After sitting on my bookshelf for more than two years, I finally decided to pick up Melvin Burgess’s novel, Kite. Filled with adventure-novel-esque characters, it was a short and engaging read. This book was read as part of the Beat The Backlist reading challenge.
The story, which is set in the late 1990s in England, follows Taylor and Alan as they desperately try to save an endangered red kite that has nested in a local pheasant farm. Things get complicated as the owner of the pheasant farm and Taylor’s dad’s boss, sets out to destroy the bird, tasking Taylor’s dad with the job of hunting the creature and threatening to fire him if he doesn’t oblige.
I was pleasantly surprised by Melvin Burgess’s novel, Kite; it was a light and easy read filled with engaging young characters reminiscent of popular adventure novels (think Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven). I neither loved it nor did I dislike it, it was one of those sort of ‘meh’ reads.
One aspect of the novel that I found very effective was the use of third person point of view, specifically how the focus frequently switched from Alan and Taylor to Teresa (the name that the boys lovingly gave the kite). The focus seemed to change quite randomly at points throughout the chapter, however, rather than making the novel confusing, it actually acted to increase the dramatic irony present throughout the book; the audience knew something that the main characters didn’t.
I really enjoyed the overall atmosphere of the book, the young adventurous nature of the boys and the change in setting from books that I usually read. Overall, I felt that Kite was the perfect book to mix up my reading life and definitely one that I needed to get off my shelf. A 3 star read.