Kiran Sharma, an adolescent child of Indian immigrants living in Cincinnati, doesn’t fit in with his American friends or his Indian friends, and one day while clandestinely putting on his mother’s makeup he realizes the obvious explanation of why: he must be a reincarnation of Krishna, a Hindu deity. Finally, Kiran believes that he has a truly divine explanation for why putting on makeup, playing with dolls, and dancing ballet makes him feel so different from his friends. Throughout this coming-of-age novel, Kiran faces challenges from bullying at school and at temple to figuring out his own sexuality to trying to live up to his parents’ high expectations. On top of all this, Kiran strives to grow in his faith, with everything culminating in his performance in the fall talent show, where Kiran plans to introduce his divine nature to the world.
Blue Boy was an entertaining read with an interesting twist on the stereotypical coming-of-age story. The religious, sexual, social, and familial conflicts Kiran faces are relatable across the board, even if you are not an Indian American sixth grader. However, once I reached the ending I felt like many of Kiran’s conflicts were still unresolved, leaving me desiring a better conclusion from Rakesh Satyal than what was presented. I would still recommend this book to anyone who is interested in coming-of-age novels, modern Hinduism in America, or quirky, sarcastic main characters.
Review Submitted by:Brianna Glase