Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Monster Calls” as Want to Read:
A Monster Calls
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Monster Calls

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  245,671 ratings  ·  38,932 reviews
An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting-- he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night s
Paperback, Movie Tie-In, 225 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Candlewick (first published May 5th 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Monster Calls, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Neil I'm 40, have just read it and it destroyed me. No age limits on something this perfect.…moreI'm 40, have just read it and it destroyed me. No age limits on something this perfect.(less)
Sandy It is not a comic or graphic novel. It's a novel with illustrations.…moreIt is not a comic or graphic novel. It's a novel with illustrations.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  245,671 ratings  ·  38,932 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Monster Calls
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Emily May
May 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 fo
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Please excuse my ramblings, I read A Monster Calls in three hours and I am still extremely emotional. I should not have been given access to a computer after such a powerful book.

As I am writing this, there are still tears coursing down my face--black from my mascara. I may look like something straight out of a horror movie, but my soul feels lighter somehow. I was fooled into thinking this would be a simple story as it is only 200 pages, but it is not. It is so not. This book is raw and emotion
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. ...more
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.
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.”

Seven minutes after midnight
one hour after finishing the book:

*sits in a pile of tissues and STILL weeps*

<--- This was me on Saturday.

This is me now,
four days after reading the book:

*sits down to write a proper review but immediately starts to cry again*

I can’t write a review about this book, I just can’t!!!
Heaven knows I’ve tried to, but whenever I think about “A Monster Calls” I’m tearing up again.
Just to think about this b
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
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
i think this is honestly the best book about grief and coping that i have ever read. it was a wonderfully imaginative and truly insightful story. i love how it expressed such a tender subject in a really wild, but gentle, way.

i wish i had half the creativity and story-telling ability that patrick ness has. i cant believe such a powerful message was held within such a tiny book. it just goes to show that you dont need a lot of words to impact someone if they are the right words.

5 stars
chan ☆
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-contemporary, 2020
real sad girl shit

ya i’m in my tears and i’m in my feelings too

that’s why every time you see me i got tissues

Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To see this review and others, please visit

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is a book like no other and one that I'll never forget.

My first rating in January on this book was 4 stars. I couldn't figure out why, I just didn't love the story. I re-read it this past weekend and I've revised my review.

*This review may contain spoilers for those who haven't read the book...

I was very angry, then sad, then had mixed emotions in between. My main issue when I first read it w
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Whyin the world did I re/read this right now!



Conor's mom is dying, he won't believe it. He says she's just having her treatments and she will get better like last time.

I'm not really sure if the yew tree monster is in his mind to help him or if it's real. I like to think it is a little of both. It is there coming to Conor's window trying to get him to come out and talk to it.


I really liked the graphics in this book, they are not not oh and ah, they are just
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


OMG, I’m a 40-plus-year-old DUDE and I almost lost it a couple of times.

There is not always a happy ending. I know this, we all know this, in life as in fiction. Hell, I even welcome it sometimes and give a “meh” to too cheesy a Hollywood ending or even a thumbs down to a deus ex machina. As any reader of Cormac McCarthy knows, sometimes the best ending is not the one that leaves us all warm and fuzzy.

Patrick Ness’s 2011 short novel was based on a concept from
booksnpenguins (wingspan matters)

Someone please send some chocolate, a hug, and possibly some Irish scotch my way.
I think I'm dying.

If I'm not dead already, that is.

It's half past midnight, I'm an ugly sobbing mess and I think that noise I just heard was either my soul ascending to another dimension or my heart -or what's left of it-
breaking in my chest.
I feel nothing but numbness right now, though, so it could easily be both.

I hate this book so much.
It touched me in some very sensitive spots, rubbed its salty and book
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
❀ Lily ❀
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this, it's heartbreakingly beautiful and i cannot recommend it enough. ...more
Sabaa Tahir
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tears. Lots of them.
Charlotte May
“Who am I?” The monster repeated. “I am the spine the mountains hang upon! I am the tears the rivers cry! I am the lungs that breathe the wind!...I am everything untamed and untameable! I am this wild earth, come for you Conor O’Malley.”

