Blue Boy is unlike any book you might have ever read. This novel by Rakesh Satyal is a coming of age story about a boy who is having difficulty fitting in. We have reviewed the book below being as discreet as we can without spoiling the plot for you.
This is the story of 12-year-old Kiran, an only son of an Indian-American immigrant couple. The starting chapters take us through Kiran’s journey of facing rejection from everyone, his unusual habits and his sense of never feeling normal. His difficulties are all because he is unlike the boys of his age. He not only looks different than other Indians because of his parentage but also behaves in a different manner expected of a young boy. He loves to sing and dance more than mindlessly running and chasing a ball towards a goal in the field.
Kiran knows his secret but guards it carefully. He is intelligent and funny and spiritual. As he takes his religious discourse, he slowly feels a close connection with Lord Krishna. On one such discourse, he experiences the revelation that he may be the incarnation of the deity. That explains the title of the book- Krishna was known to have blue skin.
Kiran starts living like a lord, the way he did when he came down on the earth- eating butter, playing flute, among other things. He gets so involved in Krishna that he feels his skin shade will also turn blue. He is practicing to stage the unveiling of his true identity through the annual elementary school talent show.
The character of Kiran is hard to put into a category. You like him one moment while you hate him the next. His tribulations and struggles to be himself in a society that expects you to be of a certain way are worth sympathizing with. But there are shades of grey and negativity to him that’s disturbing at times.
But that being said, it’s a book worth reading for its unusual approach towards a tabooed subject. And for the lesson it gives us, accept everyone like they are without being judgemental or pushing that person into being someone else.
We rate Blue Boy 3.5/5 stars. It is recommended for everyone who likes unusual tales about people facing an identity crisis.