Good Kings Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum
298 pages, 4 stars
ABOUT THE BOOK: Good Kings Bad Kings explores the intricate and often heartbreaking life of kids placed in a home for the disabled. Through various voices and perspectives the novel reveals the corruption in a flawed, bureaucratic system. When assault and death become less and less easy to ignore, the kids in the home have to chose to let it go or to stick up for themselves. The cast of characters includes, a young disabled girl who has been in juvie, a quadriplegic woman who works as a data clerk for the home and can’t help but like all of the kids, a male aid at the home, a lesbian singer who works as an aid, and many more. The varied backgrounds and ethnicities of the characters give the book a lot of depth. I thought Nussbaum did a great job of creating distinct voices and side story lines–like the romance between the male aid and the data clerk. What I liked most about this book was getting into the heads of disabled people and learning what things are irritating, how their lives are made harder by their condition, where they derive their pride in themselves and faith in others. It’s really an eye-opening read!
My main problem with this book (SPOILER!!!!) was the end when Yessi takes a bus to meet a guy, loses her v-card, and returns to the home. It felt like a pointless detour right before ending the story. Like she’s free momentarily, but then she chooses to return to this place that’s like a prison to her. I couldn’t wrap my head around why the story ended with her returning to the home. I’m glad Nussbaum avoided a sappy wrap up, but I wanted something a little more substantial than the faintly hopeful note of Yessi returning to Jimmie.
ABOUT THE OUTFIT: This Chicago heat is torture, especially sitting in your hot pink chair. So don these cuffed jorts and sleeveless button up. Your striped yellow sweater will keep you cozy when the AC is blasting in the common areas or when you feel so alone that all you can do is hug yourself. You know better than anyone how cruel the home can be.
This nail polish is the perfect color against your caramel skin. And despite feeling lonely, misunderstood, and unheard, you are a hot ticket! You’ve been a fire-y girl your whole life, which is probably what landed you in juvie: You don’t take nobody’s shit.
Whether you’re recruiting people for the home or going to a business meeting, you are always in heels. These bright yellow pumps are the perfect summer pair, just be careful not to roll and ankle when you find out that the company you work for is killing children.
This polka dot pocket book ties your colorful look together. Stash a love note from Teddy and all of your most precious possessions. You never know who’s stealing from your room when you’re gone.
Wearing these crown stud earrings you ask yourself am I a good king or a bad king? I think we all know the answer.