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Last Night I Sang to the Monster
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Last Night I Sang to the Monster

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  4,661 Ratings  ·  722 Reviews
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 do
Hardcover, 239 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Cinco Puntos Press
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Heather Different, but amazing in its own write ;). I've read both and together they put Sáenz in my 'all-time favorite authors' category

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Posted at Shelf Inflicted

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 livin
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“The heart can get really cold if all you've known is winter.”

This is my favourite book of 2017. I know, it's only been a month and maybe I should add a "so far" but I doubt that there will be a book anytime soon, that will wreck me in such a beautiful way.

You probably heard of Benjamin Alire Saénz. You might have read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. You loved it. I did, too. But this was even better.
Last Night I Sang to the Monster is deeply moving. It tells Zach's st
Cait (Paper Fury)
Omggg this was so dark and heartbreaking and BEAUTIFUL. I freaking adored it. It's so brutal though and about just how deep the trauma of mental illness, addiction, and pain of being unloved can run. Like excuse me while I turn into that puddle over there.

Obviously I don't want to spoil the ending, but IT IS THE BEST ENDING OF MY HEART. I fully nearly gave it 5-stars just for that last chapter alone. I'm c r y i n g. Bless this ending and its perfect measure of darkness and hope.

I really loved Z
Isa Cantos (Crónicas de una Merodeadora)
"El corazón puede endurecerse mucho si lo único que conoce es el frío de la noche".

Leer lo que Benjamin Alire Sáenz escribe está muy alto en la lista de mis cosas favoritas. No sé cómo lo hace, pero cada una de sus palabras me llega muy hondo. A decir verdad, no sabía que existía este libro hasta que estuvo en mis manos... ¡y menos mal no lo dejé en mi biblioteca mucho tiempo! La historia con la que me encontré en Canción Nocturna fue absolutamente preciosa y desgarradora.

Zach, un chico joven,
Amanda Rose
May 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
I wont give a summary of this book, because that's clearly been done about a hundred times below. What I will do, is tell you what I thought of it.

Anyone who has given this book a high rating clearly has no understanding of addiction or teenagers. The language in this book is tedious and obviously contrived. He uses the same expressions over and over in an effort to sound young, or cool, or edgy, but it mostly just comes off as obnoxious. If I had to guess, the author writes "That really tears m
Alexis Ayala
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Benjamin Alire Sáenz es, sin duda alguna, uno de mis autores favoritos, y aunque es difícil saberlo, porque a lo largo de la vida elegir libros y autores favoritos puede ser difícil y complejo, lo sé. Mejor dicho, lo siento. Cada que leo sus palabras e historias vuelvo a un lugar dentro de mi que me hace sentir demasiado.

Este libro nos habla de la historia de Zach, un chico con problemas familiares y adicciones, que no sabe como llego a un centro de AA (Alcohólicos anónimos) , que fue lo llevo
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Thomas by: Nancy
This was a very dark, depressing, disturbing book. Yet, it was also beautiful and bittersweet.

Zach finds himself in a rehabilitation facility with no memory of his past. He struggles with the monster living in his dreams and inhabiting his thoughts. There are people that help him though - like his therapist Adam, who is always the optimist, and his roommate Rafael, a 53-year-old man with the eyes of a young boy. Through his time at the treatment center he tries to conquer his isolation and vanqu
Debbie "DJ"
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, addiction, own
I found this to be a little too simplistic for me. A lot of the dialogue felt repetitive, and it wasn't until near the ending that I learned what had happened to the main character. While this may not be a bad thing, it felt like much of the story was "filler" until I got there. Might be a better read for a younger person.
Arch Bala
Eighteen-year-old Zach does not remember why he’s in a rehabilitation center for alcoholics, but with therapy and group sessions, he soon finds out that he’s capable of dealing with his past and be able to work on his recovery.

