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A Monster Calls

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4.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  73,101 Ratings  ·  13,203 Reviews
The monster showed up 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…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants th
...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Walker Books (first published May 5th 2011)
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Freshy Pisuttisarun I don't think book should have age recommendations at all. The message and morals behind the book is just too beautiful to ignore. The book is so…moreI don't think book should have age recommendations at all. The message and morals behind the book is just too beautiful to ignore. The book is so relatable that you just can't ignore it. Go for it!(less)
Geraldine i would say it's a mix between a graphic novel and a young adult book. that's how i interpret it.
Okay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtA Monster Calls by Patrick NessWonderstruck by Brian SelznickDivergent by Veronica RothInside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Newbery 2012
2nd out of 141 books — 717 voters
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta SepetysDivergent by Veronica RothA Monster Calls by Patrick NessOkay for Now by Gary D. SchmidtDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Mock Printz 2012
3rd out of 50 books — 283 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cait
Jan 12, 2013 Cait rated it it was amazing
You can also find this review on my blog, Cait's Corner!

First things first: This almost never happens, but I have to admit that I cried at the end of this book; I clutched my cute little kitty-kat and bawled.



However, I didn't cry because of what the book in general, necessarily, but because of what it did to me. It drags out your saddest memories and pains, kicking and screaming, makes you look them right in the face and watch them all happen all over again, no matter how much you don't want
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Wendy Darling
In the dark of night, when the house is still, what fears creep into your heart? For Conor O'Malley, his nightmares take the shape of a very old and very dangerous monster who visits him every night at seven minutes past midnight. He's half-convinced that these must be dreams of his fevered mind. But how can they be, when the visits are so vivid and when he finds physical evidence of the monster's existence the next day?

Conor's nightmares begin shortly after his mother starts her treatments for
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Emily May
Mar 30, 2012 Emily May rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, 2011


I got back to my apartment in Bulgaria and thought I'd read a little bit of this novel before I went to bed. 2 hours later I was still sat in my original position but by this time I was sobbing my heart out. Literally sat there crying like a baby to myself. I doubt this book will be everyone's cup of tea but, whatever it has, it really worked it's magic on me.

I thought A Monster Calls was pretty much amazing in every way; from it's darkly beautiful illustrations (worth buying a paper copy for)
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Steph Sinclair

A Monster Calls has to be the most inventive book I've read this year. And I find myself struggling to put in words how much this book has touched me. But it did. If you haven't read A Monster Calls, I suggest you immediately purchase it. Don't read the e-book because you would miss out on the amazing artwork. This book is stunning. Masterfully written and beautifully drawn.

I remember the first time a book made me cry like this. I was in eighth grade in my English class, sitting under my desk i
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karen
Dec 04, 2013 karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: why-yes-i-ya
this book is a perfect modern fairy tale.

not a nice disney one with singing birds where everyone gets to go home with their prince and all of their limbs, but the older, darker kind involving foot-choppery and decimation.

lemme step back a bit. i added this book to my to-read shelf the moment i saw its cover here on goodreads.com. i knew nothing about it except that something in me bellowed "WANT!" i did not win it in the firstreads giveaway (naturally) and as more and more people began writing r
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The Holy Terror
I just read this book from cover to cover.

I have no idea how to rate it.

It is the worst book I've read.

I would never be able to recommend it,

because I hated it.

It's ripped my heart in two.

It'll make you think of losing the one person who means the most to you.

Or it'll make you think of those you've already lost.

It's not a happy book, but it's an important one.
Lola  Reviewer
A Monster Calls did not constitute what I first visualized in term of story, plot and themes.

Due to the spooky cover, mystifying title and evasive blurb, my mind pictured something closer to the fantasy world than our contemporary one. Yet, the author remarkably brought together the real and the unreal, inserted in the narration that which touches one, can tear another apart and is a component of what we call ‘‘life,’’ and skilfully unfolded what laid deep inside Conor hidden…in the fragile corn
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Reynje
I don’t think I can write a review for this book. I feel neither equipped, nor inclined, to make an evaluation of A Monster Calls based strictly on its literary style and merits. (Therefore, if you’re looking for an analysis of the plot, characters etc – you will be better served with another review).

