Such a Fun Age
A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

Such a Fun Age Details

TitleSuch a Fun Age
Author
ReleaseDec 31st, 2019
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN-139780525541905
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Adult

Such a Fun Age Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. The writing in this book is so light and breezy and easy to read that it can take a while to appreciate the depths the author takes us to in Such a Fun Age. Combine the compelling writing with a cute font on the cover and this book is seriously deceiving. You know, this book reminded me of some of the criticisms others and myself had about The Help. I feel like I have to be careful here because even now, ten years later, there are people who love that book so much that they kiss it before Wow. The writing in this book is so light and breezy and easy to read that it can take a while to appreciate the depths the author takes us to in Such a Fun Age. Combine the compelling writing with a cute font on the cover and this book is seriously deceiving. You know, this book reminded me of some of the criticisms others and myself had about The Help. I feel like I have to be careful here because even now, ten years later, there are people who love that book so much that they kiss it before they go to bed each night. But The Help honestly seemed to me like a way for white folks to make themselves feel better about the way they behaved during Jim Crow segregation. Total white lady saviour vibe.This book is like what would have happened if Abilene had called Skeeter out and told her to go be a hero somewhere else. Of course, Such a Fun Age is set in 2015 and not the 1960s so the circumstances are different but, alarmingly, not that different.Such a Fun Age is about two women-- Emira Tucker and Alix Chamberlain. Emira is a young black babysitter for the Chamberlains' eldest daughter, Briar, and is currently juggling two jobs as she struggles to pay rent, keep her healthcare, and figure out what she wants to do with her life. Alix Chamberlain is a wealthy white blogger and minor social media celebrity who battles doubts and insecurities, all while on the surface maintaining a facade that she has everything she ever wanted.When Emira is stopped by a security guard at a fancy grocery store and accused of kidnapping Briar, everything changes. The moment is caught on camera and, though Emira is determined to forget all about it, both Alix and the bystander who filmed it want to make things right and get justice for Emira. It's a very engaging contemporary novel with a lot of nuance. Though it is clearly a critique of "white saviours", Reid is careful not to let the characters fall into one-dimensional stereotypes. She uses these fully-fleshed out characters to explore the way well-meaning white people often overstep and actually make black people's lives harder. "Protecting" and "helping" as a means of control is nothing new, but the author really shines a light on the way white liberals use these words to take over situations and narratives.Plus it's also just a really great story about two very different women, all their quirks and habits, and what happens when their lives intersect.The only thing that was a little disappointing was the way it ended. (view spoiler)[Alix was such a complex, flawed and misguided character throughout, so it was a shame to see the ending destroy her characterization. Especially the flashback where she discovered the letter and decided to lie about it. I thought it was smarter, and truer, to paint her as someone who thought she was helping even when she was being selfish. It weakened the story's power when she was reduced to a scheming villain, in my opinion. (hide spoiler)]Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! Okay! I don’t know what I have to feel about this book. Did I like it? Mostly I did. But as soon as I finish, I felt like something missing. Maybe I didn’t like how the things ended for the characters and I wished alternate solutions for their stories. I enjoyed the writing and intercepted lives of two female protagonists, the development and progression, objective and genuine approach of racism, diversity, hypocritical attitudes of the people. At the end of the story I lost my love for Wow! Okay! I don’t know what I have to feel about this book. Did I like it? Mostly I did. But as soon as I finish, I felt like something missing. Maybe I didn’t like how the things ended for the characters and I wished alternate solutions for their stories. I enjoyed the writing and intercepted lives of two female protagonists, the development and progression, objective and genuine approach of racism, diversity, hypocritical attitudes of the people. At the end of the story I lost my love for Alixa and wanted to kick her ass so bad and shook Emira’s shoulders so hard to force her get a grip. I still stick with 3.5 stars and of course I will round them up to 4 because the story really got imprinted on my mind and I wanted to learn what’s gonna happen , how the interwoven relationship dynamics will change the characters’ lives and what kind of revelations will come out.So we have a privileged, wealthy, blogger Alixa Chamberlain, living her dream life but it’s still something missing about her. She’s insecure, not quite satisfied with her new appearance after having her new baby, questioning her life choices. Our other protagonist Emira Tucker, nanny ( correction: babysitter as Alixa calls he, making her wear a uniform, yes like younger version of Viola Davis from “Help” movie) of Alixa’s elder daughter Briar, trying so hard to make her ends meet by working at two jobs and pushing hard to pay her rent and keep her health insurance. One day, at eleven p.m. Alixa calls Emira urgently to take her daughter to the grocery store.