Queenie
Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world.

Queenie Details

TitleQueenie
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 19th, 2019
PublisherOrion Publishing
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Adult, Audiobook

Queenie Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    He put a hand on my thigh and moved it higher, digging his nails into my skin. That'll be a pair of tights gone. This book is a bit deceiving. Queenie is such a funny and lovable character, with what I think of as a very British sense of humour. The book opens with multiple scenes that made me laugh and the author quickly builds up a warm and hilarious dynamic between Queenie and her girlfriends ("the Corgis"), and between Queenie and her Jamaican grandparents. This is everything I would have e He put a hand on my thigh and moved it higher, digging his nails into my skin. That'll be a pair of tights gone. This book is a bit deceiving. Queenie is such a funny and lovable character, with what I think of as a very British sense of humour. The book opens with multiple scenes that made me laugh and the author quickly builds up a warm and hilarious dynamic between Queenie and her girlfriends ("the Corgis"), and between Queenie and her Jamaican grandparents. This is everything I would have expected from a book being compared to Bridget Jones's Diary.Which is why I feel like I need to issue a warning: this book goes to some really dark places. Bridget Jones is klutzy and embarrassing; Queenie is a far more complex and real character. She is dealing with mental health issues and a post-relationship breakdown. The decisions she makes - like having unprotected sex with lots of different men - are clearly not healthy. I know some readers will feel frustrated with her behaviour at times, but I also think the author never portrays it as a good thing, and instead honestly portrays a young woman dealing with severe anxiety in the only way she feels she can. I think it's a good example of some very serious issues being wrapped up in a book that is full of humour to balance out the sadness.Queenie has just broken up with her long-term boyfriend Tom, who is white. Through flashbacks, we soon learn that their relationship was pretty messed up from the start, with Tom refusing to defend her against his family's casual racism. Queenie doesn't see it that way, though. This break-up has hit her hard. She responds to it by hooking up with guys and having various dating/sexual encounters that are a mixture of hilarious and cringy. Carty-Williams explores dating, anxiety and racism through the eyes of a modern-day Jamaican Brit, and she does it all with a sense of humour and no aversion to cringe factor. Oversharing at inappropriate moments, dating disasters, and witty badass girlfriends are just some of the sources of hilarity in this book. I think the serious issues are actually more impactful because of their juxtaposition with the humour and friendship.No, this isn't another Bridget Jones's Diary, but then we're not living in the 90s anymore either. Queenie is bolder, more complicated, more diverse and - ultimately - more feminist. And I see nothing to complain about in that.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Roxane
    January 1, 1970
    This is the kind of novel whose excellence sneaks up on you. The beginning is kind of rocky and I wasn't sure where the book was going but then it gets great and unputdownable and I held my breath reading as fast as I could to see what would happen to Queenie. This is an amazing novel about what it means to be a black girl whose world is falling apart and needs to find the strength to put it back together. There is so much ground covered here from dealing with anxiety and self-loathing to compli This is the kind of novel whose excellence sneaks up on you. The beginning is kind of rocky and I wasn't sure where the book was going but then it gets great and unputdownable and I held my breath reading as fast as I could to see what would happen to Queenie. This is an amazing novel about what it means to be a black girl whose world is falling apart and needs to find the strength to put it back together. There is so much ground covered here from dealing with anxiety and self-loathing to complicated families and learning to let go of things and people that won't serve you well. And Queenie is the kind of narrator you cannot help but root for even as she makes infuriating choices. Wonderful, wonderful novel full of charm and wit and warmth and energy. Check it out.
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  • Jazmen
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t think I’ve been this disappointed in a book in quite some time.I’m disgusted.Queenie with all of its rave reviews never hints at the alarming and problematic content.Queenie is a twenty-something-year-old Jamaican woman—who is just about at her wit’s end. She’s messing up at work, and her boyfriend of two to three years just dumped her. Her white boyfriend of two or three years—this is significant.I want to be as clear as possible, but I don’t want to be completely spoiler-y. However, so I don’t think I’ve been this disappointed in a book in quite some time.I’m disgusted.Queenie with all of its rave reviews never hints at the alarming and problematic content.Queenie is a twenty-something-year-old Jamaican woman—who is just about at her wit’s end. She’s messing up at work, and her boyfriend of two to three years just dumped her. Her white boyfriend of two or three years—this is significant.I want to be as clear as possible, but I don’t want to be completely spoiler-y. However, some things I will bring up have to be mentioned to back up my distaste for this novel.I have so many issues with this book, that we don’t have enough time to cover them all, but I’ll discuss the most glaring ones.While I was proud that this novel featured what appeared to be a plus-sized Jamaican woman, she did nothing to deserve my pride.Queenie is a hot mess. While the author places the blame on her mental state, it felt like a lackluster excuse. Queenie mourns the loss of her Caucasian boyfriend for about 60-70% of the book, and we get to see it through text-begging and whining on Queenie’s behalf. While she struggles to maneuver the breakup—we’re provided with flashbacks to mostly less than flattering moments between Queenie, her boyfriend and sometimes his parents.One of the most startling situations come in the form of a game of clue. While playing clue with her boyfriend and his uncle, the uncle blurts out, “There’s a nigger in the closet.” Queenie was offended and rightfully so. She looks to her then boyfriend, Tom to defend her—which resulted in an argument between the pair. Their relationship was a mess. Yes, we get to see the good parts, but it’s glaringly obvious that they didn’t need to be together.I won’t dwell on that. I’m more concerned about the after. The after that included multiple “white” sex partners who praised her for her black features and treated her as an exotic place to rest their loins. Even more frustrating was that she didn’t use protection. With. Any. Of. Them. This resulted in her having to visit the “racist” sex clinic far too many times. She not only faced the prospect of contracting some sexually transmitted disease but also the ridicule of white doctors who felt her behavior expectant of a young black woman. It was disgusting; not unrealistic, but disgusting.What was most bothersome is Queenie’s incessant and unstoppable need to work her way through white men sexually, who showed her zero respect? They talked down on her, worked their way through her and discarded her like trash.The author blamed this on her upbringing and her anxiety-riddled mind. While that’s not unbelievable, I truly wished she would have gone about it differently. Queenie is also a budding journalist. She’s been interning at the Daily Read for a few years and has had no significant or meaningful work. The author sort of implies it’s because she’s looked over because she’s black—and while that’s a part of it; it’s mostly because she sucks at her job.Throughout the book you see Queenie fighting to get through her day; struggling with the devastation of a broken heart—and her anxiety; as explained in the latter half of the book.She fights to write about black people at the paper—only to face dismissal by her editor, who is white. That whole part of the book was hardly convincing and felt as if it were added on at the last minute.Queenie seemed faux angry about black issues and I could have done without that entire idea altogether. She seemed angry and riled up out of obligation. But, let’s not dwell on that. She has a group of best friends that do their best and their worst to help her cope through her breakup and deal with whatever’s been lurking in the background.She has two white best friends, and one Ugandan dark-skinned best friend, that says things like bruh, and fam repeatedly.Though, her “black friend” had the most sense. I won’t get into the fact that her character was very stereotyped. I want to wrap this thing up.I thought by the time we got to the healing portion of the book that all of what I had to endure would have been worth it. It wasn’t.I’m still wholly disappointed.As someone who has struggled with anxiety, not clinically diagnosed, but self-diagnosed—I can totally understand not recognizing the anxiety for what it is.I can also understand how someone might deal with their anxiety; in whatever way, they feel comfortable. Queenie dealt with everything by having a lot of sex. If I felt convinced by it I’d be able to excuse it. I can’t seem to get over her being used and abused by white men so steadily, easily and repeatedly.When her friend suggests she date black men—which doesn’t fix the root problem. Queenie has an almost physical reaction to the idea. She mentions something about being afraid or uncomfortable with black men and then it was my turn to recoil. The author does not allow the character to explain this, and she definitely needed to. You don’t drop a bomb like that and leave the room.I really wish I thought to highlight that portion.Even after everything she still chose another white man; with whom she wound up arguing about black lives matter with, on the way to sleep with him.It was a mess.While I believe black readers will relate to Queenie’s “black” struggles, the rest is just frustrating and offensive. Queenie digs into deep issues: discussing micro-aggressions in the workplace, the treatment and mistreatment of the black body by doctors; and the overall fear of mental work by psychologists and psychiatrists by the black family.I thought it was relatable, no doubt about it, but it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough to convince me that Queenie was the character we needed. It didn’t convince me that black lives mattered.It amplified mental health issues in the black community and how it’s dealt with, but it was all surface; not digging deep enough to have any kind of real effect.This book was disappointing and unenjoyable, at least it was for me. I don't recommend it. But to each his own.
