REVIEW: The Boy I Am by K.L. Kettle
I’ve been struggling to review The Boy I Am since I read it because it’s hard to sum up how I feel about this book, but I’m going to give it one last try. I read The Boy I Am through NetGalley, so a huge thank you to Stripes for accepting my request to read and review this title.
The Boy I Am is an ambitious debut with the potential to become the first book in a longer series. Following a boy called Jude who is part of the House of Boys, K.L. Kettle’s dystopian world explores the idea of a society where boys are treated as commodities and women hold all of the positions of power.
K.L. Kettle throws you into her world without hesitation. When we meet Jude, he is in the middle of plotting to kill someone called the Chancellor, hoping to get revenge on her for something that happened in the past. Not knowing anything about the House of Boys, the structure of the world or even who the Chancellor is, the start of this novel is so fast that it feels as though it’s trying to give you whiplash.
That’s both a blessing and a curse. If you’re a reader who doesn’t like to be handled with kid gloves and wants to be completely immersed in the world of the story as quickly as possible, this will end up being a new favourite for you. If you’re more like me – someone who finds it much easier to get absorbed by the story once you’ve got the rules and the structure of the world worked out in your mind – The Boy I Am becomes a much more difficult book to read.
That being said, difficult doesn’t mean unenjoyable, and I still gave The Boy I Am four stars. By the end of the story I was wholly invested in Jude’s life and in the world that K.L. Kettle created, and I sincerely hope that she decides to write more books set in this world. As well as the House of Boys there are so many other houses mentioned, and it would be brilliant to be able to take a peek inside them.
Jude’s story feels resolved when the book ends, but there’s still so much to explore in this world. K.L. Kettle has obviously thought long and hard about all of the aspects of the society she’s created, and some of the things mentioned in passing piqued my interest. You can bet your bottom dollar that if this does end up being turned into a series I’ll be first in line to buy a copy of book two. I also think that if I do reread this book, I’ll end up giving it five stars. Even though I was completely bamboozled for the majority of the story, I felt such an emotional connection with Jude. Reading it again and having a prior comprehension of the rules of this world can only increase my enjoyment of this story.
The Boy I Am is K.L. Kettle’s debut novel, and it should be the start of a hugely successful writing career. If you like dystopian novels but want to read one which attempts something completely new and fresh, The Boy I Am is a must-read.
I hope you enjoyed this review, and thank you for visiting The Bumbling Blogger.
See you again soon,