I decided to pick this up when I found out that the author was working on the sequel of his multi-awarded novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I just wanted to get a feel again, of how this author lured me the way he did with Ari and Dante’s stor
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-fav, lgtb
Tengo que meditarlo
Supo meterse en mis sentimientos & emociones, & en partes me sentía tan identificada con Zach, día a día peleo con mis propios monstruos, no los dejo que controlen mi vida, es una batalla agotadora,leerlo, de esa forma tan sutil, a veces dolía, me hacía recordar el dolor que da la depresión, el vértigo de la ansiedad..el estrés de no querer recordar, de no valorarte..
& ese final T.T es tan hermoso
el contraste de vivir aceptando el dolor y deja
juan carlos
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
De nueva cuenta Benjamín Alire Sáenz lo volvió hacer, que forma de escribir, que manera tan creíble de adentrarte a una historia, buenísimo libro.

¿Para qué leer Canción Nocturna?

1. Y creo que es lo que más rescato, el autor supo crear a un personaje que siente, que sufre, que habla con el corazón, que nos trasmite dolor y agonía. En verdad las palabras que usa, los diálogos provocan en el lector una empatía sublime con el protagonista.
2. La manera que maneja el tema de los monstruos interiores
This book packs an emotional punch that tears right into your heart.
It's an incredibly vivid story that starts off slow and before you know it, has you in its hooks. You start to root for the characters, living along their ups and downs.
It breaks you, and it mends you.
The writing is rough around the edges which only adds to the appeal and atmosphere the further to get into it.
Aug 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: High School and above
I have to say that this has quietly become one of my favorite books. The story is about addiction and the walls in one's life that block recovery. It's about trying to forgive in order to live life. I'll admit it was a slow read for awhile, but I think it was a subconscious thing. The danger is that it's too easy to see yourself in the characters that are portrayed and that can be difficult, especially if you've dealt with any kind of recovery in your life. And who hasn't these days?
More than a
First there was this:

Then, after an intense journey of heart-stretching, mind-opening scenes of pain and love via real, honest and perfectly paced storytelling, there was this:

The ending was a miracle, like a breath of oxygen-rich air after rain.

Edit: ...still thinking about this book, a week later...

The day I returned this book, I gushed to the librarian how spectacular this book was. She inquired, "What's it about?" I stumbled through some ineffectual, inane, bumbling description. Only later,
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Sáenz did it again. God wrote brilliant on his heart, and this book wrote grateful on mine. I am grateful for this story and for what it taught me.

This book is heartbreakingly underrated, so if you’re doubting whether or not you should give it a go, do it. You won’t regret it.
Alex - coffeeloving_bookoholic
😱😭❤ ...more
Jessi ♡
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
hi guys there’s a way out always and i’m happy and i’m crying
Kisses A
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I definitely did not plan on reading this. But from the moment i began it was so well written that it just sort of pulled me in. All i am going to say is that its really different from regular YA in a good way. And i was so pleased with the ending... Anyway basically it really helps me to see what others are going through and how little things can have huge effects and the reasons people may turn to drugs and the like. How important family life and growing up is to the children and where it can ...more
update: I'm a rare 5 star person. It has to be an overall good book with a decent plot, sympathetic characters, unobtrusive language and a satisfying ending. And above all else, it should be believable. This book had it all for me.

As for a satisfying ending, some people like non-endings, like how "The Giver" ended. Some people, like G.R.R. Martin wants everyone dead and long forgotten as time marches on. I, more or less, like happy endings.

And believable, even if its paranormal/mythical, there
prag ✨
Feb 25, 2017 marked it as dnf
Shelves: fav-author
DNF @14% (for now)

It's too dark for my mental space right now, maybe some day later.
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Simcsa by: Jitka
Sorry Judies, I couldn't get myself out of bed to eat, let alone update. These would have been my updates.


"Look," I said, "all I know is that only thing I'm in charge of is Zach."
Adam smiled. "And how are you doing with that?"
"I'm doing a pretty shitty job if you ask me."

