Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness & Siobhan Dowd

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness & Siobhan Dowd

Completion Date: May 25, 2011
Reason for Reading: Fun!
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 one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming... The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner 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 of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.
There are lots of books I should be reviewing right now, but instead I am going to review this one because I assume it will get lots of attention, so I want to beat the steady stream of reviews. I am pretty surprised that I bought this book. I liked Ness' Chaos Walking trilogy, but I did not love it. I actually finished it to justify buying this book by him, so expect a review of book three soon. Ness didn't leave me feeling that I have to read everything that he has written and buy them as soon as I can, but many people that I love and trust recommended this book. They said that even though I didn't necessarily love his trilogy, there was still hope that I would like this book. I gave into peer pressure. I bought a book that I really didn't need, but, well... they were right. I now have that feeling that I have to read everything that Ness has written and buy them as soon as they come out.

This book was a bit overwhelming. I probably should wait a bit longer to think about things before I reviewed it, but I don't listen to myself. First of all, as soon as I saw the book I knew I was happy I had bought it in hardcover. The artwork is amazing! It invokes a mood from the moment you glance at the cover. I honestly find that many covers do not really call to me anymore, but this one did. I received the book in the mail, opened it up, and had it finished by the end of the day. I mostly wanted to see what the hype was about. I additionally wanted to see if I had wasted my money buying a book by an author I can't make up my mind about. Thankfully, I did not waste my money. The hype is because Ness has written an amazingly engaging story that many people will be able to relate to and love. And, the artwork continues throughout the book.

So, Ness, I was wrong about you. When you write in proper format and use proper grammar and punctuation, you have talent. You also wrote characters that I felt for from the very beginning. And, they were people. My favourite character in your famous trilogy is a dog. (Although, I did actually feel for the characters by the end of the third book, but we will address that in a future review). I am not really sure what to say about this book, so let me be honest. If you didn't like said trilogy, you should still read this book. I am very glad that I did not let my hesitation rule the day. Also, this is marketed as young adult, and it would easily work as that, but this book is very impressive in crossing age groups. I am getting a bit sick of young adult books lately, but this book seemed fresh to me even though it addressed a familiar subject.

I think I will leave it at that.

My review not tempting enough for you? Here are two that lead to me buying said book:


  1. thanks for the heads up on this one. I would've likely passed it up otherwise because that cover creeps me out.

    ~L (omphaloskepsis)

  2. now you have me wanting to go read this one all over again :p And I may do that since it's such a quick read. So glad to hear you enjoyed it so much!!

  3. Oh, God, I'm so sad that this is out in the UK but not in the US and I cannot afford to order it from the Book Depository just yet. Bah. I love Patrick Ness and I loved the Chaos Walking trilogy and I cannot wait to read this one.

  4. "When you write in proper format and use proper grammar and punctuation, you have talent."
    I laughed out loud at this sentence.

  5. ...whereas I cried. So mean ;) Seriously now, this review made my day :D

  6. So, pleased you liked this one, and were able to enjoy Mr Ness' writing ;)

  7. I'm with Ana, that line made me cry...what can I say, I will never stop loving Chaos Walking with all my heart. BUT...I am sooooooo very happy you loved this one, Kelly!!! So very happy. :D

  8. I love this review! I really really loved the book as well :) And have yet to read the trilogy so now I'm kinda worried about it.

  9. **contemplatrix: Well, the story is not a happy one all the time...

    **Chris: lol You are welcome!

    **Jenny: I know. I splurged. Bad me!

    **Aarti: lol

    **Ana: Thanks!

    **Darren: Me too!

    **Debi: I know. I'm weird...

    **Amy: I wouldn't worry about the trilogy. I seem to be virtually alone in not liking it!


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