The Boy Who Drew Monsters: Ever since he nearly drowned in the ocean three years earlier, ten-year-old Jack Peter Keenan has been deathly afraid to venture outdoors. Refusing to leave his home in a small coastal town in Maine, Jack Peter spends his time drawing monsters. When those drawings take on a life of their own, no one is safe from the terror they inspire. His mother, Holly, begins to hear strange sounds in the night coming from the ocean, and she seeks answers from the local Catholic priest and his Japanese housekeeper, who fill her head with stories of shipwrecks and ghosts. His father, Tim, wanders the beach, frantically searching for a strange apparition running wild in the dunes. And the boy’s only friend, Nick, becomes helplessly entangled in the eerie power of the drawings.
While those around Jack Peter are haunted by what they think they see, only he knows the truth behind the frightful occurrences as the outside world encroaches upon them all.– Goodreads Synopsis
The Boy Who Drew Monsters Review
The Boy Who Drew Monsters is definitely going on my re-read list. I can’t say I thought it was amazing – something I can’t quite put my finger on kept it from being amazing. It was, however, extremely good.
Jip is a young boy who is diagnosed with high-functioning Aspergers that has a unique ability. His parents seemed very realistic (I do not have a child with Aspergers, so I can only imagine what its like) and the tension between them was something I felt Mr. Donohue did a great job relaying.
The one critique I did have was it felt like he was copping out every time he would describe one of Jip’s fits. The boy would go into it and suddenly it was the parents POV and they were turning their attention elsewhere. I have no doubt one of the fits would have been difficult to write, but still… I wish he would have at least tried.
About halfway through the book, I commented to my partner that “Normally, with as little action as has happened, I’d be bored to tears, but…. this guy is good. He keeps the tension steadily going up.” It was true. I still am in veritable awe of Keith Donohue’s ability to keep a story building when so little was actually happening!
By the time I’d reached near the end of it, I was thinking “Aww, c’mon, seriously? Just this little bit of action? I need more!”(and part of me was drawing parallels between the book and a Dr. Who episode (Whovians, you know which one I mean!). Part of me wants to message the author and ask if he’s a Whovian. Somehow, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was.
(Side note: I did, and he said he was more of a “Whyvian” but had some Whovians in the family.)
And the last few pages? “What? Dude, was NOT expecting that!” I should have expected the twist, but totally did not. The ending is one that will leave you staring at the last page for a few moments as you wait for your brain to catch up with what you just read. I am SO glad he ended it where he did, too. Too many authors make the mistake of giving you too much, of having to ‘wrap up’ all the ends completely. He does not. (Yay!)
Mr. Donohue is an excellent writer, and I look forward to reading more of his work. He has strong characters, great interactions, and can tell a story that leaves quite an impact on you.
I would highly recommend you read The Boy Who Drew Monsters if you have any interest in books that do scary without going over the top or being too bloody wordy (Looking at you, Mr. King). It is also a quick read, for those that are looking for something to read on a plane.