Friday, December 6, 2013

Last Night I Sang to the Monster

Benjamin Alire Saenz
Cinco Puntos Press
Reviewed by: Nancy
5 out of 5 stars

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?

My Review
Zach is a high school senior. He is also an alcoholic. His mom is depressed, his dad is an alcoholic, and his brother is abusive. Zach has so much pain in his young life that he blocks out the events that led to his stay in rehab.

With the help of a kind and sympathetic therapist, and his roommates, Rafael, a 53-year-old alcoholic further along in his recovery, and Sharkey, a 27-year-old drug addict, Zach begins to confront his past and discovers that life is worth living.

I connected deeply with Zach and his rehab companions. There were a lot of tears, anger and fear while Zach made strides in his recovery. He develops a strong bond with Rafael and learns that he can trust and love again. It was so easy to get wrapped up in Zach’s life and the lives of his rehab companions as they reveal their painful and heartbreaking stories.

“I’ve lived eighteen years in a season called sadness where the weather never changed. I guess I believed it was the only season I deserved. I don’t know how but something started to happen. Something around me. Something inside me. Something beautiful. Something really, really, beautiful.”

This beautifully written, powerful story is one of the best I’ve read this year. It made me cry buckets, but I’m happy Zach has a chance for recovery, hope, and a new beginning.

Also posted at Goodreads.

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