A Monster Calls

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published on
Cover image for "A Monster Calls" book review.

This is one of those books that stays with you. One of those reads that won’t allow you to walk away from it. Once you start “A Monster Calls”, by Patrick Ness, you just can’t put it down. It just doesn’t let you.

The story follows Conor, a boy not yet a man nor still a child, as he learns to deal with his mother’s terminal illness. He’s awkward, picked on, and lonely, and all he wants is to be left alone. That’s when A Monster Calls and turns this dreary tale into something catastrophically mesmerizing.

Wait… no. I can’t say any more. It’ll give it all away. I can’t do that to you. Not to this story.

Beyond the words, this book’s magic is brought to life by Jim Kay, who’s illustrations throughout this book made this story feel so luxurious and special and… downright beautiful. While the story was perfect on its own, the imagery made the book an unforgettable experience. In fact, it was so unforgettable that they’ve made the book into a movie, and it’s coming to theatres on December 23... ish! (Now on video!)

She had the characters, a premise, and a beginning. What she didn’t have, unfortunately, was time.
—Patrick Ness, in the Author’s Note to A Monster Calls

What makes this story so special isn’t just the story and the illustrations. No. The idea for this story was dreamed up by Siobban Dowd, who passed away before she could bring her story to life.

I would recommend that, if you read this book, read the hard cover. The paperback is okay, the story adaptation is fine, the Kindle edition is decent, but the hard cover book is where the experience is at, and this is coming from someone who prefers paperbacks over hardcovers 99.9% of the time.

So when you have the time, pick up a copy of “A Monster Calls” and read it. Read it before you see the movie. You won’t regret it, and you’ll really appreciate the film so much more.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

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