By Dani Dawson
You should never judge a book by its cover. Doing this means scouring the new releases for an hour. You’ll find a book and say to yourself ‘This looks great, I bet it will be scary!’
It will not be scary and it becomes a let-down, among other things.
Perhaps you should have picked up that Stephen King hardcover instead.
Courtesy Barnes and Nobles
Keith Donohue's new book The Boy Who Drew Monsters cover.
This is what you get when you judge.
The Boy Who Drew Monsters follows the struggles of the Keenan family, husband and wife Tim and Holly, try to cope with raising their 10-year-old son, Jack Peter in a scattered village off the coast of Maine.
Jack, or Jip as he is fondly known to his father, has a high functioning Asperger’s syndrome coupled with a fear of going outside. It is winter throughout most of the novel.
While his mother and father are occupied with his formal diagnosis, Jack draws.
The only problem is, his drawings seem to be coming to life.
The pacing and language choices in this book nearly made me return it.
I can recall startling my husband on several occasions by shouting ‘Nobody talks like that!’
If books have a fourth wall, this one was smashed to bits.
Character dialogue came across like they were reading a book too.
The story drags on with very little to keep you awake and turning the page.
The book jacket promised me scares or at the very least, cheap thrills.
I’m going to have to assume the book jacket lied and those bits of praise possibly bought.
The author, Keith Donohue, was unable to produce the desired effect.
Maybe my mind is still lingering on that Stephen King release.
Whatever the case may be, the monsters within these pages were not what I had hoped for or thought I was going to be reading about.
If this book does anything right, it is in the skillful portrayal of raising a special needs child.
Donohue doesn’t hold back in representation of daily struggles between Jack and his parents.
You can feel the despair as both mother and father find themselves briefly wishing for normalcy before the guilt sets in.
You feel Jack’s building resentment towards those who don’t seem to want him around.
Descriptions of sudden outbursts or nervous ticks bring you into their world, if only for a minute.
The greatest part of The Boy Who Drew Monsters would unfortunately have to be the ending.
I say this with complete sincerity.
If you can trudge through the funky writing style and lack of action, at the end you will find buried treasure.
Or you can just flip to the back and piece it together, whatever works for you.
I give this book 2 out of 5 stars.