(Awkward request alert! Of course nothing good will come out after strange demands) So Emira leaves her friends, still wearing her party clothes and a little tipsy to help her employers but surprisingly security guard at the grocery store interrogates her and gets suspicious that she kidnapped Briar. As soon as Alixa’s husband Peter arrives to the store, the problem solves and Emira wants to forget all of this humiliated misunderstanding even though somebody filmed everything to make things right and emailed the video to her. Then that somebody from the grocery store runs into Emira at the train: a good looking, tall, witty man named Kelley and they start to see each other. So as you may imagine even the one of the worst nights of her life helps her to meet with her new boyfriend. But well… this coincidental beginning and her humiliating experience will be the key of Pandora’s box and helps all hell breaks loose. It will affect both of Emira and Alixa’s lives.Alixa is selfish, insecure and a little immature character. Most of the book I loved her craziness, her passionate approach to Emira which makes her cross the line between protectiveness and obsessiveness. But at the end some big revelations about her made me lose my sympathy for the character and as some parts I found Emira, a little lost, aimless, confused. If she was younger than 25, I may understand how she lost the tracks of her own life or if there was any tragic background story tells that why she prefers only existing instead of finding her passion about life.Overall: I loved the pure, objective, riveting writing style and the author’s approach to the sensitive matters. I partly loved the characters and their relationship dynamics, the big revelations and the story’s direction after everything is getting out of control. Only thing I didn’t like the conclusions of characters’ stories. But this is still interesting, fast pacing and promising reading. I’m happy to start the year by finishing this reading. So yes it may be considered as a winner!
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  • Dorie - Cats&Books :)
    January 1, 1970
    ***NOW AVAILABLE*** **REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK**This is one of those books that’s hard to review because I think if read quickly it would come across as just a good story. Reading this more slowly it’s revealed that there is much more to this book than just entertainment. It highlights lots of racial issues, from two different points of view. Alix is a successful, married white woman and Emira an “undecided” African-American woman. Alix discovered her talents quite quickly and has a ***NOW AVAILABLE*** **REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK**This is one of those books that’s hard to review because I think if read quickly it would come across as just a good story. Reading this more slowly it’s revealed that there is much more to this book than just entertainment. It highlights lots of racial issues, from two different points of view. Alix is a successful, married white woman and Emira an “undecided” African-American woman. Alix discovered her talents quite quickly and has a thriving online business as well as lots of speaking engagements.She and her husband now have what seems to be “the good life”. She has one amazing, open hearted and apparently open mouthed (in jest here) little 3 year old daughter. She plays an important part in this novel, her name is Briar. She also has an infant daughter, about 6 months old whom she usually has with her when she works.Enter our other main character Emira, a 25 y/o African American, college educated young women who hasn’t figured out what she wants to do with her life. To some she would appear in need of a helping hand, mentorship or whatever. In truth, however, Emira isn’t overly upset about where she is in her life, she is giving herself permission to explore different ideas and career paths. These two women start out in the book as “boss” and “babysitter”, but Alix’s feelings for this young woman go much deeper and sometimes in a questionable way.Here’s a good little taste of what’s to come, the big “event” that changes the trajectory of the relationship between these two women. “So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.”Into this mix of emotions and presumptions between both Alix and Emira we add Kelley Copeland, the boy who “ruined Alix’s senior year in high school”. He presumably circulated a letter she had written. Lots of high school students descended on her home and swimming pool, one young man had his scholarship taken away because Alix called the police when the students wouldn't leave. Alix has never really gotten over Kelley and now he shows up in the most awkward position possible.Sometimes I think that racial relationships have gotten better in the last decade but then I read a book like this and it really makes me wonder, have we really made much progress understanding each other and our differences? Are we still trying to make everyone act like white people? I had never heard the term white “saviorism” before but it was an interesting topic to contemplate. In this book I felt that both women used each other in different ways, neither was guilt free in the outcome of their story.I can definitely recommend this book to everyone, it's a quick read with a big message!I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss. The novel is set to publish in January 2020.
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  • Chaima ✨ شيماء
    January 1, 1970
    thinking about the former senior books editor at Bustle who wrote a review for this book titled "Most Likely to Be a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick" before she got laid off....only for this book to be INDEED Witherspoon's book club’s first pick of the year lolI hope that lady is having a nice day.
