Teen Review – A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


After 13-year-old Connor O’Malley discovers that his mother’s has to begin treatment for cancer, he soon begins having strange, vivid nightmares. His dreams take the shape of an ancient, dangerous monster in the form of a giant tree. Not only does he need to worry about a domineering grandmother who doesn’t understand him, a father hundreds of miles away, engrossed in his new family, and school mates who never realize he even exists, but also now a giant Yew tree visiting him in his each of his dreams. Connor has to experience the difficulties of life and learn new, important lessons along the way.

Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls has to be one of the most emotionally breathtaking and captivating books I’ve read this year, especially as a young adults book. At first glance, it may look merely like just another horror novel, even its title reads it, but as you read you soon realize that it is much more than that. Though A Monster Calls is a middle grade children’s book, its story conveys ideas of sorrow, solitude, and other adult qualities giving it a very in-depth and realistic distinction that readers of any age group would surely enjoy. This is an incredibly moving novel that will send you on an emotional roller coaster throughout. Every aspect of the story, including the brilliant and beautiful illustrations, receives an A+ by me, and 5 stars for sure. I would recommend this book to any person, of any age, to read this incredibly written novel.

One memorable thing about the book: “You do not write your life in words,” the monster said, “you write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”

Review by Austin, grade 12, Dumbarton Area Library

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