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  • PorshaJo
    January 1, 1970
    Rating 4.75I loved this book. Such an unexpected gem of a read. I went into this one blind. I knew nothing about it, I read no reviews. I frequently check out my library for new audio books. I saw this bold orange cover of a book called Queenie. It drew me in. I listened to a sample of the audio. A heavy accent by the narrator. It drew me in. I grabbed a copy of the audio and jumped right in.Queenie is a hot mess. She's a 26 year old Jamaican woman, living in London, and just completely a mess. Rating 4.75I loved this book. Such an unexpected gem of a read. I went into this one blind. I knew nothing about it, I read no reviews. I frequently check out my library for new audio books. I saw this bold orange cover of a book called Queenie. It drew me in. I listened to a sample of the audio. A heavy accent by the narrator. It drew me in. I grabbed a copy of the audio and jumped right in.Queenie is a hot mess. She's a 26 year old Jamaican woman, living in London, and just completely a mess. We meet her as she is taking a 'break' from her live-in boyfriend, which HE wants, not her. He asks her to move out and by this point, she's already on a downward spiral. She can't face reality. She's out of control. She puts herself in a few dangerous situations (I think). She's got no money, living in a nasty flat with a few flatmates, she's not there for her job, she lets the WORST men abuse her, she has issues with how people see her as a black woman. She doesn't feel she's worth it, she really has had a hard life. It's an absolute train wreck but you can't help but watch. When she hits the lowest of lows, she must bring herself back up. And so you watch her bring herself out of the pit and show her strength.To be honest, I almost stopped with this one. Initially, it was a bit sexually graphic for me. Just not what I tend to read. I actually started another book, but then I did read a few reviews. One said 'stick with it' (Thanks Esil!). So I pushed on and I'm so glad I did. The book gets off to a bit of a rocky start. But it immediately just jumps in to a life already out of control. All I can say is stick with it. When someone has issues, and is mentally struggling, it's never a pretty sight. But you must see everything in it's entirety to see where Queenie is at. I'm so glad I stuck with this one. It made me cringe, made me glad I'm married (oh the horrors of dating apps), made me laugh, but made me root for Queenie. Even though, a few times, I wanted to shake her....you knew she would just make the worst decisions.I also must say, publishers - DON'T COMPARE THIS TO BRIDGET JONES. This is so not like Bridgette Jones, other than a young girl living in London and dating. Queenie is so much more. If you think you are going to find a Bridgette Jones here, skip this one. Romantic comedy this is NOT. Anyway, I loved this book and just loved the audio narration. The narrator did a fabulous job. A highlight of a read for 2019 for me. I'll remember this one for some time. So why not 5 stars..... I'm stingy with 5 stars. But I had to knock it a bit for being quite sexually graphic (yes, made it hard to listen to the audio when husband is around saying 'what ARE you listening to') and the reading of emails and text back and forth initially drove me bonkers. So far, this is my top read of the year. And I'll just say, give this one a shot and just stick with it. It's such a reward in the end.
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  • Meredith B. (readingwithmere)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars! He paused and lifted his glasses to wipe his wet eyes. "You're full of fight Queenie. Full of Fight." He turned away and ambled back down the garden path, leaving me standing there unable to process anything he'd said. This is marketed as "Bridget-Jones" but I want to tell you that this is so much more than that and I mean much more and much more important that that.Queenie is a twenty-something who is living in London. She is Jamaican and it trying to fit in to both Jamaican and Brit 4.5 Stars! He paused and lifted his glasses to wipe his wet eyes. "You're full of fight Queenie. Full of Fight." He turned away and ambled back down the garden path, leaving me standing there unable to process anything he'd said. This is marketed as "Bridget-Jones" but I want to tell you that this is so much more than that and I mean much more and much more important that that.Queenie is a twenty-something who is living in London. She is Jamaican and it trying to fit in to both Jamaican and British culture. She was with her boyfriend, Tom, for awhile and they are currently going through a "break" period where they both try to take some time apart. Queenie realizes what she has lost but is also seeking worth from outside sources.Queenie ends up hooking up with multiple people, going through fights with friends, navigating her family and just navigating her life is general. She goes through situations based on her race and ethnicity. She is gets comments thrown at her, that are inappropriate. She is treated a certain way and she has to fight to stand up for what she believes it even when everyone else is knocking her down. Queenie truly goes through a growth journey in this book. In the end, she ends up asking herself "Who do you want to me in today's world?"I read this book fairly quickly because it sucked me in. I knew within ~30 pages that I was going to love this book and it just kept getting better. I almost felt like I was Queenie's friends and I was going through life with her. I experienced happiness when she did and heartbreak when she did. There were times I wanted to shake Queenie and say what are you doing! And other times I just wanted to give her a hug and tell her it'll all be OK and I'm proud of you.This book really gave me perspective. There are a lot of situations that Queenie experiences in the book that I will never experience. I think it's important to put myself in someone else's shoes and have a better understanding of the types of things they go through and situations they are put through. At the same time though, there were a few situations I felt that I could relate to Queenie just as a woman in the modern world as well as someone with anxiety/depression.I highly recommend this book and think everyone should pick it up! The cover alone sold me on this one - it's GORGEOUS! Thank you to Gallery/Scout Press for my ARC of this book.
