The Zoella Book Club: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

The Zoella Book Club: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different.

Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window.

It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive.

A Monster Calls – WHSmith Review

13 year old Conor’s mother is receiving treatment for a long-term illness, his dad is living in America with his new family, everyone at school has become distant since his friend Lily told them about his mum, and the school bully has now made him his focus. Angry, scared and trying to make sense of everything, Conor tries to hold onto normality as his mum goes back into hospital and his cold and severe gran steps in to take care of him. But normality is tricky when a monstrous yew tree is visiting your window in the middle of the night to tell you stories and demand the truth from you. Is this just part of the nightmares that Conor has been having ever since his mum became ill? And what truth does the monster want Conor to confront?

This is a raw and heart-wrenching story of fear, truth, pain and death. Conor’s life seems to have spiralled out of control since his mother’s illness and his fear and loneliness makes this a heartbreaking read, but it’s the monster that makes for a truly unforgettable character. Dragging out all your most painful, fearful and selfish thoughts that you might not want to admit, and reassuring you that they’re okay, A Monster Calls is a book that will stay with you long after reading. Exploring themes of death, grief, long-term illness and bullying, this book touches upon poignant and difficult emotions in an endearing and accessible way.

Book Breakdown

A Monster Calls Events

We have some truly exciting online events lined up for the Zoella Book Club to encourage readers to discuss the books with fellow readers and with the authors themselves! You can talk about your favourite characters, discuss your favourite scenes, share your own experiences related to the books and ask any burning questions you have since turning the last page. Don’t miss out on the chance to meet like-minded readers and ask your unanswered questions.

Patrick Ness Biography

Patrick Ness

I’m Patrick Ness. I claim three states in America as my home (as Americans are wont to do): I was born in Virginia, my first memories are Hawaiian, and I went to junior high and high school in Washington. Then I lived in California for college (at USC) and moved to the United Kingdom in 1999, where I’ve lived (mostly in London) ever since.

I’ve written nine books: 2 novels for adults (The Crash of Hennington and The Crane Wife), 1 short story collection for adults (Topics About Which I Know Nothing) and 6 novels for young adults (The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, Monsters of Men, A Monster Calls, More Than This and The Rest of Us Just Live Here).

For these books, I’ve won the Carnegie Medal twice, the Costa Children’s Book Award, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Red House Book Award, the Jugendliteratur Preis, the UKLA Award, the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the fabulous, fabulous, fabulous Jim Kay also won the Greenaway for his illustrations in A Monster Calls.

I write screenplays as well, including for the movie version of A Monster Calls starring Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver and Felicity Jones, out October 2016.

I love the Decemberists, Peter Carey and A&W Cream Soda. I dislike onions. Intensely.

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