Thursday, March 2, 2017

"Monster" Book Review

Monster (Walter Dean Myers novel) cover art.jpg
"Monster" Walter Dean Myers
My rating: 2.5 stars

Goodreads overall rating: 3.69 stars

Inside cover: Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie.  Maybe I can make my own movie.  The film will be the story of my life.  No, not my life, but of this experience.  I’ll call it what the lady who is the prosecutor called me, Monster.  "You think we're going to win?"............. "It probably depends on what you mean by "win" "
The month of February, which many identify as Black History month has ended.  One reading goals that I want to work on this year, is to read more African American books or books written by African American authors.   “Monster” is the first book on my TBR list. 
I had this book for sale in my used bookstore for awhile and I decided to read it.  My first reaction from the cover was that this book was going to get my heart broken for a child who is in prison for a crime that he didn’t commit.  Well, my theory or guess was right.  A teenage boy was wrongly convicted of crime and seemed to be described as one of the situations of wrong place, wrong time; guilty by association. 
The story is in play or script form.  The scenery is created by the narrator of the story, which is the young teen.   He enjoyed drama and media so creating a movie about his experience with the legal system help him stay sane in a dysfunctional situation.  The young man dealt with late night crying in the jail, fighting that lead to physical harm or even death of the inmates and lack of support for those who are trying to fight for him in court.  Many of his so called friends betrayed him and many decided to use this man as a crutch to get out their own prison sentence.  This young man endured trouble after trouble and at times felt alone.  While reading my heart ached and tighten because all I wanted to do was to scream at the judge and lawyers that this boy is innocent.
The story is in play or script form.  The scenery is created by the narrator of the story, which is the young teen. I don’t mind script form writing, however I was unable to connect with the characters.  There should have been better character description with each scene change.  With script form, I wish a character introduction was included in the beginning of the story, to better understand or connect with the characters.
With this being a YA (young adult) novel, I was disappointed. I yearned for more description of the characters and description of the prison.  I know that the author was trying to have the reader understand life of an African American teen dealing with the injustice of the judicial system, however I was hoping for more displayed in the book. 
Even with a low rating of this book, it would be a great read for a teenage boy to read to see how being at the wrong place at the wrong time can get you in trouble.  Also it teaches about the injustice that people of color deal with at any given time.  It seems as though time after time we watch the news or read in the paper about the injustices people of color face and sadly some of us might have been in a situation similar to this young man.  Our hearts often break because of the lack of justice there are for people of color and after reading this book, I still feel heartbroken.  The horrible names, nasty attitudes, and the lack of compassion that the prosecutor, judge, and law enforcement displayed in this book, help revealed us to the grim reality that these situations happened daily in the lives of people of color.
This review is based solely on my opinion and was not compenstated in anyway.

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