Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness & Siobhan Dowd

In an awesome interview, Patrick Ness said the following about A Monster Calls:

“I think the novel is about loss, yes, but also about the fear of loss, which is universal, I think. Everyone knows what it’s like to lie in bed late at night worrying about if the worst ever happened. Loss, I think, we can handle better than the worry that leads up to it, which can kill us. That’s what I was really interested in exploring.”

You guys, this novel is scary. Not in the way that you want to sleep with the light on and every slight noise makes you jump – the kind of scared where you want to call your parents and ask them how they are and tell them you love them. The kind that makes you wonder when something bad is going to happen. This book will bring you face-to-face with the reality of life, and life is going to bring you to your knees.

I don’t think I can summon the words to explain the ride this book took me on. When I finished it, I set it down and literally sobbed. So emotionally engaging – I promise you it is absolutely impossible to remain impervious.

Conor wakes up at night to find that the tree in his yard is looking at him through his bedroom window. That, however, is far from the scariest thing Conor has faced. How can he be scared of a monster that he isn’t even sure actually exists when he is already faced with something even more frightening – reality? This novel is brilliantly written and executed, and becomes a great deal more than the sum of its parts. It isn’t just Conor’s story you’ll be reading – it becomes something universal. You’ll realize, quite early on, that you’ve become the story.

The book actually says it quite well:

“Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”

So, pick up this story and let it loose. I promise you that this book has to be read. It isn’t an easy story to experience, but it is a phenomenal one.

Check out the book on GoodreadsAmazon

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Audrey (holes In My brain) July 8, 2011, 6:43 am

    I loveloveloveloveLOVE this book. Great review! Also, I think Patrick Ness has the most brilliant interviews too, I try to read all of them because his answers are always thoughtful and interesting 🙂

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  • Simcha July 8, 2011, 6:58 am

    While I've heard great things about this book I think I might be too frightened to read it if it's going to make me even more aware of my fears. Though I definitely will check out the interview.

    Reply
  • Holly July 8, 2011, 11:07 am

    His interviews are so enlightening. I'm always left in awe of him, whether I've just finished one of his books or read an interview. I agree with everything you've said about this powerful book. I cannot wait to see what Patrick Ness writes next.

    Reply
  • Miss Lauren July 8, 2011, 2:15 pm

    I've been dying to read this already and now I am just gonna wig out until either the book comes out or someone let's me borrow it. Thanks for the review.

    Reply
  • Liz @ Cleverly Inked July 11, 2011, 1:28 pm

    Maybe I should check this out, the cover is freaky (good) and such praise.

    Reply
  • Fiona July 13, 2011, 5:13 am

    I really want to read this… even more so now. I read another by the original author Siobhan Dowd (Bog Child, really good.) but never read Patrick Ness before. I imagine they’re quite different.

    I do love the fact that they found someone to write one of her stories after she died. Very sad too, she was very young.
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  • Tangled Up Jess July 19, 2011, 6:40 pm

    This. Sounds. So. Good.

    Great review! 🙂
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  • Tina January 5, 2015, 7:28 am

    I don’t know why I love these types of books either. I guess because they make you feel and empathize with others. I’ve always loved them though. This sounds amazing!
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