A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Rating 5/5

“Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.”

This book is absolutely breath-taking. It is the first Patrick Ness book I have read and I will most definitely be reading more. His writing is beautiful and raw, enabling me to speed through this book in about an hour – I just couldn’t put it down! This was partly due to the fantastic writing, but also due to the incredible story the words told. As someone who has unfortunately dealt with quite a lot of loss in my life, this story really hit home. It was wonderful, but also rather scary, to find a book that understand my feelings so perfectly. The theme of “letting go” was one I struggle with daily, both in regards to mundane situations and also more life changing situations, such as the one Conor faces.

Conor was a truly wonderful character – at 13 years old, he was facing more than a boy that age should. His defiance towards the monster at the beginning of the novel really expressed his character. He was so strong, yet his vulnerability shone through making him a really relatable protagonist. We weren’t really introduced to too many other characters in depth but I thought Conor’s relationship with his Mum was really special, and the end of the book appeared to look towards a positive relationship for Conor and his Grandmother. The character of the monster was really unique and his role was really positive.

I cried for a good 10 minutes after finishing this book which I think shows how utterly heart-breaking it is. But it is also one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read and I cannot wait to read more of Patrick Ness’ work.

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