Dancing Versus – A Monster Calls

Dancing Versus is a new item where I on occasion will compare books and movies or even books versus books as is the case with Hex and the international edition. I swear I will get to that at some point throughout the year. This isn’t an item that will reoccur every week or month. Just when I want to compare certain books or movies.
Untitled In this first case I want to talk about A Monster Calls. You might have remembered that I read the illustrated edition last year and I was quite taken by the book. Earlier this year I watched the movie with my husband and I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you all.


The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming… This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

My Review of the Book


We all know that when books get turned into a movie or a tv show things are altered. Very often the script players have little idea what is important to the story, us or even the author. Sometimes a story can be changed so much it is bearly recognizable.

This was not the case for A Monster Calls. The book in itself is not that long so there is not much to change without impacting the story greatly. They did leave out one aspect of our mc having a former friend at school. I would have liked to have seen that aspect in the story but I could live with it getting cut out. It did create a such a focus on the emotional turmoil he was going through.

Other than that the story of the book is followed pretty much to a T. The biggest reason for this is that Patrick Ness wrote the screenplay himself. It just shows throughout the whole movie.


While a good screenplay can be important, a good cast is great as well as those that follow the Shadowhunters tv show can vouch for I am sure. I was very unsure of the cast initially, even as the movie started. Especially the one that plays Connor.

Connor is played by Lewis MacDougall and I was not feeling him at all at the start of the movie. He just seemed to distant. Lacking emotions. I couldn’t connect with him like I did instantly with Connor in the book. But as the end of the movie neared I realized that his distance had been anact, to hide the emotional innerturmoil of his character, and those were finally coming out. And he swept me up completely. He hit me and there was no way to hide. I read later that his own mother had died not that long before filming this movie so I can imagine some of his own emotions being in there as well.

You might not have missed that Signourney Weaver plays in this movie. Being a well known name I feared that this movie would focus more on her than the story would permit. But this wasn’t the case at all. I think she played the stiff grandmother very well.

One cannot speak of cast and leave out the monster. Of course we only hear the actors voice here. I had another idea of how the monsters voice would sound but in the end I got used to Liam Neeson’s voice.

The other actors were also fine in my eyes. But these were the main focus in the movie. The ones that really counted.

Emotional Impact

I might have mentioned before that I am not someone who easily cries. This book caught me unaware last year. Even though I know the story, I knew what was going to happen, I still was near tears. The story leaves such an impact through the visualization of the monster that it is hard to leave the movie or book and be unaffected at all.

In case you were wondering, I highly recommend watching this movie. With or without having read the book. Have you seen A Monster Calls?

11 thoughts on “Dancing Versus – A Monster Calls

  1. This is such a neat feature, Annemieke. And I love that you showcased A MONSTER CALLS. I’m in love with the book, unfortunately I haven’t seen the movie quite yet (not in the mood for the tearjerker, haha), but I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the movie. So often movies leave me disappointed. It’s really good to know I can expect a decent adaptation for this one once I finally watch it!

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m loving this feature, Annemieke. I’m going to read A Monster Calls this week, I hope. From what I heard, it’s going to be an emotional ride. But, I am very excited to read my first Patrick Ness book regardless. I guess I’ll have to keep an eye out for this movie, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The book was amazing but in the movie broke me. I immediately connected to Connor, during the whole movie I wanted to hug him and never let him go. The mother was heartbreaking too, actually everything was heartbreaking especially the end when she tells him that she knows. My heart twisted so much during this scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I will probably see the movie sometime in the future. The book (other than the illustrations) was meh for me even though I did get teary at the end (and you know I am not a crier either). I felt the emotion in the book came solely from the subject matter and not the writing itself. I thought his writing was on the boring side. I hope he has a different style for his Adult Fiction titles because I bought the Chaos Walking trilogy, and come to think of it, I have his YA The Rest Of Us Just Live Here, too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I like this feature. It is something different than anyone else has. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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