Monster: A Review

A review of “Monster,” a novel written by Walter Dean Myers and also adapted into a movie by Netflix, released in 2018.

This is the novel “Monster” written by Walter Dean Myers

“Monster” is a novel and also a movie, but both of them are so different that they are reviewed separately. So here is MY comprehensive review of “Monster.” Please keep in mind that this is my own opinion and that I am not encouraging nor discouraging you to read/watch “Monster,” I am merely stating how I feel about them. With that being said, here is my review.

The Book

“Monster” the novel is extremely unique. It is written in a script format and is perfect for making a movie based on it. The book takes place in New York City in the 90s, where black sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon has been convicted of a terrible felony: the brutal murder of a store owner in Harlem. People are sure that he was involved in the crime. But was he really? This book has the perfect blend of first and third-person views. It perfectly captures the view of a black teenager in that situation and has many plot twists and plot points. It doesn’t exaggerate stereotypical “hood culture” and is written from an extremely ordinary teenage perspective, making everything feel more “raw.” There are many diverse and different characters that add to the story and really enrich it. I give this book a 9/10. It’s pretty hard to read it at first, but once you get used to it, there’s no stopping you.

The Movie

“Monster” was adapted into a movie later, in 2018, and is now available on Netflix. On its own, the movie is great. It encapsulates the life of a black film student who has been accused of a crime. But when compared with the book, none of it makes sense. It capitalizes on “hood culture,” many characters are removed, and new ones are added. Some of the female characters are also male! Furthermore, the characters are a lot more “polished” and “pretty.” There were also a lot more cinematic scenes. It feels more like a prequel or a different story altogether, rather than an adaptation of the book. The book is literally a script, so it shouldn’t have been hard to make a movie exactly like the book. Overall, I give this movie a 4/10. On its own, it’s great, but it’s totally different from the book it’s supposed to be based on.


Overall, in my opinion, the book “Monster” is great, and the movie is less so. But I still strongly recommend that you read/watch both.