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Destroy All Monsters

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  456 ratings  ·  98 reviews
A crucial, genre-bending tale, equal parts Ned Vizzini and Patrick Ness, about the life-saving power of friendship.

Solomon and Ash both experienced a traumatic event when they were twelve.

Ash lost all memory of that event when she fell from Solomon’s treehouse. Since then, Solomon has retreated further and further into a world he seems to have created in his own mind. One
ebook, 400 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  456 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
Q: “Maybe we broke the universe.” (c)
Q: Some of us are monsters. (c)
Q: I wanted to save myself, and Ash, and my whole city full of magnificent monsters and magic that they wanted to destroy. (c)
Q: “Temperature’s dropping tonight, beloveds,” she said. “Better find a good book or a warm body to curl up with by the fire.” (c)

So, kids deep in fantasy are marked in here as losing their minds. What's this world coming to? Medicating everyone from the crib? What Sol needed, was some writing therapy - a
Shaun Hutchinson
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Effing brilliant.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
True rating: 3.5 stars.

I chose to read this book because of the mention of a Patrick Ness-like style, and this is definitely true. It starts out confusing as heck, but in a good way. The kind of confusing that captivates you, and pulls you in fully with the promise of a very odd, gritty, mysterious book.

Told in dual POV, we go through this story with two very different angles. One is Ash who is your typical teenage girl who doesn't completely fit in, but who's also not a complete loner. Then the
So. I really, really like Sam Miller. The first reason being that he's one of those writers who takes outlandish ideas and doesn't hesitate--just dives headfirst into them. I mean, his novels so far include a cyberpunk rebellion story starring a woman who's an orcamancer, a villain origin story about a boy whose eating disorder gives him superpowers, and now a dual perspective story about a girl with magical camera powers and her best friend who lives in his imaginary world filled with monsters ...more
Rebecca Roanhorse
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Laini Taylor meets John Green in this poignant young adult tale of parallel worlds and deep magic where trauma breaks but friendship heals. Miller offers no easy answers for fighting the all-too-real monsters in our lives but still allows space for hope, healing, and above all, bravery.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqiap, 2019
A traumatic event happened when Ash and Solomon were twelve years old. Ash can’t remember and Solomon retreats into a fantastical world. Destroy All Monsters is a blend of a hard-hitting YA contemporary and fantasy. It’s similar to Shaun David Hutchinson or A.S. King where the speculative elements seem to be the way that characters cope with hard aspects of their lives.

I think that the “reveal” of what happened when they were twelve was pretty easy to predict. That part of the story didn’t offe
Teresa Faliq ☼
this book is beautiful. it’s beautiful, heartbreaking, real, raw, amazing, eye opening, loving, heartfelt ... and just aH. i really loved it. most of the book left me confused, and there’s still a lot of questions unanswered now that the book is over. but it carries a meaning and a purpose which is why i love it.

i honestly believe that the storytelling and world description could be slightly better. but. i still think this book was incredible.

i also love how real the characters are, specifical
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Review originally published at Fantasy Literature.

It’s interesting reading Sam J. Miller’s Destroy All Monsters (2019) with Akwaeke Emezi’s Pet still fresh in my mind. Both novels deal with child abuse and the question of what a “monster” is. Clearly, these themes are out there in the zeitgeist, and they’re resonating with readers; both books have been named Locus finalists in the Young Adult category.

Destroy All Monsters alternates between two points of view: high school best friends Ash and So
Jan 05, 2020 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
DNF @50% Very disappointed. The Art of Starving is a favorite, but this book doesn't work for me at all.

The dual POV unbalances the whole is it real or mental illness thing Miller pulled off beautifully in AoS. I don't give a shit about Ash. We don't really get to know Solomon, but I have no interest in seeing him tormented which is obviously what's coming.

Additionally, while characters with shared characteristics and shared experiences are good, and relatable, I still read for entertainment an
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“His smile was like the last gulp of air you take before diving under water, when you don’t know how soon you’ll be able to breathe again.”

Trigger warnings: Mental illness and child molestation.

Solomon and Ash are best friends, but after the traumatic incident happened that neither of them can remember, they’ve lived in two very different worlds. Solomon lives in Darkside, the world of dinosaurs, monsters, and magic, while Ash lives in reality. But as Solomon slips deeper into his world, Ash is
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I think I liked this even more the second time around! Miller champions the oppressed, the marginalized, the tossed aside, but he imbues these characters with agency and often badassery. They are not their hopelessness nor their trauma. They chop away at the patriarchy. I am a better person and reader because of Sam J Miller.

I'm going to start this review with a "Hell Yeah!" and disclose that I've read nearly everything Miller has written. I'm a huge fan of his work. I'd e
Amanda Hanson
I loved this. It was a fun mix of magic with life, reality with the unreal. Sam J. Miller is so good - the words were beautiful. I’m going to be thinking about this book for a really long time.

Trigger warning for sexual abuse of children.
Liz Sheridan
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In his second YA book, Sam J. Miller returns to Hudson, NY to tell the linked stories of Ash and Solomon, two friends who share a strong bond, fallout from trauma, and of course, magic. The characters alternate 1st-person POV through the book, and while both narratives are wildly divergent---Ash is learning to cope with depression in the "real world" by taking prescribed medication; Solomon copes with trauma in a world his mind has constructed to protect him---both protagonists share a mission t ...more
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
Destroy All Monsters is a book that surprised me. Based on the premise, I went in expecting a contemporary novel and received magical realism and a parallel world. I have mixed feelings over this. On the one hand, the social issues / mental health classifications are relevant given the hate crimes, police brutality and oppressiveness, and Ash’s depression (and Solomon’s something). On the other hand, we’re led to believe that Solomon has schizophrenia but come out with the answer that artists ar ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hm maybe a little closer to 3.75 but I'm rounding up. ...more
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
3 stars.

