Teen Review: A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (and Siobahn Dowd)
Release Date ~ September 27, 2011
Candlewick Press
ISBN13: 9781406311525
Purchased personally

Goodreads Synopsis:

This is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss. 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.

A couple months ago, I finished the Chaos Walking Trilogy.  I was absolutely enthralled by Patrick Here's writing.  I was at my local Chapters when I saw he had written another book, A Monster Calls.  The plot of this book isn't his.  It's actually the last idea of the author, Siobhan Dowd.  She passed away before she was able to start, so Patrick Ness was asked to write it.  This book was not as amazing as the Chaos Walking Trilogy, but needless to say, it was very well done.

  1. Intriguing Plot:
    I really enjoyed the whole storyline of this book.  I know that the idea was Dowd's, but I really enjoyed the way that Ness carried it out.  It is a very unique story; I have never come across anything like it before.  He was able to take the basic idea for this bok and make it his own interpretation.  I will admit, that some parts(including the ending) were a bit predictable, but I don't mind things being a bit predictable sometimes.  The ending of this book still made me cry, although I saw it coming. 
  2. Beautiful Writing Style:
    I really do love the way Ness puts his words together.  This book is written in first person, but you don't always know what the main character, Conor, is thinking.  The way that the novel is written, particularly the dream sequences, and the stories the monster tells are like poetry.  The emotion at the end really tugged at my heart.

Overall, this book was very well done.  It's only 215 pages, with some full page pictures, so it's not a very long read.  I think you will like this book if you are already a fan of Patrick Ness, or if you don't mind a sad book.  The illustrations are really cool and kind of creepy, but I find that they do add to the book.  This book is definitely worth checking out.

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Amy said...

I have never heard of it, but it sounds really interesting. Thanks for the wonderful review.

elena said...

Ooh, I love When a Monster Calls so hearing that the Chaos Walking trilogy is better is great to hear because I have that on my TBR list! I really love Patrick Ness' words too, there's something incredibly beautiful about it.

Bookish in a Box said...

I loved Chaos Walking so I'm eager to give When a Monster Calls a chance. That's neat that he wrote it based on another author's idea (with permission).

ChristasBooks said...

I always pick this book up at bookstores and browse through it. It's so beautifully put together. Glad to hear it's an interesting read. One of these days I actually need to buy it :)

Janiera said...

I have this on my TBR list, it sounds really, really good!

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