The Kid Lost Me Around Page 45; Will You Fare Better?

BlogHer Review

I've never liked books that are written in stream of consciousness. Saphhire's The Kid is no exception. I simply can't stay interested in a story when it's told as if I'm listening to the characters' inner monologue instead of dialogue. Even used sparingly, the lack of punctuation makes me skip over paragraphs until there's something more "organized" for me to read.

Initially, I was very invested in Abdul, the protagonist of Sapphire's novel. We're introduced to him at age 9 as he prepares to attend his mother's funeral (The Kid is a follow-up to Sapphire's hit Push, which was turned into the movie Precious). I wanted to read and find out who'd care for Abdul, and how'd he'd handle being orphaned. I thought he might have it made with his mom's friend Rita, who didn't have much but who obviously loved Abdul. Unfortunately, as the story progresses it's obvious that no one currently in Abdul's life can take him in and he becomes just another kid in the foster care system. He endures abuse of all kinds at the hands of his foster siblings and care-givers, and eventually ends up in a Catholic school for boys.

It was at this stage in Abdul's life that I really lost interest in the book. The streams of consciousness increase as Abdul becomes more angst-ridden in his early teens. He's struggling with identity and finding a place for himself. I mentioned to my husband that I couldn't find any redeeming qualities in his character, and that I lost any emotional investment that I had developed early on in the novel. In Catholic school, Abdul starts to attend dance classes in the city and even though it's something he obviously loves, I found myself so detached from him as a character that I didn't even care if he was able to pursue it and find himself via dance.

Even with all that Abdul experiences, I never pitied him. He became a victim of circumstance sometimes, and a perpetrator of trouble in others. I know he had limited, if any, resources with which to help himself out of the system, but he never demonstrates a desire to overcome his circumstances. He's just a bully; a big kid without any direction or remorse for his actions.

It becomes clearer as Abdul ages that he is mentally afflicted, and the novel continues to chronicle Abdul's downward spiral for hundreds of pages. The end is so abrupt and dissatisfying and I felt like I had wasted so much time reading The Kid. I feel I gained nothing from this book, not even a greater appreciation for my own life and circumstances. I couldn't recommend this book to anyone due to my own lack of emotional interest. I sincerely hope it isn't brought to the movie screen as Push was in 2009.


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.

Recent Posts by livytay