A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Conor’s days are hard – his dad has another family in the US, his mother has cancer and school is a struggle – but his nights are even harder. A recurring nightmare wakes him up night after night until one day it becomes a reality….A trailer for the book can be viewed here.


Watching someone you love fall ill and lose their fight to live is so very hard – what do you say to hep them when you may not even understand the emotions they are experiencing?  Conor struggles with a range of emotions: anger, sadness, betrayal, incomprehension and loneliness and the book is so well written it helps you to empathise with him. In fact, I’m not sure empathic is a strong enough word – I ached for Connor and he lived in my mind for a long time after I finished the book.

If I had to choose a book to help a teenager understand the feelings a person can experience when faced with the loss of a loved one, then this is the book I would choose. However, what this story transcends ages – this is a book for anyone struggling with loss or wanting to understand better how loss affects people.


A Monster Calls is now a film with Liam Neeson and Lewis MacDougall. You can watch the official trailer here. It has also been adapted for the stage and is on at The Bristol Old Vic from 31st May to 6th June 2018 and The Old Vic from 7th July to 25th August 2018. Tickets for Bristol can be bought here and for London  here.



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