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    Such a fab book! Kiley Reid’s debut was extremely readable, tremendously thought-provoking, and very hard to review. On the surface this was an engaging story about Emira, A 25-year-old African-American woman finding herself and her voice. But there really was so much more to it, it really was a story about privilege, race, and economic status. The story starts with Emira being accused of kidnapping when she is at the grocery store late at night with A little white girl. The truth of it was she Such a fab book! Kiley Reid’s debut was extremely readable, tremendously thought-provoking, and very hard to review. On the surface this was an engaging story about Emira, A 25-year-old African-American woman finding herself and her voice. But there really was so much more to it, it really was a story about privilege, race, and economic status. The story starts with Emira being accused of kidnapping when she is at the grocery store late at night with A little white girl. The truth of it was she was babysitting and doing a favor for the couple she works for and taking the little girl out of the house, because things were happening at home. I grew up in a biracial family so I do know what it’s like for people to assume things. Many times people did not believe my African-American brother was my brother, but if he were ever out with my white children and somebody accused him of kidnapping them, I would probably lose it. There was much more to the story there was Alix Emira’s boss. Alix lived a privileged life and had an obsessive need to bond with Emira. I have to say I found this really strange, disconcerting, and borderline stalkerish. Then there was love interest Kelly who ironically also had a past Thai to Alix. Still really don’t know what to think of him? There were many other characters in the story most of them having very strong opinions as to what Emira should do with her life. Then there was three-year-old Brier the little girl she babysat. Brier was so adorable, precocious, and loving. I love the relationship between Brier and Emira they were just so completely loving and accepting of one another. I have to say I found Emira a much more sympathetic character. The poor girl had so many people trying to tell her what she should be doing, even though she was perfectly fine with being a nanny. I just loved this book so much it was so brilliant in its subtlety so beautiful in its nuance.🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by Nicole Lewis. She really brought the perfect voice to this exceptional story.This book in emojis. 🧸 🖌 🖍 🥂 *** Big thanks to Putnam Books, Libro fm, and Penguin Audio for my gifted copy of this book 👯‍♀️
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  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    Emira Tucker, an African American woman, was going to turn 26 years old next week........soon to get booted off her parents’ health insurance. She’s known for a while that her babysitting job - ( for Alix and Peter Chamberlain- white upper class couple with two small daughters), wasn’t exactly sustainable- but she needed to figure out things on her own. Emira had a college degree...but she didn’t know what she wanted to do next. In the meantime - Emira’s part time babysitting job covered - ‘ ‘ Emira Tucker, an African American woman, was going to turn 26 years old next week........soon to get booted off her parents’ health insurance. She’s known for a while that her babysitting job - ( for Alix and Peter Chamberlain- white upper class couple with two small daughters), wasn’t exactly sustainable- but she needed to figure out things on her own. Emira had a college degree...but she didn’t know what she wanted to do next. In the meantime - Emira’s part time babysitting job covered - ‘ ‘barely’ - her monthly expenses. She also knew that it wasn’t her job to raise 3 year old Briar. But for 21 hours a week, Blair got to matter to someone. And that mattered to Emira.Blair & Emira were a unit!Emira’s nickname for Briar...was pickle. Their relationship was heartwarming. Briar was an inquisitive 3 year old....intelligent, odd and charming....and filled with humor. Emira knew she was good at her job and it was gratifying.Briar thought the world of Emira. And Emira loved the ease in which she could lose her self in the rhythm of childcare. Personally - I felt Emira was a valuable asset in Briar’s life...Alix was often busy working - with her baby-toddler-Catherine-in-toe. Alix loved her job-loved being a working mother. She loved both her daughters and her husband. Alix also loved Emira - the woman she paid to love chatty-adorable Briar. Peter was working full time in TV journalism.... and wasn’t around too much. Kelley Copeland, a white 32 year old male, was Emira’s new boyfriend. “Emira and Kelly talked about race very little because it always seemed like they were doing it already. When she really considered a life with him, a real life, a joint-bank-account-emergency-contact-both-names-on-the-lease life, Emira almost wanted to roll her eyes and ask, ‘Are we really gonna do this? How are you gonna tell your parents?’”“Who’s gonna teach their son that it doesn’t matter what his friends do, that he can’t stand too close to a white woman when he’s on the train or in an elevator? That he should slowly and noticeably put his keys on the roof as soon as he gets pulled over?” Is there such a thing of being the opposite of racist? Is it possible for a white person to like a black person too much?Alix Chamberlain, 33 years old, (who had a relationship with Kelly in High School and a ‘piercing damaging-to-others’, breakup...fifteen years ago), was saying....