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Rehab and addiction create a formidable monster for a young boy to overcome

Zach is a senior but he’s in rehab instead of high school. He doesn’t remember how he got there. Remembering sucks and being alive – well, what’s up with that?


LatinaLista — Last Night I sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a story about Zach, a young man addicted to alcohol and from an abusive home, who desperately wants to forget the unforgettable. In the span of 65 days, readers travel with Zach as he struggles to keep the memories in his mind forgotten — and the monster in his dreams hidden.

The tale weaves through lessons challenging Zach as he undergoes therapy in rehab — from learning to persevere in his resistance to his addiction to connecting with anyone at rehab.

Slowly, with little contribution from Zach, friendships evolve, and the tortured young man is slowly drawn out of himself to care about others, which eventually leads him to caring about himself.

You will gasp at the moment Zach finally reveals to himself and you just how he got to rehab.

As much as the reader may think this book could be depressing because of the subject matter involving addiction, the sensitive prose and heartfelt manner the author handles the character’s journey of healing will touch the heart of any reader.

Last Night I sang to the Monster is Benjamin Alire Sáenz’ third book for young adults (YA). His first YA novel – “Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood (Cinco PUntos Press, 2005) – was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. The American Library Association chose the same book as one of the Top Ten Books for Young Adults that same year. His second YA title, “He Forgot to Say Goodbye” (Simon & Schuster, 2008) won the Tomás Rivera Award.

Jo Ann Hernández is assistant Bookshelf editor and author of the award-winning “White Bread Competition” and “The Throwaway Piece,” as well as, creator and publisher of BronzeWord Latino Authors web site.


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