Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I hate to be one of those people. I really do. But this was not the literary masterpiece I expected it to be based off of reviews.

The story follows a young boy who’s mother is dying of cancer. He has nightmares every night since his mother was diagnosed, and one night, a monster comes and visits him. This monster is there for the boy, and has come for one reason in particular.

To help him.

Here’s the thing: This book was good. There’s no doubt about that. In fact, it’s one of the best children’s books I’ve ever read. But the issue lies with several things.

* The Predictability

When I went into this book, after reading the first page, I knew what the nightmare was. I knew what the monster was. Yet I kept hoping that there’d be some sort of twist, especially considering readers said things like, “You’ll never guess what the nightmare is!” and, “You think you know what the monster is? Think again.” I didn’t like that I was able to guess it from the beginning, and that was major flaw number 1.

* The Length and Characters

The book was extremely short, and I read it in less than two hours. It didn’t give me enough time to get attached to the characters and and the story. I didn’t cry at the end. Not like I wanted to. And trust me, I wanted to. I wanted the sadness, but the length and underdeveloped characters really just made me not care.

Onto what I did like…

* The Writing

I loved the writing. Adored it. It was absolutely perfect. Patrick Ness has real talent that cannot be ignored.

Most of all, I was disappointed that it’s not what I thought it would be, but it was decent. In fact, it was very good. Just not the best.


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