Monday, 17 February 2014

Book Review: A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

Pub. Date- 2013 Publisher- Candlewick Press Pages206 

Genre- Fantasy/Contemporary YA Rating5 Stars

The monster showed up just after midnight.As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting, the one from the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming....This monster is something different, something ancient , something wild. And it wants the truth.
Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel of coming to terms with loss from two of the finest writers for young adults.

How do you describe a book that is nothing like anything you've read before? I have no idea how to do this book justice but I'm going to try. Patrick Ness has long been one of my favourite authors since the day I first picked up The Knife of Never Letting Go, but with this book he knocked every expectation I had out of the park. If someone asked to recommend a book that made them feel everything without a second thought, I'd reply A Monster Calls.This the kind of book that leaves you thinking about it for weeks in advance..

The first spectacular thing about this book is it beautiful illustrations by Jim Kay. That add so much depth and ambiance, to give the story a whole new dimension. The images really help to set the stage for everything that's happening even its just leaves on the side of the page like they are scattered on the floor or full page spreads illustrating the monsters stories in frightening detail.

The illustrations perfectly match the eerily beautiful writing style that seemed to flow effortlessly creating a seamless transition between the fantastical elements and the contemporary more serious moments. The way sentence are structured in this brilliant tale isn't like anything I've read before and I really enjoyed it. The short punchy sentences felt very to Conor an angry kid who is just trying to keep everything under control. When the monster  is speaking the writing changes just enough to give the feeling that the Monster is ancient and all knowing without changing the rhythm and pace that rest of the book has.

With a book so packed full of emotions and events it would be to hard to give a summary of Conor or the monster without giving away spoilers so I'm just going to leave it at this has fast become one of my favourite books of all time and I've already brought it for 2 of my friends. And finally here's my favourite quote just to give you a teaser.

“You do not write your life with words...You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”   

Have you read this, what did you think? If you haven't will you add it to your tbr?


  1. I need to read this book!

    1. Please do! I'm 100% sure you'll love it!
      I think it's going to be my favourite book of the year.


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