So I’m writing a response instead. Or, I will attempt to.

I have a difficult relationship with books that deal with the subject of death and grief.

Occasionally, I find a book that is moving and re
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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
Such a beautiful and gripping story. I feel like this is one of those books that will stay with you long after you've read it.
Alejandro
This is great book!


A BOOK FOR EVERYBODY

Very quick to read so if you are interested on it.

You'll find out that you'd read it in no time.

Also, it helps that it's a page turner, since the story has many elements to keep you hooked to it.

I hate to classify books for some specific age, since I think that books shouldn't have any age or genre.

Books should be read by men or women at any age and they should be as good as effective.

However, one can't deny that the author made this story thinking i
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Reading Corner
Feb 22, 2016 Reading Corner rated it really liked it
A Monster Calls is a heart-wrenching, emotional book with beautiful, dark illustrations that make the story even more enticing as they paint gripping, creepy images that create an engrossing atmosphere.I couldn't put this book down and I had it finished in two, wonderful hours of joyous reading.

The plot centers around, Connor O'Malley, a boy who suffers from strange nightmares, where the yew tree in his garden comes to life in order to tell Connor three tales and states that Connor will tell him
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Lyndsey
I don't believe that you can ever learn everything from a single story.

Many tales and many lessons contribute to an individual's personal truth. However, if you're looking for something that comes close to being a one-stop-shop for all your personal emotional needs, this would be it.

A Monster Calls contains breathtaking art by Jim Kay and is paired with a story of heartbreaking artistry from Patrick Ness.

Do I recommend this book? A million times yes and a million times no. How can I recommend so
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Aj the Ravenous Reader
Jun 30, 2015 Aj the Ravenous Reader rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: Paige Bookdragon
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade

“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between."

Reading this somehow transported me to my 10 year old me when my grandfather was still alive and would tell me tales, most of them either horror or something that would teach a moral lesson and I would be all ears, wide-eyed, heart pounding, completely engaged and involved, emotions guided by that deep, wise, kind voice, anxious to know how one story will end but at the same time afraid it
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Sophia.
Oh my God. This.
This is why I read.

I don't always find what I'm looking for in the books I read. Most of the time, I'm disappointed. Sometimes I'm so angry because the book is so bad and God, I wasted my time and I'm never getting it back. And, damn it, if it's so bad, why even keep on reading?

You keep reading, because sometimes, you find a book that blows you away. When you start the book, you're someone. And when you finish the book, you're someone else. Someone different. Someone better.

Bu
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Raeleen Lemay
Jul 12, 2012 Raeleen Lemay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This book was so beautiful.

Jo
Quick Note: This review is going to be extremely incoherent and incredibly useless. So if you have seen this book anywhere around and been a little bit curious…. I urge you to read it.
It probably won’t surprise you to see that I’ve decided not to write this review in my usual form. This is because the ‘High Points’ would consist of just a picture of the book. The Low Points would be redundant (I can usually find a few low points, even if I adore the book, but this one… I got nothing). I can’t t
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Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
You want to know what a boohooing baby I am? It took me a month to write this review and it wasn't because I was being my normal lazy self. Everytime I tried to write, my eyes just filled with tears. I'm such a baby!

Ok.. here it is....

When I was a senior in high school, I wanted to go on a big senior trip that was going to occur right after graduation. I had no money. It was just me and my 19 year old sister. The school stated that I could fundraise but that is about all I could do. My sister’s
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Evelyn (devours and digests words)
I am not ashamed to admit that I nearly bawled like a baby during this reading process.



This Middle Grade book has a gloomy theme to it that fits my mood and I'm very pleased that A Monster Calls strays down the unique path. I mean, yew trees turning into walking monsters? I've never read anything like it. Like this.

Patrick Ness's atmospheric writing makes an excellent combination with (the late) Siobhan Dowd's original concept and Jim Kay's macabre, eerie illustrations together. I loved everyth
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Ariel
Oct 30, 2013 Ariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When going into this book, I was expecting a horror/creepy/spooky story, and that isn't what I got.. exactly. What I mean is that the overall tone of the book is creepy, and the drawings definitely are spooky, but the story itself is a contemporary tale about a boy trying to understand the feelings he has in regards to his mothers illness.

