The Monstrous Hit

April 27, 2009
By Louisa Abbott BRONZE, White Plain, New York
Louisa Abbott BRONZE, White Plain, New York
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The Monstrous Hit

Imagine you were accused of a horrible crime, but you didn't do it. You were thrown in jail for weeks until the verdict of your trial. Everyone around you can completely characterize everything you have ever been, and everything you will be, in just one simple word: monster. People don't listen to the facts, for they're drowned out by their opinions. In Monster by Walter Dean Myers, Steve Harmon, a sixteen year-old boy, faces this reality. In this thrilling mystery, one small mistake, that he may, or may not have committed, will change his life forever.

Steve Harmon is facing what many people his age never imagined possible. He is on trial for murder. Walter Dean Myers follows Steve, and all his thoughts, from day one of the trial, until the day that the verdict is read. We read about flashbacks spinning through Steve's head, as well as the trial itself, with numerous witnesses adding their own little piece to the puzzle. Although Steve is the main character, we begin to learn bits about the supporting characters, some being criminals and some being family members. It becomes evident that there are some people in jail that aren't tough, macho criminals. Some people are truly scared, and sorry for what they did… or what they didn't do.

This book was very interesting. From the time you flipped page one, you were hooked. Something that may have added to that fact was that it wasn't your average book. It was written as a movie. There was camera directions, a name followed by a quote, and the occasional notes page, written by Steve, as some sort of a diary entry. By doing this, you reenact the movie in your head, giving you great mental images. And the notes help you figure out what is going on in the mind of the scared sixteen year old. At one point he says, “He said when he gets out he'll have the word monster glued to his forehead. I feel like I already have it glued to mine.” He is being judged every day for something that no one is sure if he deserves. He feels like everyone will only consider him as a monster, and nothing more. Like he can't be redeemed for his past mistakes, and his whole life will be lived in a shell.

But considering it was taking place in a court room, and Steve recorded every piece of information stated, there were a lot of speeches made by the attorneys. While reading the arguments it got slightly dull, because you didn't understand a lot of this lawyer lingo that can go on for five pages at a time. But on the opposite side, when the criminals were talking as witnesses, the language immediately changed to simple slang answers. As Steve copies down every word, of every sentence that anyone speaks, he begins to realize the true lesson of this experience: You don't know what you got till it's gone. Before he was taken off to jail, he didn't care much about what he did. He took everything for granted. As soon as he was thrown in the horrid prison, he was filled with regrets, fearing that he would never see the light of day again. In his notes he implied that if he ever got out, he would change, and live life to the fullest. The writer was very creative in tying it in smoothly, in a way that you have to do some guess.

This book is probably best suited for young adults or teenagers. It's too mature for younger kids because of the topic of murder, but it is too simple for older adults. Even then, I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good suspense and mystery. Throughout the entire book you are on the edge of your seat, eager to find out how the trial ends, and if Steve is innocent or not. As more information is stated, you find yourself doubting what you originally thought. It really makes you think, and find some sort of sympathy for people on trial, and hatred for others, because some people truly are Monsters.

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