Tuesday, December 9, 2014


bookcover of THE BOY WHO DREW MONSTERS  by Keith Donohue
3.43 STARS — 571 GoodReaders

THE BOY WHO DREW MONSTERS is an interesting book. It's part horror novel and part drama. The setting is a small island. The sort of place where the population explodes during the summer months, but where homes can be isolated and alone during the winter.

Involved in the story are two families. Both have only children who are boys, but there's a tremendous difference between the two tweens as one has been diagnosed as having Aspergers Syndrome.

This latter comes into play as it becomes a source of friction between the boys. Nick, the boy without Aspergers, is beginning to feel oppressed by their friendship which frequently seems a one-way street.  And the friction is not relegated to just the boys. As strange unexplained events begin to creep into their lives, both marriages are stressed, and we find out that there were infidelities between the couples.

From Kirkus Review:
Jack's parents and Nick are beginning to hear and see things that seem otherworldly, and it becomes clear that Jack's drawings reflect, or perhaps even create, the odd sounds and creatures. His parents, Tim and Holly, baffled by the happenings and frightened by the cracks in their marriage, try desperately to solve the growing mysteries.A sterling example of the new breed of horror: unnerving and internal with just the right number of bumps in the night.

The part of this book that really worked for me was not the horror. I never found this book scary or even tense. What I did like was the mystery of figuring out where the monsters were coming from and why they were there. What drew them from the old sunk wreckage, and why were the dead were tormenting the boys and their families.

What I actually loved was the backstory. I think Donohue perfectly caught the difficulties and emotion that comes from of dealing with a child who is 'different'. He captures the parents' anguish about not being able to help their child-- to 'fix' their child. And I felt for Jack's parents. How difficult it must be to have 'well meaning' strangers make the situation worse with their thoughtless comments.

Soooo.... good characters with a classically style horror/mystery attempt.  I found it an enjoyable read but those looking for gory horror are going to be disappointed .

**More Adult themed and nuanced.  This book is suitable for the older YA crowd.


by Keith Donohue

**all ratings from GoodReads 

Reading Information:
Page Count: 288
--See Excerpt here

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