Oct 3, 2011

Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

4 sweet & chewy seven layer bars.

Cover Love: I love this cover! It is a bit spooky, but it has such a feeling of isolation about it. That isolation is exactly what Conor is feeling through most of this book.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
It's Patrick Ness. That should be enough for anyone. Here's the synopsis from Good Reads:

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.
I Kept Reading Because: It was so real and so hard to put down.

Romance?: No

What I Liked (& Didn't):
I had a hard time starting this book. It is a book about death and when I got my copy it was around the same time my son was being diagnosed with Crohns disease. This is not a life threatening disease, but a sick child is never fun. So I didn't pick this book up for a long time. Then when I did, I couldn't put it down.

It was so real.

Conor was so well written, just a shell of a boy. We (as grown ups) expect so much of children who are going through massive changes, but we really don't give them the tools the need to deal with them. Conor found his tool to get through it. He was challenged and pushed by his monster. It was like his own little therapy.

I was so disappointed at the way the grown ups in Conor's world handled him, even his mom! Again, they expected him to handle things but they did not ever talk to him about how. And his dad made me so mad. Have some compassion!!

The strongest reaction in me, though, came from putting myself in Conor's moms' place. As the mother of two boys I never would want to leave them. I am not surprised that she continued to act like she would be fine because the reality was too awful to bear. She was Conor's whole world and he was hers. It is making me tear up just typing this! The fear and the anticipation is so strong for both Conor and his mom. It was hard for both of them to move on because neither of them were ready to.

Conor's anxiety was so well written. It was a tangible thing that I could feel as I read. Patrick Ness is amazing with words.

To Sum Up: This is a fantastic read and one that is for all ages. The middle school readers I have will be able to read and understand this as well as adults. Great book!

Book received from Tracy at Candlewick. Thanks Tracy!

Come back tomorrow for my interview with Patrick Ness!


  1. I sooooo loved this book. I think it's my best read of 2011.

  2. It was so well written. I just love Patrick Ness!