A Monster Calls

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Book Review- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A monster calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd is about Connor, who has been having the same nightmare since his mother fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t seem to be quite working. He has a horrible nightmare until it becomes unbearable. But this night is different when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. Its ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Connor. It wants the truth. Why does this strange creature want the truth and what truth could possibly be that devasting? A finished book, from the final idea of late, Siobhan Dowd, by Patrick Ness. Weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive. 


Connor’s mother is ill and Connor is constantly visited by the same nightmare’s every night. But one day, he wakes up to find his yew tree in his room. He strangely not afraid of a Giant walking and talking yew tree. The monster tells Connor that he has come to tell him three stories, after the third tale the fourth story must be from Connor and it will be the truth. The monster goes on and tells him three different and unique tales, each of which somehow relates to his life. Each one is a dream; however, his actions are real. 

 Each one costs him or heals him. All while his mother’s help keeps deteriorating until she is forced to only one option, a medicine made from a yew tree. Connor thinks that this will be the solution because it all makes sense. However, even the yew tree medicine fails and Connor gets mad at the yew tree. the monster simply tells him that he was here to heal Connor and not his mother.

 It is now time for the fourth tale, where Connors surroundings suddenly turn into his nightmare. Which depicting him over a cliff holding his mother’s hand because some type of darkness is pulling her under, he has two options, to keep holding on or to let go. The question is which one is the truth... 


Monster Calls is such an emotional roller-coasterI have a deep appreciation for this book, as it depicts love and loss to perfection. This is such a brilliantly told book from both authors. I was struck by this story as I have never read anything like it, it holds a deeper meaning of emotional darkness and how Connor overcomes it

This book is a must-read for any readers out there. It has brought me to tears, confusion, shattered me and built me back up again. The ending is such a twist, a younger reader may not be able to see it at first, but the storyline is based around Connor living a life which is burdened with guilt and maturity which he should not have to through at his age.

 Many children around the world and burdened with tough emotional responsibilities which they shouldn’t be especially at such a young age. Sometimes reaching out talking to someone is the best medicine to such a problem. Siobhan Dowd was an incredible author who has inspired me to persevere and get back up when life throughs you down, and that there are people around you to help do just that!  

A great story in whole which is beautifully written to the last full stop. 

“Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.” 

 This story is also very educational, it has so many miraculous quotes which just blow you away. Life in a fictional book is not always happy, so sometimes we need a book like these to relate to on an emotional level. This book is recommended for readers from the ages of 11 to 17, however, all ages can enjoy this book on a high-interest level. This book is fiction, fantasy, horror, contemporaryyoung adult, magical realism, paranormal, death and children. Perfect for upper primary school and secondary school. 

Siobhan Dowd was an Irish originating author who was brought up in London by Irish parents. She graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Classic at Margaret Hall. She had written two books, The Guggenheim Mystery and The London Eye Mystery who won several awards. During her time spent in New York, she was commended by Irish-American magazine; she was named “top 100 Irish-Americans.” In May 2007 she was announced one of the “25 authors of the future by Waterstones. Siobhan died on 21st August 2007 aged 47 from Breast cancer, which she was being treated for 3 years.  

Patrick Ness is a Virginian author who has won several awards for his book including The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, Book Trust Teenage Prize and Costa Children’s Book Award. Some of the books he has written are The Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing and a joined book with Siobhan Dowd, A Monster Calls 

Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls. Patrick Ness is currently living in London. 

Overall, I give A Monster Calls by Siobhan Dowd and Patrick Ness a five out of five for being an emotional roller-coaster worth riding! 

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