I enjoyed this tale, though I have to admit I wasn’t as blown away as the masses of other reviewers seemed to be.
I’ve read a lot of books on tough topics, including illness and while I believe this one was done very well it didn’t stand out from among many oth
J.L.   Sutton
“Stories are wild creatures, the monster said. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”

Patrick Ness: Why I wrote A Monster Calls - BBC News

When a monster shows up and talks with 13-year old Conor in Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls, the question behind why it has ‘come walking’ immediately arises. Has it appeared to do mischief to Conor or has Conor summoned it and, if so, summoned it to do what? The writing, especially when the monster is around, evokes dreams, faraway lands and ancient creatures. As soon as the monster beg
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mikee (ReadWithMikee)
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it

❝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.❞

Thank you Goodreads for graciously sending me a signed copy of A Monster Calls!

I'm not crying because this book is sad. I'm crying because this book is my story. It's my family's story. It's my mom's story. A Monster Calls was a difficult book to read. I've seen many readers say they've cried because of the words written on th
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is great book!


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 thinki
Kai Spellmeier
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, favorites
“Stories are wild creatures. When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”


Find more of my books on Instagram
Chelsea Humphrey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reading_ Tamishly
And here's another book which broke my soul. There's only another one book which I would not recommend even though I gave it all the freaking complete full stars of the reading galaxy aka A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. The only difference between these two books is that this A Monster Calls is really short. But the effect of both is the same : devastating.

And I am so afraid of the moment I have to face the same situation in my real life one day.

And this is really breaking my heart.

I cannot s
Jul 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this cleverly told tale. Connor, a young lad of 13 years has an encounter with a monster. His mother is suffering from cancer, at school he's bullied, his father has a new family... the monster tells him four tales. What are they about? Why is it a rather philosophical horror novel you can learn a lot in? Well, I don't give any spoilers here but this heart warming story is a quick read with some eerie elements and lot of suspense. Convincing characters, an interesting monster (Gre ...more
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like every time I love a YA book I start my review with "I don't read a lot of YA, but..."

So, I don't read a lot of... I mean... Hang on...

Patrick Ness is the best YA author out there. If you haven't read the Chaos Walking trilogy then please put everything in your life on hold and go find a copy of The Knife of Never Letting Go. This is the only book I've read from him outside of that series, but this book is just as amazing. I would also recommend picking up a physical copy of the book
Oct 21, 2013 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
I don’t wanna say I went into this with high expectations, but like...okay yes I went into this with high expectations.

But how could I not! The concept - about a boy whose mother is dying of cancer who is visited by a monster demanding the truth - is beautiful. I’ve read a couple of Patrick Ness books and found them really creative and unique. Also everyone in the whole entire world said this book was beautiful and would tear my heart out and make me cry!

Alas, no.

The thing I should have remember
Mohammed Arabey
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's not a story, it's A Monster.

Don't read it if u r upset..or have a fearing.. don't read it if u lost someone close...don't r
Read it..get it all out..Call the Monster..
"القصص كائنات وحشية، عندما تطلقها من يدري ما الدمار الذي يمكن ان تخلفه"
“Stories are wild creatures, When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?”
It's not a story, it's a Wreaking Ball.

وهذه القصة مقصود أن تخلف دمارا، وجعا بالروح..عن الألم، الحزن، الفقدان، العيش بعد موت
A friend told me it's a life lesson.. no,
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
One or two broken arms? 1 8 May 26, 2022 02:26PM  
Lettori sui generis: GdL di Dicembre: Sette minuti dopo la mezzanotte di Patrick Ness 15 20 Dec 28, 2021 08:25AM  
a court of books ...: a monster calls - november standalone botm 1 12 Nov 01, 2021 12:18AM  
Dear Windflower &...: September Book read 1 4 Sep 02, 2021 07:24PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong page number 2 19 Apr 17, 2021 12:22AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Coraline
  • Love on the Line 2 (Women at Work, #2)
  • Heartstopper: Volume Two (Heartstopper, #2)
  • Heartstopper: Volume Four (Heartstopper, #4)
  • Heartstopper: Volume Three (Heartstopper, #3)
  • Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper, #1)
  • Love Auction: Too Risky to Love Again
  • The Graveyard Book
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  • Project Pandora
  • Karambol
  • Bog Child
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1)
  • Georgas ir Glorija
  • Mano vaikystės ledai
  • العدد الخامس: شؤون عائلية
  • The Eden Paradox
  • Chasing Ghosts
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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 C

Articles featuring this book

Hollywood has a long (if uneven) tradition of raiding the Young Adult pantry for stories and series to adapt for the screen. Some books wind up...
64 likes · 10 comments
“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.” 5746 likes
“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.” 4114 likes
More quotes…