“Kelley is one of those white guys who not only goes out of his way to date black women but ‘only’ wants to date black women”.And....“How difficult is it to tell someone, ‘hey, your boyfriend likes you for the wrong reasons?’”One of Alix’s friends, Tamra, pitches in her point of view...She thinks Emira is very lost.I WASN’T SO SURE ABOUT THIS NEXT EXCERPT....but I thought about it along with many points of views examined in this TERRIFIC & REFRESHING debut...( while hiking this morning).... “Emira is twenty-five years old and she has no idea what she wants or how to get it. She doesn’t have the motivation to maintain a real career the way our girls will have, which is probably not her fault but it doesn’t make it less true. What I’m saying is...There are a lot of jerks like Kelley out there, but when they get hold of girls like Emira? Someone who’s still trying to figure herself out? That’s when I start to really worry. And the more I think about it, it makes a lot of sense she ended up with a guy like this. He’s looking to validate himself through someone else. She hasn’t caught on because she doesn’t know who she is”. OUCH? The storytelling, with the multi textured, well developed characters was fascinating, refreshing and thought-provoking.... with our own thoughts doing somersaults. Things were very complicated from the very start of this novel. FANTASTIC PULL-IN- opening scene. The complexities of the inner thoughts from each of the characters added authentic truth. Haven’t we all had thoughts we were not proud of? Do we beat ourselves up for our ugly thoughts - or just notice them and let them pass? ( ha, we’ve probably all done a little of both)...It would be so easy to judge - or point fingers at any one of our leading characters ( Emira, Alix, or Kelly) - or the supporting characters, too, for that matter....but in my opinion - this novel provided an opportunity to get bigger than finger pointing... instead it’s worth looking at the bigger issues at hand — and the humanity of the human condition. Each character’s inner voice was worth examining...and worth putting our own judgements aside to ‘really’ get each one of their points of view. TERRIFIC DEBUT, by Kiley Reid ( a new author to admire)Discussion-book-extravaganza!!!
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    This was a thought-provoking novel I didn’t want to put down.Emira is nearly 26, that crucial age when she’ll be dropped from her parents’ health insurance. While most of her friends have started making their own paths career-wise and life-wise, she works as a babysitter for the wealthy (and white) Chamberlain family. She knows she needs a better, more stable job but she really enjoys taking care of their young daughter, Briar.Late one night Emira gets a call from Mrs. Chamberlain. They had an This was a thought-provoking novel I didn’t want to put down.Emira is nearly 26, that crucial age when she’ll be dropped from her parents’ health insurance. While most of her friends have started making their own paths career-wise and life-wise, she works as a babysitter for the wealthy (and white) Chamberlain family. She knows she needs a better, more stable job but she really enjoys taking care of their young daughter, Briar.Late one night Emira gets a call from Mrs. Chamberlain. They had an incident at their house and she asked Emira if she could take Briar to the gourmet grocery store down the street until the hubbub dies down. Emira was at a party so she’s dressed a bit provocatively and she may have had a drink or two, but she agrees to help the Chamberlains.While at the grocery store, she is questioned by security who think she kidnapped Briar, since they're not of the same race. The incident escalates until she has to call the Chamberlains to verify she is, indeed, the babysitter. While someone videotaped the whole incident, Emira doesn’t want any part of the trouble that releasing the video could cause, even if she might benefit because she was clearly the victim of discrimination.After the incident, Alix Chamberlain becomes a little obsessed with making sure Emira feels comfortable in her job. Alix tries to build a sort of friendship with her babysitter, giving her gifts, offering her more hours, trying to serve as a combination mentor/big sister/best friend. Emira, who has begun dating a new man, wants to find a better job, but doesn’t want to leave Briar. And when a strange connection between Emira and Alix is discovered, it sets an odd chain of events in motion which will cause ripples in everyone's lives. Such a Fun Age is a fascinating look at issues of class, race, privilege, motherhood, struggling to find your own way, and relationships. These characters aren’t always likable, but I really enjoyed this book. I think it would be a great pick for book clubs (and I saw this morning that Reese Witherspoon just chose it as her latest book club pick) because it really would be a great source of discussion and conversation.Kiley Reid is tremendously talented, and this book feels really self-assured for a debut novel. Not a bad book to start 2020 with!!Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    On the surface this excellent debut novel from Kiley Reid is a fun account of a young woman finding her feet and standing up for herself but it cleverly goes much deeper than that to highlight issues around racism, feminism and privilege.Emira Tucker is a 25 year old college graduate who has no idea what she wants to do with her life. Her girlfriends are all forging ahead in their chosen careers but Emira is taking her time to find what she wants to do, although time is running out as she will On the surface this excellent debut novel from Kiley Reid is a fun account of a young woman finding her feet and standing up for herself but it cleverly goes much deeper than that to highlight issues around racism, feminism and privilege.Emira Tucker is a 25 year old college graduate who has no idea what she wants to do with her life. Her girlfriends are all forging ahead in their chosen careers but Emira is taking her time to find what she wants to do, although time is running out as she will need a job with health benefits once she can no longer be included on her parents insurance. In the meantime she is juggling two casual jobs, one with the Green Party and one babysitting a toddler called Briar three days/week. Briar's mother, Alix Chamberlain is a successful motivational speaker and blog writer, married to a journalist and TV anchor man. She's made a career out of teaching people how to write successful letters and resumes and is now planning to write a book. She's too tied up in new baby Catherine to have much time for Briar, an intelligent, ever curious child constantly asking questions. Fortunately Emira loves Briar and can give her all the love and attention she's missing out on, at least three days per week. Alix had never paid much attention to Emira until a late night incident in a grocery store where Emira is suspected of abducting Briar by a store guard (because why else would an African American girl not wearing a Nanny’s uniform be with a white baby?) and Emira is filmed on a bystander's phone standing up for herself. Alix suddenly becomes interested in Emira and decides to make her a pet project. However, when Emira accepts an invitation to attend Alix's Thanksgiving party with her boyfriend, their relationship suddenly becomes complicated when Alix is filled with horror at recognising Emira's boyfriend.This is a fun read but is also a very thoughtful novel cleverly highlighting what happens when we make assumptions about the life of a person of different ethnicity or economic status. I really love the characters in this novel - Alix who is sell centred and has no idea what it’s like to live Emira’s life but wants to mold her a vision of what she thinks it should be and Emira who is a little directionless at the moment but smart and knows what really matters in relationships. Briar is also a wonderful character – a precious, inquisitive little girl who Alix fails to appreciate, but who has a lovely, warm bond with Emira. I’ll certainly be looking out so see what Kiley Reid writes next! With thanks to Netgalley and Penguin/Putnam for a digital copy to read.
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    this book is smart and excellent in like twelve different ways. believe all hype.review to come.
  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    every time i see this title, i think to myself what age is "such fun"... like, there is no age that is fun. "toddlers - sucks because you can't do anything. you're a helpless blob of fatteenagers - sucks because you're a hormonal messyoung adults - sucks because you're a hormonal mess who has to deal with college and living on your ownnew adults - sucks because you are trying to survive being an adult (and 9 times out of 10, you're lonely)middle aged - sucks because you're constantly wondering every time i see this title, i think to myself what age is "such fun"... like, there is no age that is fun. "toddlers - sucks because you can't do anything. you're a helpless blob of fatteenagers - sucks because you're a hormonal messyoung adults - sucks because you're a hormonal mess who has to deal with college and living on your ownnew adults - sucks because you are trying to survive being an adult (and 9 times out of 10, you're lonely)middle aged - sucks because you're constantly wondering where your life has goneolder - sucks because you're body is dyingggggelder - sucks because you're losing your mind AND your body is dyinggggggdead - sucks because... do i even need to tell you why being dead sucks...| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | Reddit | LinkedIn | YouTube |
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    It's taken a few days for me to figure out how I want to review this. This is one of those books where there is so much going on, but the author made it so digestible that it's easy to miss things. It was a very enjoyable read and a timely one. I admittedly probably read it too fast, but my only real disappointment (very small 'd' disappointment) came with part of the ending.Kiley Reid is definitely an author to watch. I have no doubt this will be a big book next year as well as a popular choice It's taken a few days for me to figure out how I want to review this. This is one of those books where there is so much going on, but the author made it so digestible that it's easy to miss things. It was a very enjoyable read and a timely one. I admittedly probably read it too fast, but my only real disappointment (very small 'd' disappointment) came with part of the ending.Kiley Reid is definitely an author to watch. I have no doubt this will be a big book next year as well as a popular choice for book clubs. After "the incident" happens at the grocery store, the book takes off in a completely different direction than what I anticipated (in a good way), but it wasn't quite what I thought the book was going to be. Then it came back to the main point and was executed very well. The characters were extremely relatable and helped move the conversation forward. I think that's all you can ask for in a book like this. It asks us to look at the actions of the characters, examine aspects of our own lives and challenge us to be better in the future to ourselves and each other. Thank you to Edelweiss, G.P. Putnam's Sons and Kiley Reid for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review.Review Date: 12/17/19Publication Date: 12/31/19