I wanted to ask her if she was better. I mean, if she was getting well. I wondered if something changed inside of you. I mean, there was this talk about change all the time and I wondered how an
Iván López
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Canción Nocturna.
Increíble, a pesar de que esté libro al principio me aburría y no le encontraba mucho sentido a la historia llego un punto a la mitad del libro en el que se convirtió en algo que no podía parar de leer.
Toco temas que a pesar de no estar tan relacionados conmigo, me hizo sentir muchas cosas y despertó muchos sentimientos dentro de mí, incluso me hizo acordarme de mi libro favorito "The perks of being a wallflower" porque el personaje principal Zach lo sentía muy relacionado o co
Jan 10, 2017 rated it liked it
3 stelle e mezzo.
3.5 out of 5

While listening to the audiobook version of Last Night I Sang to the Monster, a realistic YA novel, at first I couldn't decide whether the book is exceptionally beautifully written or exceptionally beautifully narrated. I think it's the combination of both. Thanks to Benjamin Alire Sáenz's writing and MacLeod Andrews' narration, the main character's, Zach's, voice feels conversational and authentic, and I could understand, relate to, and even feel his pain, anger, sadness, denial, an
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
this was so damn sad but amazing at the same time. i loved the characters and the writing was fantastic, even though it almost made me cry and i hate emotions.
Have you ever read anything that put a sick, shook up feeling in your stomach? Like the words you just read put a dark cloud over your head and made you feel not just sad, but slightly ill? That's how I felt for so much of Last Night I Sang to the Monster...

This book is heavy, but luckily it is written in this really beautiful, poetic way that allowed me to still enjoy it as a literary work. Also, thank goodness, there is some sun shine peeking through those dark clouds by the end. So much of it
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
How Zach would put it: That really teared me up.

As I started this book, I confess I was expecting nothing less than the simply beautiful Benjamin's writing. I was fast disappointed since what I found was much different. "Last Night I Sang to the Monster" is the story of Zachariah, told with Zach's very own words, changing the tone of the narrative completely from the one we could expect.

However, as much as the first half of the book was hard to get through, beause I wasn't really connecting with
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2015
holy shit this book i don't have words
Bebo Wouters
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow wow y wow! Que manera de hacerme sentir cosas este libro! Lo leí con muy poco entusiasmo pero termine completamente sorprendido y enamorado de esta historia y de sus personajes! Realmente Benjamin es un genio, completamente distinto a “Aristoteles y Dante Descubren Los Decretos Del Universo” pero cada uno tiene ese toque tan maravilloso y poético que enamora!
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I do like and appreciate what Sáenz presents in this novel, and the writing style holds down a nice sense of prose blended with poetic flair and metaphor. At the same time, this story doesn’t grip me—and I mean really, truly grip me—the way other books do. I’m talking about books like There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Those are books that captivate my attention and emotions and seizes them very firmly. What I’m ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • With or Without You
  • Crazy
  • Bait
  • Right Behind You
  • Skin
  • Leverage
  • Split
  • After the Strawberry
  • Target
  • The Things a Brother Knows
  • Break
  • Zane's Trace
  • The Shape of Water
  • Exposed
  • Suicide Watch
  • I Don't Want To Be Crazy (Push)
  • Clean
  • Personal Effects
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (born 16 August 1954) is an award-winning American poet, novelist and writer of children's books.

He was born at Old Picacho, New Mexico, the fourth of seven children, and was raised on a small farm near Mesilla, New Mexico. He graduated from Las Cruces High School in 1972. That fall, he entered St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado where he received a B.A. degree in Humaniti
More about Benjamin Alire Sáenz...

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“The heart can get really cold if all you've known is winter.” 229 likes
“I don't like remembering.
Remembering makes me feel things.
I don't like to feel things.

I'm thinking I could spend the rest of my life becoming an expert at forgetting”
More quotes…