Wow, this is another one of those books that I just don't know how to feel about it. It reminds me a lot of when I read Borne--the setting and characters were memorable and had a ton of potential, but the story just didn't come together.

Destroy All Monsters follows two protagonists in what I perceived as two parallel realities. Solomon's POV in the "otherside" which is full of domesticated monsters, people with otherworldly powers, etc. Ash's POV in what is essentially our own world.

This book had the potential of a five star read, I read the entire thing in one night, so it was at least easy to get into.

My main (and pretty much only issue) with this book was the dual narrative. I normally love more than one narrator in a book, but in this case I found myself rejoicing when Solomon's chapters were shorter. Ash was the interesting one to me, and it was easy for her chapters to fly by, reading Solomon's segments felt like a chore.

But I would highly recommend this book to jus
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
This was just okay. I thought it might subvert the trope it was going for but it didn't. I mean, it was a bit more original, but I felt that came at the cost of the story. They're basically two stories going on here and so, in the end, they both felt like a novella rather than a full book. It's hard to explain without actually going into detail. ...more
Surbhi Das
Jul 09, 2019 added it
Shelves: arc-2019
I am not giving this book any star rating because honestly, I can't decide. In truth, this book deals with some serious mental health related issues and I thought it was narrated quite beautifully. However, I didn't enjoy reading it as much as I thought I would.

I suppose it wasn't for me!

Many thanks to FFBC and Edelweiss+ for the ARC!

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I really like Sam J. Miller's writing and stories, but this book did make me realize that I prefer when his writing leans more toward magical realism than outright fantasy (I loved The Art of Starving but wasn't crazy about Blackfish City, and similarly preferred Ash's chapters over Solomon's). It was also a little disruptive to constantly switch perspectives (sometimes after only 2-3 pages), but this is still an excellent book I'd recommend to fans of A.S. King, Shaun David Hutchinson, and Patr ...more
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, ya, audiobook, sfp, lgbtqia
Half contemporary high school outcast tale and half noir detective fantasy, absolutely beautifully written. I'll probably read anything Sam Miller writes, because his prose is just amazing. The two separate plots made sense together, and even though the big reveal is pretty obvious, it's handled well and there's enough space to get it settled in your head before having to read about it. The aftermath is also well done and believable. The audiobook narrators did an excellent job keeping the tone ...more
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this one over a year ago, and while I don't remember the plot too much, the imagery and the surreal writing style that gaslights you into thinking that you're weird for not being able to accept this world as it is (um, in a good way) remains with me. The two worlds stitched together haphazardly, the super interesting relationship between the two characters, and the playground and the parents were my favorite parts. I think about this book very freqently, and if this is what Sam J. Miller ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-the-fcpl
What a gifted storyteller Miller is! He's skillfully melded magical realism, fantasy, and his own real-life experiences with bullying into an amazing story. Told in alternating pov's, by a delusional teenage boy and his real-life best friend, the fantastical and contemporary storylines intertwine into a stunning finish. If you have a teen in your life (or know a teen, or have ever been a teen), I highly recommend this. (Though I'm not as optimistic about the power of love and compassion to turn ...more
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Beautiful, poetic, and disturbing - a story threaded between the reality lived by Ash and the dark fantasy world inhabited by her best friend Solomon. As we move between them and they seek the roots of their shared trauma, Solomon’s spiral into mental illness is begins to pull her into his darkside world. Enthralling.
3.5 stars*

I didn't love this as much as The Art of Starving, but Sam J. Miller really is the master of blurring that line between mental illness and magical realism and boy is it interesting every single time. Y'all there are DINOSAURS...but also....are there?

Trigger and Content Warnings: Trauma, PTSD, sexual assault (child molestation), arson
Grace W
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was excited about the premise of this book but it really didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. The narrative was jarring and I think how the discussion of mental health was handled could have been a lot better. It ultimately didn’t speak to me.
Em(ily) Ann ♡︎♡︎♡︎ - theglitterybookworm_
This was fun and cute :)
Dana Berglund
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ash and Solomon are complicated people with a complicated shared history, and a more complicated present. They also exist in a parallel world where magic exists, Ash is a princess under a magic spell, and Solomon rides his dinosaur across the city. I thought I had it all figured out early in, but it turns out the book was more later than I gave it credit for. It earned 4 stars from me partly because there were still some mysteries left to unravel when I finished reading.
Kait Armada
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*I was given a free copy of this book to write an honest review.*

I can’t shake this book off my skin. The longer I stew over it, the more I realize how amazing it is. My heart swells with joy and shrinks in pain at the same time.


I can’t decide if I need to cry or scream with joy.

All I know is Miller must continue creating art.

Like the Fountainhead, Destroy All Monsters stole my heart. I can’t put my finger on the reason why. Was it the characters - Solomon’s soul seeping through the page?
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Literally Leander: Final Thoughts - January 2 9 Feb 27, 2020 01:55PM  
Literally Leander: First Impressions - January 3 12 Dec 19, 2019 11:18AM  

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Sam J. Miller is the last in a long line of butchers, and the Nebula-Award-winning author of THE ART OF STARVING, one of NPR's Best Books of the Year. His second novel, BLACKFISH CITY was a "Must Read" according to Entertainment Weekly and O: The Oprah Magazine, and one of the best books of 2018 according to the Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, and more. He got gay-married in a guerrilla weddin ...more

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