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  • Book of the Month
    January 1, 1970
    Why I love itby Jojo MoyesI have to confess I have a prior interest in Queenie’s author, Candice Carty-Williams. A few years ago, I created a competition offering up my cottage to an aspiring writer in need of time and space to complete their project. Candice was the first winner, chosen from more than 600 applicants. She had never driven outside London before, and it took her six hours to make a two hour journey (the kind of thing that would happen to her character, Queenie!), but when she arri Why I love itby Jojo MoyesI have to confess I have a prior interest in Queenie’s author, Candice Carty-Williams. A few years ago, I created a competition offering up my cottage to an aspiring writer in need of time and space to complete their project. Candice was the first winner, chosen from more than 600 applicants. She had never driven outside London before, and it took her six hours to make a two hour journey (the kind of thing that would happen to her character, Queenie!), but when she arrived she declined a cup of tea and went straight to work—she was that determined to make the most out of the opportunity.Fast forward two and a half years; Queenie is one of the most anticipated books of the year. It grabbed me from the opening chapter because it did something that happens far too seldom—it took me into a world I didn’t know: that of a 25 year-old black woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. Queenie is fresh and flawed and she made me wince and made me laugh and made me think.Candice is a unique writer. Even that 500-word contest entry told me there was something special about her. After re-reading the finished work I knew I had been right. I’m excited to see Queenie meet a wider audience, and to see Candice’s star really shine. We need more voices like hers.Read more at: https://bookofthemonth.com/queenie-442
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This book explores individual and collective trauma in all its eye-opening forms. Queenie is such a well-developed and layered character, and when you follow her through this book be very aware of judgments that may arise. You may be frustrated by her choices but allow yourself to learn, understand, and be kind...yes, even toward a fictional character because she represents another. Awareness and hope are beautiful gifts.My favorite quote:“You aren’t as alone as you think.”
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  • Kate ☀️ Olson
    January 1, 1970
    [free review copy] I inhaled this in one afternoon. Two things you need to know:.1) don’t go into it expecting it to meet that “Bridget Jones” description because it is WAY deeper and at times very emotionally dark. That comparison is deceptive and sets readers up for confusion..2) you’ll either LOVE Queenie, or get frustrated with Queenie but if you are in the latter group, maybe quick check yourself and make sure it’s not age or privilege making you feel that way?.I may write more later or I m [free review copy] I inhaled this in one afternoon. Two things you need to know:.1) don’t go into it expecting it to meet that “Bridget Jones” description because it is WAY deeper and at times very emotionally dark. That comparison is deceptive and sets readers up for confusion..2) you’ll either LOVE Queenie, or get frustrated with Queenie but if you are in the latter group, maybe quick check yourself and make sure it’s not age or privilege making you feel that way?.I may write more later or I may not, but for now I want it on record that we need more books like this one in the contemporary fiction market. I learned so much from Queenie ❤️
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    A tiresome novel that made me cranky. Everything about Queenie screams middle school angst. Queenie and her crew think and act like 12 year olds trapped in 25 year old bodies. Take away some of the sex, replace their jobs with 7th grade classes and you have the tedious dramas of adolescence. I liked the clever use of texts. That's about it.
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  • Carol (Bookaria)
    January 1, 1970
    Compelling, deep, and ultimately heartwarming. When I started reading this book, I thought it would be about dating and breaking up in the modern world. But as the story developed, it became clear our main character was walking though a confusing and challenging road. I can't say much about the plot without getting into spoilers but I absolutely enjoyed this novel, it was so much more than what it is mentioned in the description. This novel is all about the journey, growing up, forgiveness, and Compelling, deep, and ultimately heartwarming. When I started reading this book, I thought it would be about dating and breaking up in the modern world. But as the story developed, it became clear our main character was walking though a confusing and challenging road. I can't say much about the plot without getting into spoilers but I absolutely enjoyed this novel, it was so much more than what it is mentioned in the description. This novel is all about the journey, growing up, forgiveness, and family.I enjoyed it and highly recommend it to readers of contemporary fiction.
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  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    Whoever is trying to sell this book as a Bridget Jones alike is misleading people. If you watch as much British TV, as I do, you would get a better idea if you imagine Queenie as a cross between "Fleabag" and "Chewing Gum." I wouldn't want you to open this book and expect a lighthearted dating comedy with a ditzy heroine who finds love in the end. What you will find is a woman dealing with her past trauma and her recent breakup by engaging in terrible sex with terrible men, which eventually lead Whoever is trying to sell this book as a Bridget Jones alike is misleading people. If you watch as much British TV, as I do, you would get a better idea if you imagine Queenie as a cross between "Fleabag" and "Chewing Gum." I wouldn't want you to open this book and expect a lighthearted dating comedy with a ditzy heroine who finds love in the end. What you will find is a woman dealing with her past trauma and her recent breakup by engaging in terrible sex with terrible men, which eventually leads her to a mental breakdown. Does this sound like a Bridget Jones type of fun? I didn't think so.Queenie is both easy to read (its writing style is very accessible) and also hard to read (Queenie puts herself in just horrendous situations). There is some humor, and good British humor that appeals to me on many levels, and only that humor saves this novel from being a complete pit of misery.Read this for observations about racism, abuse and mental illness stigma. The thing that stuck with me the most is Queenie's experience of men who view her as nothing but a sex object, something to enact their sex fantasies upon. Their unwillingness to connect with her and see her as a person is soul-crushing.
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  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Let me make sure y’all have some things straight before we get started. I am not a 20-something. I am not single. I am not British nor am I of Jamaican descent. And yet somehow when it came to this book . . . . The jumping off point to Queenie’s story might ring a bell to many of you as it derives from a timeless classic . . . . Except, you know, this show actually has black people in it.The tagline for Queenie states it is Bridget Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Let me make sure y’all have some things straight before we get started. I am not a 20-something. I am not single. I am not British nor am I of Jamaican descent. And yet somehow when it came to this book . . . . The jumping off point to Queenie’s story might ring a bell to many of you as it derives from a timeless classic . . . . Except, you know, this show actually has black people in it.The tagline for Queenie states it is Bridget Jones meets Americanah - a book which I have not yet read, but do own because . . . . So while I can’t speak for the second, I actually am one of the few it seems who can see why the comparison was made to the first. As mentioned above, Queenie’s story begins with her “taking a break” from her live-in, three year long relationship with her boyfriend Tom. You then follow her as she moves physically from a shared flat to eventually back home with her grandparents and as she moves psychologically from a mindset full of self-sabotage (mainly of the horrifying casual sex variety) to admitting she needs some mental help and coming to terms with the upbringing that helped propel her poor decision making.I loved Queenie – despite all of her flaws. She was a little Bridget Jones . . . “I like your hair. It’s really long,” “Thanks. I bought it myself.” And since I have not yet read Americanah, I’d say another fair comparison might be a little Eleanor Oliphant . . . . “The last time you came in here, you had vaginal bruising, some anal tearing, and bruises on your bottom and thighs.”“Ahhhh, but at least I had my pride.” Maybe I’m a wrongreader once again, but I think if people can get past the dark backstory and the graphic descriptions regarding Queenie’s bad choices, you’ll find she’s a character a lot of young women could relate to. If nothing else, we could all stand to learn that . . . . “You’re better than you think.”
