Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Review of 'The Kid Table' by Andrea Seigal

"It's there at every family event.  A little smaller, collapsible, and decked out with paper napkins because you can't be trusted with the good ones.  But you're stuck there.  At the Kid Table.  Because to them-- to the adults-- you're still a kid.

Ingrid Bell and her five teenage cousins are in exactly this situation.  Never mind the fact that high school is almost over; they're still eating mac and cheese with a toddler.  But what happens when the rules change?  When Brianne, the oldest cousin, lands a seat at the adult table, the others are in shock.  What does it take to graduate from the Kid Table?

Over the course of five family events, Ingrid and her cousins attempt to finish childhood and send the infamous table into retirement.  But as Ingrid turns on the charm in order to manipulate her situation, the family starts questioning her motives.  And when her first love comes in the form of first betrayal (he's Brianne's boyfriend), Ingrid is forced to consider how she fits into this family and what it means to grow up."

This was a very interesting concept for a novel.  First of all, there were quite a few characters in this novel, but that being said, they weren't very hard to keep track of and tell apart.  They each had distinguishing characteristics to help you keep them apart.  For example, Ingrid's mom loves to scrapbook, Dom is gay and is just waiting for his family to say something about it, and Brianne tries to diagnose everyone with psychological disorders.  The characters were very interesting.  They were quite developed, each having a story of their own that a variety of readers will be able to identify with in some way.

I thought the story itself could have been developed more.  The ending leads up to what happens between Trevor (Brianne's boyfriend) and Ingrid.  I can see how it would have devastated the situation at the end, but it wasn't strong enough for me to think that it would break up two people.

At times, the plot was repetitive because of the series of parties and planning of new ones over time, but Ms. Seigal did a splendid job of breaking up the monotony by making each occasion for the various parties different and putting them in different locations.

I liked the concise descriptions that were given throughout the novel too.  They made the settings seem a little more alive without sending any readers straight to bed.

Ms. Seigal has a very strong writing style and her characters are equally strong, but the story could have used a bit of a face-lift in certain parts.  However, it is still a read that will keep your attention.

I give 'The Kid Table':
Thanks for Reading!


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