Last Night I Sang to the Monster

Last Night I Sang to the Monster

A Novel

Book - 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?

Publisher: El Paso, Tex. : Cinco Puntos Press, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9781933693583
Branch Call Number: TEEN SAE
Characteristics: 239 pages ;,24 cm


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Dec 04, 2017

Zach finds himself in a recovery program after being hospitalized for alcohol poisoning. Zach does not remember what happened before the hospitalization. He barely remembers being in the hospital. Zach does not want to remember. Zach, in fact, is an expert at not remembering, and would like to keep it that way, thank you very much. What good is remembering?
The story unfolds in a first-person, disconnected then/now/then narrative, as Zach edges closer to the memory of the night where he found by the road, unconscious, and nearly dead from alcohol overdose.

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

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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