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    5 shiny, rebellious, beautiful stars! As soon as I started this book, I thought I was having a light reading. Because the book is advertised as modern version of Bridget Jones. But after a few pages later, I realized this is deeper, more heart wrenching, darker and twisted story of a young woman who is looking for a tree branch to not fall down from a cliff! Queenie has really a bad year but it’s not about her broken heart after her breakup or time out with her longtime boyfriend Tom. This is su 5 shiny, rebellious, beautiful stars! As soon as I started this book, I thought I was having a light reading. Because the book is advertised as modern version of Bridget Jones. But after a few pages later, I realized this is deeper, more heart wrenching, darker and twisted story of a young woman who is looking for a tree branch to not fall down from a cliff! Queenie has really a bad year but it’s not about her broken heart after her breakup or time out with her longtime boyfriend Tom. This is such a beginning of domino falling! After her breakup, she realizes that she just blocks everything about her past and as seems like she has a job she’s been dreaming for so long and boyfriend who’s ready for longtime commitment do not bring her happiness. But the breakup is the first wake up call which pushes her make so many wrong decisions about meaningless one night stands. Then she loses one of her best friends’ trust( it isn’t her fault actually, only wrong things about the situation are choosing wrong besties and wrong f*ckbuddies), she gets rejected by all three men she’s hooked up, she loses her job. Finally she understands that she was already lost from the beginning. She doesn’t feel like she belongs to someone or somewhere. She never thinks she deserves to be loved or she deserves good things in life. Now when she sees her own rock bottom, it’s time to discover her strengths and weaknesses, learn how to love and forgive herself and achieve to face her past demons! This book is not only a typical love life story of a Jamaican English woman’s in mid-twenties. It’s about discovery of your own potential, learning what you want from the life, respecting yourself! It’s about friendship! It’s about forgiveness! It’s about family! Sometimes you hate Queenie, sometimes you feel sorry for her but mostly you understand her ! She’s flawed, she’s broken, she’s confused but she’s strong enough to find her way and embrace her loved ones tightly to not fall from a cliff, again! I really enjoyed her story and this is a great debut ! I love to read the upcoming book of this writer!
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  • BookOfCinz
    January 1, 1970
    I could not wait to get my hands on a copy of Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams mainly because the main character is a Jamaican. I was also drawn to this book because it is being dubbed as “Bridget Jones meets Americanah” and while I see why that is the case, in some (most) instances I don’t- we will get to that soon.We meet Queenie Jenkins a 25-year-old living in London who is from Jamaica. Queenie’s had a lot going for her, especially for a millennial living in one of the most expensive citie I could not wait to get my hands on a copy of Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams mainly because the main character is a Jamaican. I was also drawn to this book because it is being dubbed as “Bridget Jones meets Americanah” and while I see why that is the case, in some (most) instances I don’t- we will get to that soon.We meet Queenie Jenkins a 25-year-old living in London who is from Jamaica. Queenie’s had a lot going for her, especially for a millennial living in one of the most expensive cities in the world. She works at national newspaper, a job she actually likes, she lives with her long-time white boyfriend and still manages to have a solid group of friends around her. Things begin to fall apart and fast, for Queenie when Tom, her long-term boyfriend tells her they need to go on a break… a long one. We see our main character begin to spiral in more ways than one, she messes up constantly at work, her personal relationships are falling apart and her toxic behaviour starts taking a mental toll on herself and those around her.I have a lot of things I want to say, so I will break them up into two parts- what worked and what didn’t work for me.What Worked:The whatsapp group chat with the friends I found worked really well in how it moved the plot along and got us to know more about Queenie and her friends. I think this was my favorite part of the book if I am being honest. I love how real those chat felt, how hilarious they were at times and as a millennial, that part of the book really resonated with me.I particularly loved two themes that the author discussed one being mental health and how it is viewed in a Caribbean and Black community setting. I felt it was addressed in a very real way.  Being from the Caribbean, we can still be very archaic in how we address mental health and those who decide to go to therapy for help are sometimes shunned or seen as bringing embarrassment to the family. The author did an amazing job of addressing this issue. I also liked that the author explored how black women’s bodies are often fetishized. This is a topic I don’t read a lot about and how we were able to experience that through Queenie felt very real and often times infuriating. What Didn’t WorkWhile I liked that the author tried explored racial tensions and discrimination, I felt like it wasn't deep enough. Maybe I am nit-picking because how deep can one go when the main character’s life is falling apart and she is engaging in self-destructive behaviour. However, the race theme felt very “by the way” because this is current and it would be good to add to the discussion.  This also applies to Queenie’s heritage, I hoped to read more about how her Jamaican heritage impacted her overall. Aside from her Grandparents and Aunty that were Jamaican it wasn’t addressed much.I feel the comparison to Bridget Jones Diary is a long stretch. The only thing Queenie and Bridget have in common is that they live in London and are bad at love. The writing at times did lend to a Bridget Jones-esq feel but that’s where the comparison ends. Queenie is a way more complex character and while the book started out very shallow, things got deeper in the end.Overall this book will be open to a lot of reader interpretation. I do see a lot of people either loving it or being underwhelmed- it is too hard to not like a character like Queenie. I am here for Williams’ next book because I did enjoy reading this book. Queenie will be available for purchase in March 2019. Thanks Orion Publishers for this ARC. Full review is on blog- http://bookofcinz.com/queenie-by-cand...
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  • Amaka
    January 1, 1970
    *Here's to hoping this book will turn into a movie*Queenie takes us on an emotional rollercoaster; we begin with a breakup from her long-term boyfriend Tom. Though it's clear that Tom wants to take the breakup seriously, Queenie sees it as a temporary break and gives him space but not too much, just in case he wants to reconcile sooner. Their break propels the story forward as Queenie faces challenges including microagressions at work, conflicts within her quirky friend group (she was bold for t *Here's to hoping this book will turn into a movie*Queenie takes us on an emotional rollercoaster; we begin with a breakup from her long-term boyfriend Tom. Though it's clear that Tom wants to take the breakup seriously, Queenie sees it as a temporary break and gives him space but not too much, just in case he wants to reconcile sooner. Their break propels the story forward as Queenie faces challenges including microagressions at work, conflicts within her quirky friend group (she was bold for throwing her friends into a group chat being that they barely knew one another lol), sketchy men and a tumultuous relationship with her family; sometimes beyond her control. I can't praise this story enough. Queenie is hilarious, complex, raw and eyeopening all in the same breath. It was hard to back away from the characters and carry on with my daily activities. The character development was so honest and brutally realistic.
