Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Date Available: January 9, 2014
Page Count: 68
Buy your copy on the Createspace website.
**I received a free copy of I Can't Feel My Face from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my thoughts and opinions on this book.**
When I recently read Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block, a fairytale-esque story about disillusioned youth leading their own over-the-top lives in Los Angeles, I felt like I was looking at LA through rose-colored glasses. If Weetzie Bat made me look at LA in a pink haze, Kris Kidd makes me look at LA through glasses that don't match my prescription.
This is a cycle. This is routine now. I am the product of a painfully adequate home--picket fences and red doors, and all that shit. I don't need you to show me any ink blotches because I know exactly what I am, and I did this to myself.In this short collection of personal essays, available in paperback on January 9, 2014 and presented by The Altar Collective, Kidd strips away the glamour, beauty, and dreams that most people think about when they hear 'Los Angeles,' and 'Hollywood,' and instead injects it with drug-addicted youth, feelings of imperfection, and the sense of being displaced in a group of people who are supposed to be your friend.
See, that's the thing about L.A.--When you've mastered the art of feeling lonely in a room full of people, that's when you know. When you have to excuse yourself from polite conversation with people who are two, maybe three, times your age just to hide in a bathroom stall for hours at a time, that's when it really hits you. Once you've snorted a line off of just about every reflective surface in West Hollywood, you just get it.Kidd drags us through his life of pool parties and misadventure. He doesn't shy away from sharing snippets of his therapy sessions, where his therapist is always trying to leech out his feelings about his father's suicide. His essays, such as 'Fruit Roll-Ups,' are also relatable to just about everyone, even if they've never snorted a line or been to a Hollywood pool party. In 'Fruit Roll-Ups,' Kidd finds himself with a group of thugs, looking for his next fix. There's a lot we learn about Kidd in this essay. He was a child actor. His first claim-to-fame: a fruit roll-ups commercial. His addictions. No one trusts him. I've never ridden around in a car with drug-slinging men, but the revelation Kidd has about being in a place with people you should not be with is universal. Seeing clearly the lines that divide you from other people is universal. Learning that a vice does not immediately connect you to others is universal.
Each essay is raw, personal, and lays his life out bare in a way that begs for appreciation. I always think there is something to be said about authors who can scrape some of their darkest moments out of themselves and lay them on the page with full honesty. It takes a lot to be as vulnerable as Kidd has made himself in this collection.
"Naw, I call bullshit. This lil' bitch don't look like he could be in a commercial for fruit snacks, or some shit. He's all cracked out."In memoirs and collections that deal with addiction such as I Can't Feel My Face, I like to see some form of an upswing, or something positive the author has learned from their struggles. This sort of revelation isn't here yet, though I think this book itself stands as a monument of what Kidd has been through. At twenty years old, he's got a lot of time to figure it out, and I'm anxious to read more of his work as time goes by to see how he grows.
"Well, I was nine so I was doing a little less coke then."
Phase laughed, and everyone followed suit, including Knight, who reached his fist out for me to pound it. Self-awareness is key.
Kris Kidd will be reading excerpts from I Can't Feel My Face and signing copies at Gatsby Books in Long Beach, CA on January 9, 2014 at 7-10pm. Stay tuned for an interview with Kris Kidd on this blog closer to the release date!
'Get Ready For' is a new feature on The Lit Girl where I share with you books that have yet to be released...and that you should get ready for!