Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blue Boy

Blue Boy by Rakesh Satyal

Kiran Sharma is a smart, talented twelve year old boy.  He is admired by most of his teachers, adored by the Indian Aunties, gets straight A's in school, goes to temple and is very observant of the people around him.  Kiran also likes to wear his mother's make-up, play with dolls and he thinks he is Krishna, reincarnated.

This book takes us through a few months of Kiran's life.  The author shows us how this little Indian boy actually splits his time in two worlds - that of his school, where he is the only Indian child and longs to play with the popular girls, talking about saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills, 90210.  and that of his Temple, where he is surrounded by other Indian families, engrossed by all that he loves about his culture, but is still not accepted by the children.

I downloaded this book on my Kindle while it was offered as a freebie in honor of the students that took their lives as a result of bullying.  I'm not really sure what I expected out of it.  As usual I didn't read about the book before diving into it's pages.  While I was impressed with the colorful pictures painted in my mind about Indian homes, food and Temple, I was left feeling a little lost.  Like I was just observing the scenes without a clear direction in order.

It turns out the book was leading to a talent show where Kiran wanted to honor Krishna in song and dance.  Along the way though, we were sidetracked with naked teenagers having sex in the park, a friend who spurred on prepubescent sexual curiosity with playboy magazines hidden under his bedroom desk, and a nagging question of, is Kiran attracted to boys?  or does he just want to be a girl?

I read so many rave reviews about this book that I am left wondering if maybe I was just preoccupied while reading the book.  I absolutely loved the description of Indian customs, clothing, food and decor.  The narrative of his parents speech reminded me of my own Indian friends and I loved imagining them saying the words the author wrote (I'm weird like that).  But as for the rest of the book??  I was kinda left ... stumped?  In the story Kiran does something totally out of character, and while I kept thinking he would own up to it, he never does and hardly shows any remorse for the act.

Decide for yourself.  This one may need a second read from me.

 - I know what you're thinking .... what in the world possesses me to read these books??


  1. Hmm...sounds like its a thinker of a read Diane. I might see if my library has it.

  2. it was interesting. and I really did love learning about the culture, it's something I would even look into willingly. the story just threw me off. I'll try it again in a couple of months.