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  • Amy Imogene Reads
    January 1, 1970
    1 starA book about sexual abuse, invalidating the female experience, and insistent on presenting racial stereotypes is not a positive narrative.I honestly don't do a lot of 1 star reviews. Normally, if the book is that bad or I can't finish it, I just consider it a DNF, don't rate it, and move on - there are too many good books out there to waste my time on a bad one. But I felt a duty to finish Queenie, as it was lauded as such a sensational book for diverse female representation, and I felt li 1 starA book about sexual abuse, invalidating the female experience, and insistent on presenting racial stereotypes is not a positive narrative.I honestly don't do a lot of 1 star reviews. Normally, if the book is that bad or I can't finish it, I just consider it a DNF, don't rate it, and move on - there are too many good books out there to waste my time on a bad one. But I felt a duty to finish Queenie, as it was lauded as such a sensational book for diverse female representation, and I felt like I shouldn't be reviewing a book like this one negatively as I am white, not black, and do not have a similar background to the main character. So I pushed on, hoping to salvage something and bring up my internal rating.I had to DNF at 70%. Queenie could have been a much-needed book, but instead it became a fetishized, overly sexual book that invalidated the female experience and was just uncomfortable to read. It had no positive takeaways.However, as I am not full qualified to respond to some of the aspects of this review due to my background, I've linked a truly insightful review from Jazmen. You can view it here: https://www.goodreads.com">ht... Let's bring women up, instead of bringing them down.
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  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    Such a relevant book for the millennial era! Queenie, our main character, goes through so many relatable experiences: struggling to find an affordable place to live in a gentrified city, partaking in mediocre to outright awful dates with men, and texting her best friend squad when life goes awry. I loved how Candice Carty-Williams centers the black female experience in Queenie, by showing how Queenie encounters racism in the form of people touching her hair without her consent and her white fema Such a relevant book for the millennial era! Queenie, our main character, goes through so many relatable experiences: struggling to find an affordable place to live in a gentrified city, partaking in mediocre to outright awful dates with men, and texting her best friend squad when life goes awry. I loved how Candice Carty-Williams centers the black female experience in Queenie, by showing how Queenie encounters racism in the form of people touching her hair without her consent and her white female boss tone-policing her, the internalized stigma her family has toward therapy, all of the microaggressions her romantic interests perpetrated, and much more. In an interview Carty-Williams writes about how part of what inspired this book included how she struggled to see herself represented in books, and I commend her for fighting to put forth Queenie into the world given the overwhelmingly white composition of the publishing industry and books published today.What resonated the most for me in this novel: Queenie’s struggle with mental health. The way Carty-Williams wrote her mental breakdown and the early stages of her therapy felt so realistic, both based on my experience as someone who has worked through my own PTSD and as someone who now provides therapy. Black women are often expected to be strong and resilient, and while Queenie does embody those traits, she also gets anxious and makes impulsive, self-destructive decisions and takes more than an optimal amount of time to say bye to trash male romantic interests, potential or otherwise. Carty-Williams affords Queenie the space to mess up and be human while also showing her gradual yet significant path to recovery.Definitely recommended for those who enjoy realistic fiction. While I wanted some aspects of the book to go a little deeper – like more commentary or self-awareness on Queenie’s part about her consistent dating of white men even when they are mediocre and/or racist over and over again and her disinterest in dating black men – I commend Carty-Williams for taking on so many nuanced topics without letting Queenie get lost in the shuffle. I’m excited to discuss this one at my local book club!
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  • Rincey
    January 1, 1970
    This book is being pitches as Bridget Jones Diary meets Americanah, but it feels more like Bridget Jones Diary meets Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine with a black lead. I had really conflicted feelings the entire time while reading this book, but I will say that it completely sucked me in and I found it completely compelling, even though I basically spent the entire book wanting to yell at Queenie.
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  • Jessica Jeffers
    January 1, 1970
    This book surprised the shit out of me, because the marketing copy led me to believe I was getting something other than what it turned out to be. I even wrote a blurb when I was halfway through this one, thinking that it would be perfect for readers of rom-coms like The Wedding Date.The marketing copy pitches this as a cross of Bridget Jones and Americanah because it features a quirky, unlucky-in-love black woman who wants to be a journalist covering the Black Lives Matter movement from her Brit This book surprised the shit out of me, because the marketing copy led me to believe I was getting something other than what it turned out to be. I even wrote a blurb when I was halfway through this one, thinking that it would be perfect for readers of rom-coms like The Wedding Date.The marketing copy pitches this as a cross of Bridget Jones and Americanah because it features a quirky, unlucky-in-love black woman who wants to be a journalist covering the Black Lives Matter movement from her British/Jamaican perspective while hilariously having bad luck with men. (side note: my husband thought I meant Americana, as in the musical genre, and was massively and hilariously confused when I tried to describe how it wasn't like that at all.)But, no, that's not really what this book was in the end. What it was was actually so much better than that. It's about Queenie, a black woman in London who, yes, is unlucky in love and wants to advance her journalism career by covering the Black Lives Matter movement. But it's ultimately about Queenie's journey of self-discovery as a woman outside of her identity as an object of men's attention. It's wildly empowering in a thoroughly unexpected way. When we first meet Queenie, she and her long-time boyfriend Tom are agreeing to try going on a break. He wants it more than she does, so she continues to reach out to him occasionally and is hurt when it's consistently met by radio silence. Despite the fact that she desperately wants to get back together, she responds to this rejection by sleeping with as many inappropriate men as she can find, no matter how terrible this makes her feel. the resulting lack of self-esteem bleeds over into other facets of her life, affecting her performance at work and her friendships (with a group she affectionately calls the Corgis because she is Queenie—a detail I frickin adored). Yes, this does sound like the set-up of a stereotypical haphazard romantic comedy in the vein of Bridget Jones, but the thing about this book is, without getting too spoilery, that Queenie begins to recognize how problematic her behavior is and she fucking does something about it. When is the last time you read that in a book that gets marketed as "chick lit"? Queenie is a phenomenal character because her journey feels so real. Her emotional baggage is not only relatable, but it's ultimately fleshed out in a way that feels authentic and not forced. While her personal growth feels a bit rushed at times, given how deep her pain goes, it's done in a way that is brutally honest. There's no sugar-coating here: Queenie has to acknowledge less-than-flattering aspects of herself and figure out how to deal with them. There are some aspects of Queenie's life that felt a bit glossed over—the roommates that she moves in with are barely acknowledged and the extent of her problematic sexual exploits is covered in a few sentences that sort of minimize their magnitude—but I was able to forgive that one quibble because of how much I appreciated the frankness with which Candice Carty-Williams explored the hard work of battling mental health struggles. She doesn't just use depression or anxiety as a catch-all term to show that Queenie has some minor problems—she lays out exactly how Queenie experiences the real symptoms of these issues, how they're rooted in her family history, and the real techniques she learns to combat them. And at the same time, the book doesn't feel too touchy-feely or didactic. The tone stays relatively light-hearted; Queenie's relationship with the Corgis is admirable and often hilarious. The book recognizes when Queenie's behavior is problematic even when she doesn't, but it treats her with empathy and understanding. Which is, honestly, something that we could all stand to learn to do a little better. A great read, highly recommended. Just don't go in expecting it to be "the black Bridget Jones" like the publishers seem to want you to do,
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  • Emer (A Little Haze)
    January 1, 1970
