A Monster Calls Review: An Unpopular Opinion? (Contains spoilers)


This book has been so hyped by everyone, and I feel like the hype ruined this book. It was moving, yes, but it wasn’t as gripping and the intense read everyone was talking about. I found myself forcing to finish it, as the middle was a bit boring and I found that everything happened up at the end.

25480342Conor 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.

The Plot: 

I liked the general plot/idea of the book. I found that it had a really powerful message behind it and was—as I said before—really moving. I think what I didn’t was the cancer/illness story, I found it a bit cliché, however saying that, I preferred that it was a parent with cancer/ terminal illness rather than a boyfriend/girlfriend with cancer/an illness as lots of stories follow this plot now. But, I did like how there wasn’t some miraculous cure and that it had a realistic ending.

As I briefly mentioned above, I found it a bit slow, and sluggish in the middle, and one afternoon had to force myself to plough through it to 60 or so pages before the end, at which point I was hooked. I loved the events towards the end, and I found them truly quite interesting, but it was a shame that I didn’t really get into it at the beginning as much as I would have liked.


I liked Conor, and how he didn’t have everything figured out all the time. I thought that as a character he was very complex, and I often found myself wondering about what he was going to do as he seemed quite unpredictable? He actually confused me a lot as sometimes he was really childish and sometimes he was mature.I felt incredibly sorry for Conor throughout the book, but felt like he didn’t and did want sympathy from others at the same time.

His mother was a different story. I found that she didn’t have much complexity about her as we didn’t really get to know her and the only prominent things that we learnt was that she was sick. I would have loved to get to know her more as a character, and I think that it would have added a lot to the inevitable ending, and given it greater impact.

The grandmother was horrible. I honestly really didn’t like her, (I guess you’re supposed to not like her at the beginning). But she gave Conor a really hard time and didn’t help the situation at all and was very condensing and just create him like dirt.

I feel that the teachers shouldn’t have been as oblivious as they seemed to be in the beginning, as it seemed as though they couldn’t see the blatantly obvious bullying going on. I think that they should have been a bit more supportive to Conor, and tried to understand what he was going through. It all seemed a bit strange to me that they weren’t supporting him as anyone could see that someone going through what he was going through shouldn’t be alone?

The Monster:

From what I’d heard about this book I had the impression that Conor and the monster were friends, however I didn’t get this impression. I feel like Conor was more scared—and hiding it—of the monster. I think that the monster was my favourite part about the book overall. I found the stories really interesting and they made you think about right and wrong, and looking deeper than what lies on the surface.

I thought that the monster wasn’t really scary all the time, but again, I had expected him to be much kinder than he seemed to be.


The End:

I loved the ending. I hadn’t felt that emotionally invested at the beginning and through the middle, but at the end I was. I didn’t cry (mostly because I was surrounded by 30 other students when I was reading it) and I didn’t find it very difficult to stop myself from crying. I was more chocked than upset by the end, thinking “wow, is that it?” as it seemed to just end when it was getting really good. However, I liked the short ending as a lot of illness stories drag out the end and I like how this story focussed more on Conor preparing for the end and the monster helping him.


Overall I liked the book. It wasn’t a love, or anything, but it was still a pretty good read and I found it kind of beautiful and the messages subtle but meaningful.

What do you think of this book? Let me know!

Lu x

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