I'm Glad I Didn't Give Up On The Kid
By isaselby on July 20, 2011
I have to admit that when I started reading The Kid, written by Sapphire, it was difficult. Not in the style, which I actually quite liked, but in the graphic details and language. I've never read a book quite like this and I think I can say with complete certainty that this is the most graphic book I've ever read. I started off strong, but after getting 100 pages into it in one night I was feeling a bit queasy before heading to bed. I decided that my best plan of action would be to read only in the daytime and to take the cover off of the book.
OK, so why did I take the cover off of the book? A few reasons that might seem a bit silly, but they helped me. I think I should also share that I actually work in publishing and more specifically work in book cover design so it almost felt sacrilegious taking the cover off the book. After you take the cover off THE KID take a look at the book. It's all black with small white type that simply reads Sapphire on the front and the title is along the spine. I loved it. For some reason that cloth look helped me finish the book and to me, it suited the book better. It's dark with tiny bits of light and is very raw. Another reason I took the cover off, embarrassingly enough, is that I've been reading this book on the subway (I live in NYC) and the subject matter is… a bit intense. I felt more comfortable with a small title on the spine rather than a flashy and bright wrap especially when people can read over my should easily (and even as NYers they may be shocked).
Enough about the cover. To the book!
I've thought long and hard about how I really feel about this book and for me it's very conflicting. In the first few chapters I was so overwhelmed by the graphic scenes that I wasn't sure I would be able to finish, let alone go to sleep, but I pushed through because I like the style that Sapphire writes in. She's a great writer and though I think some scenes were excessive they were vital to get the entire story across. Otherwise it might have felt like it was lacking something or that she had shied away from details, which she certainly didn't. If you like a good read that is well written and doesn't back down from touchy subjects you will probably want to pick up a copy of The Kid.
Another thing I've struggled with is: who would I recommend this to? When I read a book I enjoy the thought of who I'm going to lend it to next. I love the idea of sharing a book in order to fuel discussion, much like this Book Club, and this one leaves me stumped. It's a tough book and not one that my mom or grandma would enjoy and definitely not one that I would recommend to my cousins in middle and high school. So, where exactly does it fall? College kids? Young professionals, maybe? I think I would recommend it to some close friends and possibly my sister, but I would definitely give them some warning so that they would know what they were getting into. The way that Sapphire approaches this book is done very bravely and can be startling so is definitely not for everyone.
It's a tough, emotional read but one that I'm glad I didn't give up on.
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