    WowThis book basically ripped my heart out and served it to me on a platter. Oh the feels...Authentic, visceral, honest, painful, hilarious... Simply genius. I urge everyone to pick up this book and fall in love with a character as brilliant as Queenie.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    Well this was an utterly brilliant novel, both heartbreaking and funny all wrapped up in the complex life of a twenty-something woman living in London with her Jamaican grandparents. This was so much more compelling and complicated than I thought it would be, and that’s all because of Queenie. She’s instantly relatable. She’s falling apart, with her life spiralling out of control, going from one casual encounter to another just to feel affection, and I felt every rejection and hurtful comment. S Well this was an utterly brilliant novel, both heartbreaking and funny all wrapped up in the complex life of a twenty-something woman living in London with her Jamaican grandparents. This was so much more compelling and complicated than I thought it would be, and that’s all because of Queenie. She’s instantly relatable. She’s falling apart, with her life spiralling out of control, going from one casual encounter to another just to feel affection, and I felt every rejection and hurtful comment. She’s essentially me at 26, trying to be an adult and juggle work, an awful relationship and friends - and failing miserably at all of them. Except she’s of the digital age where Tinder makes creeps that bit more accessible for a vulnerable woman like Queenie. I don’t think I can express enough just how utterly heartbreaking and likeable a character she is. She’s socially awkward, and makes so many mistakes, and this just makes her so human. A lot of heart has clearly gone into making her this fallible, and it shines through. Reading about her experiences as a black woman, and the casual racism she regularly encounters, also added to my anger for her. White privilege is prevalent throughout, not least from Tom and his family, and it opened my eyes to what it is to be a black woman in the modern age of BlackLivesMatter. Queenie IS enough, but the world just sometimes regularly fails to see it, perpetuating her internal struggles about worthlessness. The story is also rather excellent. At the start of the novel we find Queenie on ‘a break’ from boyfriend Tom, and broken hearted. She can’t quite understand what’s gone wrong, and why he’s no longer talking to her, so she consoles herself by picking up awful men for casual sex, resulting in many trips to the sexual health clinic. Throughout she’s offloading all her stories to the ‘Corgis’, her group of girl friends and trying to deal with the fractious relationship she has with her mother and the associated traumas of her past, with flashbacks of her time with Tom. At times this really delves deep into some serious mental health issues, as Queenie quickly unravels and her behaviour becomes more and more erratic. It’s no light and fluffy read, and the topics are handled with care and compassion. The only reason it’s not 5 stars? It took me a few chapters to warm to Queenie, and her initial spiky personality. She’s not any easy person to love, but her actions often speak louder than her words. Honestly, I cannot recommend this enough. Queenie is the heroine I didn’t know I was looking for. Incredibly brave, dramatic and compelling story telling with a fresh and honest voice.
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  • Read In Colour
    January 1, 1970
    More like a 2 1/2 but I couldn’t bring myself to round it up to a 3. Good premise but it falls short.
  • Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
    January 1, 1970
    In Candice Carty-Williams' debut, Queenie, she explores the life of a young black British Jamaican woman. The eponymous novel's main character faces choices where we see immediate consequences. What can I say about this book? Every word hit home, even though I'm from a Generation Xer and the main character is clearly a younger millennial. I found common ground with a woman with issues, not unlike those I experienced in my younger years. While she lives in London (My favorite international city, In Candice Carty-Williams' debut, Queenie, she explores the life of a young black British Jamaican woman. The eponymous novel's main character faces choices where we see immediate consequences. What can I say about this book? Every word hit home, even though I'm from a Generation Xer and the main character is clearly a younger millennial. I found common ground with a woman with issues, not unlike those I experienced in my younger years. While she lives in London (My favorite international city, by the way), her life could easily transport itself to New York or Los Angeles. However, I wish to make my stance clear. One must not be a black woman to appreciate the slice of life Carty-Williams writes. One simply must be open-minded enough to see another woman's journey whose differences spices what would be seen as average to some readers. She's dancing between two cultures (British and Jamaican with a strong American influence) while not neatly conforming or fitting into either of them. She's employed at a newspaper and appears to do everything right, according to her elders, but is she normal? What counts as normalcy, and do we want her to live it?Consider the pros and cons I discovered below as I read this book. Pros :1. Discussion of the Strong Black Woman Trope . Queenie's trying to keep it together for her friends and family, but realizes that something's got to give. The trope hurts her and she knows it. Therapy plays a role in her life, even if family members don't approve, due to perceived cultural rejection of the practice.2. Hair and Body Positivity . Queenie's curvy and she accepts it. She refuses to lose weight, despite her family's and associates' objections. Also, she loves her natural hair and discusses care and treatment without feeling the need to shoulder society's rejection.3. An Overall Good Friendship Circle . With the exception of one "friend", Queenie has girlfriends she can trust. They reciprocate love and support whenever she needs it as well as how much she gives them.4. A Good Family Network . Okay, while at times her grandmother and aunt can say things that would lead readers to cringe, they demonstrate that, despite problematic moments, she can rely on them to help.5. Mental and Physical Health . Queenie faces these issues as the book progresses and they're discussed realistically, especially as a black woman.6. The Lives of Black Women . The book does not refrain from presenting what black women encounter often daily. From being seeing as sex objects to not attaining respect at work, Carty-Williams explores these notions with fluidity, openness, and respect.7. Cultural Connectivity . What does it mean to be a black woman? Jamaican? How does Gentrification threaten both? I love seeing these topics mentioned with honesty.Real Struggles Milennials Face. Nothing's sugarcoated or censured. From hunger to being broke to high rent, Carty-Williams lays out issues facing Millennials everywhere. Cons: 1. Carty-Williams' usage of black American slang jarred me a bit. Queenie's British Jamaican, not American. So, would she really use so much black American slang? I get the global desire to use cultural aspects of black Americans, but someone living in London, I expected more slang native to her location.2. Windrush is a bit deal in London. It received a blip of a mention. Considering the author's and Queenie's heritage, I expected more discussion alongside Black Lives Matter (still an American phenomenon). The MC spoke much of losing her heritage to gentrification, but she only mentioned Windrush as a square and ship, not the movement and anti-immigration stance taken. Odd.Despite those two cons, Queenie deserves a read and I highly recommend this 'coming of age' story about a young black woman in London trying to find her way via mistakes and revelations. She requires patience because the choices offered and decided upon require the same. Grant this character the same grace as you would characters with far less on their plate.★★★★/★★★★★
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  • Tava | tavalava
    January 1, 1970
    Queenie is a young black woman whose childhood traumas play out in her adult relationships. This books is being compared to Bridget Jones’s Diary, and honestly that’s a terrible comparison. The book touches on themes of blackness and black identity, the fetishization of black women's bodies, mental health and more specifically mental health within the Black community. I would liken this book to a slice of life novel. You find out more about Queenie in the latter part of the book when she is seek Queenie is a young black woman whose childhood traumas play out in her adult relationships. This books is being compared to Bridget Jones’s Diary, and honestly that’s a terrible comparison. The book touches on themes of blackness and black identity, the fetishization of black women's bodies, mental health and more specifically mental health within the Black community. I would liken this book to a slice of life novel. You find out more about Queenie in the latter part of the book when she is seeking therapy. Otherwise, the character development is pretty minimal. Some things occur in the book, that honestly make no sense and could have been excluded. This book is a 4 star book for me primarily because of the importance of the themes. As a black woman I was able to really relate to some of the dialogues and mental anguish that Queenie grapples with. Her struggles with on,one dating as a black woman are spot on. This is definitely an “Own Voices” read. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC for me to read and review.
