The Kid By Sapphire: Brazen, Loud & Boundary Breaking
The Kid is as outrageous, barrier breaking, and jaw dropping as I expected. I had a lot of expectations going into this book that were both met, and left desired. How could you read a book like Push and not wonder what happened to the baby born to a mother who had so much stacked against her? Naturally, her beloved son bared much of the same burdens.
At first I had a difficult time getting used to reading as if I was in Abdul's head. It began as a bit of a hindrance, and ended with a "How could Sapphire have told it without his voice?". The amount of molestation, rape, and sex often seems a bit over the top at times, and can make even the most liberal of readers a bit shell-shocked. However, when understanding the whole story and it being that of an orphaned kid in inner-city foster care, it is relateable to who the character is, and why. For a young man that wanted nothing but love, approval, and a normal home, he seemed to have gone down a desperate path to do whatever it took to feel noticed, and/or validated. I thought the author did a wonderful job showing how trauma can join hands with mental illness. For a boy that never spoke of what he thought or felt on the inside, we as readers had the added view point of actually being inside his head.
Overall I thought the book was well written, and went over boundaries that needed to be crossed in order to get the whole picture. I did not however, like the ending. It felt as if it needed another two chapters or so to sum it up. Maybe I was a little too tired when I finished it at midnight and missed something, but to me it left a lot of unanswered questions that annoyed me. Here I spent days reading the ins and outs of this book, and here we are at the end and I have no sense of what just happened. As the reader I was in an urgent state of confusion, much like the state the character was in while in the hospital. I had the same questions he was asking: Where was My Lai? How did he get here? What was reality? What was a dream? Did he actually commit murder? Did he ever serve time for raping little kids? Did he continue a life of wonderment with his sexuality? What happened to his great grandmother? ...and on and on and on. Walking away from this book the questions seem endless, which saddens me since I really loved where the book was going and its brazen reality. I would recommend it, but I would also say beware that you will be shocked, and that you will walk away without closure -- much like Abdul's reality.