A Monster Calls – Review

2017 Reading Challenge: A book that’s becoming a movie in 2017.



Title: A Monster Calls

Author: Patrick Ness

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

So, aside from blogging about my “book” which I just finished the second revision (Yay!), I thought this morning, since I call myself a reading addict that I should post about what books I am currently reading or finished and give a short review on them. The main genre I tend to go for is fantasy, but I am always open for a good story no matter what genre it is in.

Yesterday, I finished  A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (2011). I admit, I’ve never heard about this book until I saw the trailer for the adaptation a couple of months ago. It really intrigued me, especially seeing that Liam Neeson was playing the monster – I mean the guy played Aslan’s voice, what’s not to love? So, of course I had to get my hands on the book and read it before the movie came out. Then when I sit in the theater watching the movie, I’ll be constantly comparing it to the book and seeing if it did a good job representing the book well because I am that type of person . . . I know. You don’t ever want to sit next to me in the theater.

But this isn’t about the movie, this is about the book.

A short summary:

Conor O’Malley (age 12 or 13) is going through a very difficult time in his life. His mom is ill, and the majority of the book is how he deals with the fact that his mom might die. One night, after having a nightmare that has constantly been recurring to him, the yew tree just outside his window on a hill, turns into a monster and decides to pay Conor a visit. The monster claims that Conor called him, but Conor denies this. The monster then tells Conor he will visit him more often to tell him three tales from the past where the monster played a part in each tale. Conor doesn’t understand. How could stories help his mom get better? But the monster isn’t here to help Conor’s mom; he’s here to help Conor.

The illustrations in the book were very beautiful and also very dark, which fit perfect with the mood of this story. They were done by Jim Kay, who, if you are a fan of Harry Potter, did some concept work for the series. I highly recommend checking out his website. His work is absolutely stunning: Jim Kay

Personal Opinion:

I couldn’t relate to this book or to Conor for that matter. I have never lost anyone to cancer or a disease or known anyone close who is sick and close to dying. But I could still feel his pain, his anger, and his sadness. This poor boy is dealing with something so horrible and I just want to reach into the pages and give him a hug and tell him everything is going to be all right, you’ll get through this, just breathe, hang in there. One suggestion I have when reading this book is too not have Christmas music playing in the background, especially at the end. It just kills the mood. But overall, I really enjoyed this story and the illustrations helped to bring this story to life. I’ll definitely be rereading it again in the future, after I go through the other piles of books I have stacked up to read.

If you choose to pick this one up, I suggest having a box of tissues close by, plus a warm blanket, and maybe some sad or neutral OST playing in the background – not Christmas music; stay away from that.

Feature photo was taken from Google images.

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