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  • Brown Girl Reading
    January 1, 1970
    Queenie is the newest debut sensation coming out of the UK by Candace Carte-Williams. Sadly it was not my cup of tea for a few reasons. Firstly the good things about the book are the writing, especially the natural dialogue, and the fact that Queenie does get that mental health care that she so desperately needs. However as a whole this book is based on too many black women stereotypes. I really feel the author should have toned that down. I'm also not enjoying that this book is being pitched as Queenie is the newest debut sensation coming out of the UK by Candace Carte-Williams. Sadly it was not my cup of tea for a few reasons. Firstly the good things about the book are the writing, especially the natural dialogue, and the fact that Queenie does get that mental health care that she so desperately needs. However as a whole this book is based on too many black women stereotypes. I really feel the author should have toned that down. I'm also not enjoying that this book is being pitched as the black Bridget Jones Diary. These two books aren't alike at all. Queen was not a comedy for me. I feel like it's an exploration of how a black woman watching abuse as a child and being abused affect her choices of men later on. The book's concentration on Queenie's promiscuous lifestyle, at times was hard to read and certainly was not funny. I would even say it could be triggering to some readers. Since the book is being pitched as humorous in the UK I had to ask myself who the target audience is supposed to be. The author doesn't seem to disagree with that pitch because I haven't seen her say the contrary. I also feel the cover was another way to attract black women to want to read Queen, although knowing what's in between the covers, I believe many black women would pass on it. I don't recommend it.
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  • Jessica Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    Honest truth: this book stressed me the f*ck out, but it was worth it.At first I was thinking, You know, BRIDGET JONES is a pretty good comp, they're both smart and funny yet make terrible decisions with men. But there's a very big difference between Queenie and Bridget. Queenie lives in the real world. In the real world you don't just make hilariously terrible decisions for no reason, especially when you're a smart and capable person. In the real world you can spin out. In the real world your h Honest truth: this book stressed me the f*ck out, but it was worth it.At first I was thinking, You know, BRIDGET JONES is a pretty good comp, they're both smart and funny yet make terrible decisions with men. But there's a very big difference between Queenie and Bridget. Queenie lives in the real world. In the real world you don't just make hilariously terrible decisions for no reason, especially when you're a smart and capable person. In the real world you can spin out. In the real world your hurts and traumas and wounds can all resurface at the worst possible time to send you into a self-destructive spiral. It may look like hilariously bad decisions at first, but it quickly becomes something more serious.Remember when we were all terrified by the story "Cat Person" because it was too real? QUEENIE is often like that. If you have ever been in a spiral, if you've ever gone through a self-destructive phase, if you ever couldn't get yourself to make the right decision even though you know it was the right decision, a lot of what Queenie goes through will ring true to you. It doesn't make it any easier. That's why I was so stressed. I cared about Queenie so much and I wanted so desperately for her to just be okay, to just make better choices, to just feel better. But life doesn't work that way. It's a long road and Carty-Williams isn't going to let us suddenly find a happy-ever-after. And it's an even longer road when you're Black, and even longer still when you come from an immigrant family that won't accept mental illness as a real thing that needs treatment. Sometimes you will want to shake Queenie. Queenie is perhaps the most accurate in-her-20's protagonist I've read in a long time. She pouts and overreacts like someone who was a teenager not all that long ago. She wants to have more responsibility at her job but spends more time talking to her friends than working. She uses a group text for validation and support, but is careful to present a version of events that isn't always totally honest. She is overly invested in men who have done nothing to deserve even a moment's attention. So yeah. Maybe a bit too relateable. I did the audiobook, which doesn't make it any easier to handle your frustrations with Queenie, but you do get to enjoy the great narration of Shvorne Marks, who does a wide variety of British and Jamaican accents with ease. She brings a lot of heart to Queenie.There is no out-and-out sexual assault storyline here, but there is a lot of sex that Queenie does not want but also doesn't say no to, some of it described in detail. There are also a lot (A LOT) of racial microaggressions. Keep in mind if those are delicate issues for you.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    What a terrific book and main character. And cast of characters! Very smoothly written and easy to sink into. Audio performance was also terrific; I enjoyed it more and more as it went on. This is why I read: For the experience. To experience another country, another culture, to slip out of my shoes and into someone else's for awhile. To laugh, to cry, to totally lose myself. This is why we do this. I can't believe this is the author's first book! She is already one of my favorite authors, and I What a terrific book and main character. And cast of characters! Very smoothly written and easy to sink into. Audio performance was also terrific; I enjoyed it more and more as it went on. This is why I read: For the experience. To experience another country, another culture, to slip out of my shoes and into someone else's for awhile. To laugh, to cry, to totally lose myself. This is why we do this. I can't believe this is the author's first book! She is already one of my favorite authors, and I hope she never stops writing. She makes it look effortless. This is a very realistic look at self-esteem, particularly for young women, and for women of color, but I believe for all women. We can all identify with some of the behaviors Queenie takes up in the hope of getting past a situation wherein her live-in boyfriend wants to take a break. It is not always easy to read, but it is an immersive read and feels 100% true to life. And I just want to add that even though I wouldn't call this a Black Lives Matter book, it contains the best explanation of the BLM movement I've seen, esp if you are a white person. I just love all of the characters in this and the writing style, which was very easy to sink into and lose myself in. I thought about giving this 4.5 stars because there was a little too much explicit sex for me, but because of the last 2-3 sentences, which immediately made me cry, I bumped it to five. And considering what is going on here, showing sex the way she did was integral to the book and to the experience Queenie was having. We don't fully understand her without seeing it. I can't wait for Ms Carty-Williams's next book!
