Thursday, January 5, 2012

Favorite Book of 2011: A Monster Calls

I wrote this short review on Goodreads a couple months back, and as I was trying to come up with 2011 favorite lists and all, A Monster Calls was on the top of the list every time. It's a book I think can appeal to everyone, and is a great teaching tool for younger kids dealing with grief. It's the best middle grade/YA book I've read in a long, long time.

A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮
Book Depository | Goodreads


The monster showed up just 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 nightmare 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, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.  It wants the truth.

Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final story idea of 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 about coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.

The best sort of YA novel is one that isn't meant just for the young demographic. It's the sort that adults can read and still relate to as well, because there's no emotion so profound and so shared as that of loss and grief, and the struggle to come to terms with it. There are so many different layers to this book, though what's on the surface is just as important and entertaining as what lurks below it.

The book itself is boasts some absolutely gorgeous art, dark sketches and scribbles, moody, evocative, scary and as much a part of Conor's story as the words themselves are.

I read A Monster Calls in a single sitting because I simply couldn't put it down, too engrossed in the monster, in Connor and his story, and the stories told within. This book is so good. I want to shove it in everyone's face and tell them to read as if their lives depended on it. Because this is what a good book is, to me. It's the combination of story, character, emotion so deep anyone can relate.


  1. I've heard this is an absolutely amazing story, clearly your opinion is much the same and I need to read this one! I thin you're so right about the best YA books not necessarily being targeted to a strictly YA audience, they're the ones that have universal appeal. Really looking forward to seeing the illustrations too!

  2. This was one of my favourites to, it is a truly great book, now I have to go read more by Patrick Ness.