Short Intro and Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

As this is the first non-academic school-related online review of my life, please be kind. I offer nothing but my humblest and sincerest opinions. Feel free to share insights too!

P.S. I love quotes and they’re cliché but I’ll have them on [almost] every post FOR REASONS okaaay.


You were merely wishing for the end of pain, the monster said. Your own pain. An end to how it isolated you. It is the most human wish of all.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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.

synopsis from: Goodreads | Amazon

Personal advice: Get ‘em tissues and pillows ready for the love of your sweet soul about to explode in so much feelings you might not even. Either that or, well, expect a tear or two; or that general ‘sweet Lord in heaven I am crushed but it’s all good’. If you don’t cry, you’re still human; and if that happens, despite being a girl, the machismo in me salutes you.

Rating: 5/5

Perfect score indeed. The writing style is simple, but still very rich in symbolisms; in addition, the short tales retold by the yew tree add so many dimensions to a seemingly static plot. The theme is tastefully universal; somewhat predictable except for the impact upon finishing it. For children, teens and adults, and although Western in setting, I believe can be adaptable to people of different nationalities. As a background note, based on my research (which I can no longer trace? Or maybe I saw it in Wikipedia, sorry, quite a distasteful source), this book is brought to life by two brilliant minds: Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd. You see this convergence of American and British writing style and dialogue, which I found quite interesting. If you’re a curious cat cheetah creature like me, go ahead and research more about the story behind the story. If not, then enough technical stuff. On to the some of the meat and feelings.

Separation, loneliness, longing, pain, rage, helplessness: such are more specific terms for the general phenomenon of sadness. Graver than this, perhaps combining some of the aforementioned: depression. But from these can spring much better feelings: hope, forgiveness, trust, love, self-liberation. Such deep words, experiences travelled through time – what then happens to a young boy that encounters this in his very childhood? Thirteen years of youth, naiveté and much to learn, to grasp and to live out?

Children who read this may pick up a penny of wisdom or two; and adults, prepare for a dose of [bitter]sweet childhood.

We’ve all experienced either losing someone [or almost]. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry, but then the progression of tears went from something quite demure

to a heart-wrenching, sorry virgin pulp tissue, “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” explosion.

And considering that I am transitioning from book zombie (a.k.a. 6 years of non-leisure lit reading) to book-fan-once-again, and hopefully future-bookworm yet again, A Monster Calls is a great start. Even book haters can appreciate it. Give it a chance and listen to what Conor and the yew tree have to say.

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A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena


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  1. says

    I loved his chaos series but never felt like reading this one. However, if it`s going to make me cry I`m buying ir. I`m in that kind of mood today and need a good excuse ;-)

    • says

      The last few chapters should do the trick; to quote Tom Hiddleston I sobbed “like a lost child.” That’s my personal experience though, let me know how it goes for you! Go ahead and buy it, totally worth it.

  2. says

    I read so many great reviews on this book, and now yours…I will definitely have to read this I have to buy now!(:
    Thanks for a review!