I loved this book. I loved it. It is absolutely now one of my "all-time favourites". Here's why:

1) The illustrations: The artwork in this book is BEAUTIFUL. It
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Joe
The Ugly Cry.

You know the kind of crying that's so chest-heavingly horrific that you look at your face in the mirror during or after and what you see is so awful you think, "No wonder I'm single." or "If anyone saw me in this state I would definitely be single."?

The Ugly Cry.

I have wept during many books. Silent, salty tears. Or maybe a little sob escaping. Or maybe even a tough, sobering cry. But only three books have elicited the Ugly Cry.

1. Kate DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward
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Maxine  (Booklover Catlady)
Speechless! I devoured this magnificent book in a few hours, could not put it down.

This is by far one if my all time favourite books and one of the very few that had actually made me cry, in fact I was pretty much blubbering at the end with tears running down the inside of my reading glasses. I NEVER cry reading books, until this one.

This is a work of art, so moving, so tragic, so raw, so sad, so beautiful, so good. It's so hard to put into words.

It's about a young boy who lives with his mum wh
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Regan
May 09, 2014 Regan rated it it was amazing
My heart is aching.
Navessa
Read along with Cecile. Unfortunately neither of us liked it.

My motto should be “I don’t fucking get it”. Maybe I’ll change my name. Navessa (who doesn’t fucking get it). Can I drop the f-bomb in my GR name? I’m not sure. Maybe if I put q’s in there it’ll be less offensive. Navessa (who doesn’t fuqing get it). Better? No that looks kind of dumb, doesn’t it?

I use that word so much that I can’t really bring myself to butcher it anyway. And why should I? I’m not a fan of censorship. Navessa (who
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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Feb 08, 2014 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: The child within
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Hooked by the Title and Cover
Minute I saw Jim Kay’s cover illustration I knew I’d read this. Edgy, his use of rapid, almost angry slashing strokes and a palette of grey capturing the tone that permeates this novel to perfection. Young adult but read it anyway, only takes a few hours and does what the best fables do, speaks to all ages. It never lets up from this hook of an opening line “The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.” In the category of contemporary fairy tales I’m putting this right up there with C ...more
Yasmin (Book Unicorn)
“Stories are wild creatures. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”

Rating: 5/5 stars

I have tried countless times to put my thoughts for A Monster Calls into a review, but it never seems right.

This book is a haunting, raw story about grief, and letting go. Conor's mom is suffering from terminal cancer, and he has to learn to deal with the effects. Perhaps, the monster created out of the yew tree in his backyard is a figment of Conor's imagination, or maybe it was actua
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Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
A finished unsolicited copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Boy, when you judge a book by its cover, you can be completely wrong. I read the little jacket synopsis, and I saw the creepy vibe of the illustrations, but once I started reading this I couldn’t stop. It’s not what I expected, at all which is also a big reason why I loved it.
Conor is a thirteen year old boy whose mother is battling cancer. One night he starts having nightmares of a monster that comes to his house and starts ta
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Lara
May 02, 2016 Lara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”

“Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.”

I'm crying

This book... I don't know what to say. There's nothing I can actually say to express how beautifully written and heart-wrenching this book was. A Monster Calls is the first book that I've read by Patrick Ness and

...more
Sarah Churchill
Dec 02, 2015 Sarah Churchill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bullying
I'll just go ahead and add this to the growing list of books that BROKE ME!
Sarah (Starry Night Reader)
I am destroyed.

"Stories don't always have happy endings."
This stopped him. Because they didn't, did they? That's one thing the monster had definitely taught him. Stories were wild, wild animals and went off in directions you couldn't expect."


Having experienced a similar situation to Conor when I was around the same age, you think I'd be prepared for the emotions this book would trigger. I wasn't.

Conor's mum is dying of cancer. No one is being honest about what's really going on. His mum smiles
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April
Jan 25, 2016 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Patrick Ness is becoming one of my all time favourite authors. His stories are so beautiful, achingly beautiful that I just don't have the words to describe how they make me feel. <3
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Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Co
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More about Patrick Ness...

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“You do not write your life with words...You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.” 1887 likes
“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.” 1132 likes
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