Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Pages: 272 (Hardcover)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets Catcher in the Rye.
A fifteen-year-old boy from an abusive home desperately seeking his older brother’s love and approval starts pushing drugs for him and suffers the consequences.
I was really rooting for this one. I loved the beginning, it’s very strong and exciting. It starts with a flashback and then we learn about where it sort of began.But after awhile, James’s story starts to get boring and at many times, he feels like a brick wall, only relying on books and other people to build his character up.
There are many book references in this novel! Too many for my taste. I can deal with one or two but Kindness for Weakness has around four book references which I found too confusing to remember at times. I also dislike that the story ruins one of the best books ever–The Outsiders– I mean, you just cannot do that. I’ll let one book slide, you can tell me the ending of a Jack London book because I most likely will never read another book of his again but not The Outsiders!
Not cool, man. Not cool.
Short chapters help the books that I dislike a lot solely because I am more committed to finishing them which is the case with this one. Chapters are about three or four pages that literally fly by. Moreover, I liked that I got both sides of the story, not just the good and not just the bad. It starts at the beginning with one of the biggest mistakes in his life and how he came to realize many things about the people around him. The world building is pretty decently done, the Morton facility feels realistic and mysterious, a feeling that I think the author was trying to go for.
Kindness for Weakness starts off great and had my attention from the very beginning but it quickly went downhill and lost it. Still, maybe I just the fact that I have extremely high expectations for novels that are me-novels and I’m very picky about everything with them. Nonetheless I recommend this to anyone who enjoys novels about messed-up teenagers like I do and don’t mind all the spoilers on some great books *coughs* The Outsiders *coughs* and are not very picky about the characters either. I’m hoping that Shawn Goodman’s other novel, Something Like Hope is much better than Kindness for Weakness.
For quotes from this book, click here.