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 starsMy enthusiasm for Queenie grew as I was reading. Queenie is 26 years old, living in London, of Jamaican background and her life is one hot mess. She and her boyfriend Tom are on a halt — or so she thinks. In the aftermath of the breakup, she has extraordinarily bad judgment when it comes to having sex with nasty men. Not to mention that work is going badly, her living arrangement sucks, and her family life is complicated. Thank goodness for strong female friendships and the almost unco 3.75 starsMy enthusiasm for Queenie grew as I was reading. Queenie is 26 years old, living in London, of Jamaican background and her life is one hot mess. She and her boyfriend Tom are on a halt — or so she thinks. In the aftermath of the breakup, she has extraordinarily bad judgment when it comes to having sex with nasty men. Not to mention that work is going badly, her living arrangement sucks, and her family life is complicated. Thank goodness for strong female friendships and the almost unconditional love of grandparents. At first, Queenie seemed like a light read — a la Sophie Kinsella. But it grew more complicated, and my attachment to and empathy for Queenie grew too. We see Queenie’s life spiral out of control, and then we see her slowly putting herself back together — with help from friends and family. There’s a fair bit of humour, but I must admit that that I was quite teary more than a few times. Queenie reminded me of that friend we all have who’s self-destructive life choices are exasperating, but who is nevertheless endearing — and who might be more complicated than apparent on the surface. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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  • Umut Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    I'm afraid it was just not for me. Queenie is just too frustrating. I do appreciate what the writer tried to do linking this story with the Black Lives Matter movement. However, in my opinion it was not a good example, and I didn't like how she did it. First of all, the book was a story of Queenie getting over a break up. The boyfriend is white, and he had a racist family who didn't treat Queenie in the right way. I think the story breaks there for me at the beginning. She was making the worst d I'm afraid it was just not for me. Queenie is just too frustrating. I do appreciate what the writer tried to do linking this story with the Black Lives Matter movement. However, in my opinion it was not a good example, and I didn't like how she did it. First of all, the book was a story of Queenie getting over a break up. The boyfriend is white, and he had a racist family who didn't treat Queenie in the right way. I think the story breaks there for me at the beginning. She was making the worst decisions ever, quite frustrating. I am a huge believer of self value and no matter who you are, you have the control of your life. Then the writer linked this to mental health, which was shown as the reason of why Queenie was acting like this. But, there's not a good structure and satisfying development leading into this. It feels like someone is telling me to accept it as it is without any proper build up. And because I couldn't see this organic development, I couldn't justify it in my head. So, all this situation made Queenie just an unlikeable character. It was just too negative, too in your face, too vulgar. How many times it's mentioned in the book, who is black, who is white, almost all the stereotypes given to Queenie. The details just made me feel very disturbed with an unpleasant experience. I do read a lot of diversity books, and there are ones done in a much more subtle and elegant way. I As I said, this was not my cup of tea.
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  • Obsidian
    January 1, 1970
    So here's the thing. Some people are not going to like this book. They are going to be upset by how Queenie conducts herself and how messy (she was super messy) her life was and how it's not a good look for a black character. I would argue that is wrong. I don't mind messy books or characters. Those books feel more real to me. I like the underlying message this book had about mental health and how our pasts don't have to dictate our future. I also would love to see a follow-up to Queenie. The en So here's the thing. Some people are not going to like this book. They are going to be upset by how Queenie conducts herself and how messy (she was super messy) her life was and how it's not a good look for a black character. I would argue that is wrong. I don't mind messy books or characters. Those books feel more real to me. I like the underlying message this book had about mental health and how our pasts don't have to dictate our future. I also would love to see a follow-up to Queenie. The ending sets things in a good place, but we know that there is still more work for her to do. "Queenie" follows 25 year old Queenie who is struggling with her life right now. Queenie has a sort of dead end job at a newspaper. Her long-time boyfriend of three years Tom wants a break. And Queenie's Jamaican family is not sympathetic to her heartbreak. Her friends are to a point, but everyone wants her to move on and get going. Instead Queenie flounders (badly) and finds herself in some raw/brutal situations with men all because she keeps thinking that sex is going to lead to love. Queenie doesn't know who she is without Tom and is going through the motions until they get back together. "Queenie" explores Jamaican heritage, mental health issues, sexual explicit situations, and black lives matters. I saw myself in this character a lot. It brought back the stupid things I did in my 20s all for trying to be with someone who wasn't worth the effort I was going through. Like Queenie, I dated (or used to date) white men and with that comes it's own sort of challenges, mainly racism. Because as I have already said here, sometimes certain people are a big R or a little r when it comes to racism.With Queenie and her ex Tom you see that Tom's family was a big old letter R and he was a little r. He thought he was a hip liberal ally and he was when his family wasn't being terrible to his long-time girlfriend. And I thought that Queenie was right on for calling out Tom for the BS that was going on, and I hated that she was berating herself for actually saying something about it. I also cringed at times though because Queenie didn't slow down at times to think through what she was saying or actions she was going to take in different situations in this book. I thought it was smart that Cart-Williams showed instances of Tom and Queenie's relationship juxtaposed against what Queenie was up to in the present day. She definitely was looking at things with rose-colored glasses. I also liked that we slowly got information on Queenie and why she was partially estranged from her mother and why she avoided black men. My heart hurt for her and I got it, and sighed. I also get why that piece offended some readers. The development of the secondary characters like Darcy, Cassandra, and my girl Kyazike was great. I also loved her grandparents, her aunt, and her cousin Diana. Everyone felt so real to me while I was reading. We also get a variety of men that Queenie gets involved with and I seriously disliked and in one case loathed them. In all of these "relationships" Queenie is just trying to take any scrap of love she can, it ends up being very hard to read because Queenie just can't get anything together. I thought that the writing was engaging. It's very raw and open. I felt myself cringing at times due to the situations that Queenie gets into. I wanted to yell stop, you are worth more than this, but she just kept doing things over and over again. I seriously wanted to tell her that Tom wasn't worth anything at all and the other men she gets involved with were terrible too. The flow was great and though I wanted to stop a few times, I was glad I continued.The setting of a London where there are different ways of lives for those who are "British" and other was eye-opening. Queenie talks about black lives matter and wanting to do more stories or attempt to do stories on that, but she honestly is so scared of her own blackness I wanted to pat her on the head and tell her to go sit down. She sees things at a superficial level I thought at times, however, I realized that Queenie just wants anyone to see that being separate/different from white is hard and that it comes with its own challenges. I think that Tom shutting her up about his family's racism is what makes her latch onto the movement so much because she felt unworthy to be in their presence after what they said and did to her. The ending leaves things in a new place for Queenie. A healthier and stronger place.
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