped up books. So I was a bit iffy starting it. But oh my god! The first page of the book was enough to convince me that this book is something.

This book did not disappoint at all.
It was everything I had hoped for. And a bit more.


Connor had the same nightmare everynight. He wakes up, everytime, at exactly 12:07 just after midnight. He never told anyone about the nightmares because things were already hard for him at school and at home as it is, he didn't need to complicate things more for himself. So he kept quiet about it.

But one night, he wakes up at exactly 12:07 like usual. This time was someone was calling his name.

A monster, Conor thought. A real, honest-to-goodness monster. In real, waking life. Not in a dream, but here, at his window.
Come to get him.
But Conor didn’t run.
In fact, he found he wasn’t even frightened.
All he could feel, all he had felt since the monster revealed itself, was a growing disappointment.
Because this wasn’t the monster he was expecting.
"So come and get me then,” he said.

The monster is after Connor. It wants him to tell a story. It wants him to tell a true story. The monster says that once his three stories was over, he would need to tell his tale.

Connor is keeping something.
And the monster knows.



For the most part of this book, I felt bad for this kid. He had to shoulder something big and difficult for someone his age. He had to be strong. Everyone tells him he has to be strong for his mother. He tried but then again, he is too young. It breaks my heart really how he doesn't really have anyone else aside from his mum, but he couldn't really count on her at the moment. But she was all he has and he was losing her to something he can't control. And because of this, you'd see the bitterness. You'd see how angry he was with the world but there was nothing he could do. I liked how he wasnt perfect. It makes him a real good book character. I liked how his reaction to things mirrors what most kids his age would do (probably).

The Monster

This guy had a lot lof things to say. I loved him. He is full of wisdom and stories. At first, I fear of what his intentions would be, but you fall in love with him. Everything that comes out of his mouth is with purpose.


✔The tone of the story stayed consistent all throughout the book. It was mysterious and eerie. It keeps you at the edge of your seat trying to figure out what secret Connor is hiding and why the monster wants him to tell the story.

✔The writing is pretty good. I liked the writing so much. I don't know why I haven't read any Patrick Ness book before.

✔I liked the characters. They were like real human beings, Connor especially. I found that his struggles were understandable. You understand why he must be acting the way he is action. You understand why some of the people act the way towards him. Why his mom keeps stuff from him. He is still a kid and it's realistic for a parent to try and protect their kid from the truth sometimes. They often try and think what would be best for them. And most of the time, kids wouldn't understand that which is often why kids, or even teenagers, do stupid things.

✔The stories that the monster tells Connor. I liked all three of them because each of them has this moral lesson that kids or even adults would get something from.


✘I didn't like the ending. I found it quite unsatisfying. I felt that the last quarter of the book was a bit hurried and then ended abruptly.

✘I was a bit disappointed that I didn't cry. I am usually a book crier but this book just didn't take me there. It made me sad, yes, but that was about it. I guess when everyone tells you a book will be heart-wrenching, you tend expect it and if it doesn't deliver, you are more disappointed.


Overall, I thought this book was a good read. When my kid gets older, this would definitely be one of the books I will recommend her reading.

It would make you think. It will make you realise how important communication is. It will make you realise how important it is to trust the people you love. Trust in the people who loves you. Parents also need to trust their children and how even as kids, they do understand what is going on. Hiding the truth from them, won't help them. They should know the truth, even if it will hurt them because who would they trust to tell them the truth but their parents right? Okay. I'm rambling. But yeah, parents should read this too.

Its unfortunate that I wasn't able to get the print copy of this book. I was told it has gorgeous illustrations that would add to the story of the book.

If you haven't read this book yet, I highly recommend that you do if you are looking for a visually and emotionally stirring book. It's quite short but really worth the read.


  1. Good review, Sandee! :) I'll be reading A Monster Calls for the #TBRTakedown v2.0 next week! :)


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