Last Night I Sang to the Monster

Last Night I Sang to the Monster

eBook - 2009
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"Sáenz' poetic narrative will captivate readers from the first sentence to the last paragraph of this beautifully written novel. . . . It is also a celebration of life and a song of hope in celebration of family and friendship, one that will resonate loud and long with teens."—Kirkus Reviews

"...There is never a question of either Sáenz's own extraordinary capacity for caring and compassion or the authenticity of the experiences he records in this heartfelt account of healing and hope."—Booklist

"Offering insight into [an adolescent's] addiction, dysfunction and mental illness, particularly in the wake of traumatic events, Sáenz's artful rendition of the healing process will not soon be forgotten."—Publishers Weekly
"Sáenz weaves together [18-year-old] Zach's past, present, and changing disposition toward his future with stylistic grace and emotional insight. This is a powerful and edifying look into both a tortured psyche and the methods by which it can be healed."—School Library Journal

Zach is eighteen. He is bright and articulate. He's also an alcoholic and in rehab instead of high school, but he doesn't remember how he got there. He's not sure he wants to remember. Something bad must have happened. Something really, really bad. Remembering sucks and being alive—well, what's up with that?

I have it in my head that when we're born, God writes things down on our hearts. See, on some people's hearts he writes Happy and on some people's hearts he writes Sad and on some people's hearts he writes Crazy on some people's hearts he writes Genius and on some people's hearts he writes Angry and on some people's hearts he writes Winner and on some people's hearts he writes Loser.

It's all like a game to him. Him. God. And it's all pretty much random. He takes out his pen and starts writing on our blank hearts. When it came to my turn, he wrote. I don't like God very much. Apparently he doesn't like me very much either. Sad

Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a prolific novelist, poet, and author of children's books. Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, his first novel for young adults, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a Young Adult Library Services Association Top Ten Books for Young Adults pick in 2005.

Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press

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TSCPL_Anna
May 18, 2017

Although it wasn't my favorite, I highly recommend this book for struggling readers. There isn't a lot of detail in the style of writing and it's very easy to read, and as always, Saenz does a great job at character development and giving all characters, even the minor ones, a great voice. It's a short book, yet even so I wish it had been shortened by 30 pages or so because the beginning is very slow and there are many repetitive scenes. Still, its message of never letting addiction or your past control you is beautiful, and the ending made me glad I stuck with it.

ChristchurchLib May 05, 2014

"Eighteen-year-old Zach can't quite remember how he landed in rehab, and he's not sure he wants to: "Remembering makes me feel things. I don't like feeling things." But neither Zach's therapist nor his roommate, Rafael, are willing to give up on him, so Zach begins the agonizing work of confronting his alcoholism and abusive family life so that he can finally face the monstrous pain of his past. Sophisticated readers who enjoy delving into heavy subjects will be captivated by the graceful writing and raw emotion in this memorable novel from the award-winning author of Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe." Teen Scene May 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/515e7532-4038-4168-8725-1036f63eb05a?postId=06aaa369-dd80-4052-98aa-98302d9e4c06

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tiki_tiki20
Jul 30, 2012

It is such a beautiful and touching story. Anyone can relate to the feelings Zachariah has and the writing and thoughts are wonderful. I even cried sometimes; a great novel! Definitely recommended.

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