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  • Marchpane
    January 1, 1970
    Such a Fun Age is much lighter, frothier and more comedic than I expected. At the same time, it’s a pretty sharp social satire about race, privilege and the funhouse mirror distortions of social media. It opens with a young black woman, Emira, being suspected of abducting the white toddler in her care at a grocery store. I expected this incident would be more explosive, but it just sort of happens and then everyone moves on with their lives for a while (we do circle back to it eventually). But Such a Fun Age is much lighter, frothier and more comedic than I expected. At the same time, it’s a pretty sharp social satire about race, privilege and the funhouse mirror distortions of social media. It opens with a young black woman, Emira, being suspected of abducting the white toddler in her care at a grocery store. I expected this incident would be more explosive, but it just sort of happens and then everyone moves on with their lives for a while (we do circle back to it eventually). But it acts as a catalyst, because Emira starts dating a white guy, Kelley, who happened to be there, filming the confrontation on his phone. And it turns out Kelley knows Alix, Emira’s wealthy white boss, from high school. So her boss and her boyfriend have a history, and this is the central conflict of the book for the most part—the two of them vying for Emira’s attention and each attempting to pit her against the other, while she’s more concerned with getting a job that provides healthcare. Amid the crazy, Emira’s pragmatism and lowkey vibe make her an endearing character. The writing is very descriptive, and I don’t mean flowery. Everything is described—what the characters look like, what they wear, their gestures and facial expressions, the furnishings in any room. There’s a lot of dialogue, and not much introspection. The prose itself is no frills, what is often described as ‘readable’, but I tend to find bland. I probably would have liked this less on the page, but I listened to the audiobook and the narrator injects SO much personality into her reading that I didn’t mind. The overall effect is like a gossipy TV show rendered in words, one that’s entertaining but also has a lot of smart things to say. 3.5 stars.
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  • Phrynne
    January 1, 1970
    A good story with a lot of interesting social commentary but sadly I did not fall in love with it as many other reviewers have.There are some great characters especially Briar and Emira and I loved the relationship between them. Alix was a horrible person, Kelley too, but this was good writing on the author's part. We are obviously not supposed to care for them. The story is basically about race and class and there is one major scene in a supermarket where Emira is accused of taking a child A good story with a lot of interesting social commentary but sadly I did not fall in love with it as many other reviewers have.There are some great characters especially Briar and Emira and I loved the relationship between them. Alix was a horrible person, Kelley too, but this was good writing on the author's part. We are obviously not supposed to care for them. The story is basically about race and class and there is one major scene in a supermarket where Emira is accused of taking a child which will make terrific viewing if this book goes to film. So, for me, this was an interesting book but not an outstanding one.Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the publisher and Libro.fm for the gifted copy.I listened to the audio of Such a Fun Age and found this to be a fresh story centered around race and privilege. I love that this book is garnering attention, and I’m hoping it’ll keep the discussion going on the important issues addressed here. I was rather surprised by this book, and how it accomplishes what it does, so I don’t want to spoil any of its goodness. More thoughts to come soon.Many of my reviews can also be found on my Thank you to the publisher and Libro.fm for the gifted copy.I listened to the audio of Such a Fun Age and found this to be a fresh story centered around race and privilege. I love that this book is garnering attention, and I’m hoping it’ll keep the discussion going on the important issues addressed here. I was rather surprised by this book, and how it accomplishes what it does, so I don’t want to spoil any of its goodness. More thoughts to come soon.Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
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  • Olive
    January 1, 1970
    When you look at summaries for this book, you'll most frequently find the description of the very beginning of the book, when main character Emira is called to help out the family she nannies for in the middle of the night. Dealing with an emergency, her employers want Emira to take their three-year-old daughter out of the house while the police are there taking a statement.But as Emira and her best friend Zara are keeping her charge, Briar, entertained in the grocery store down the street, a When you look at summaries for this book, you'll most frequently find the description of the very beginning of the book, when main character Emira is called to help out the family she nannies for in the middle of the night. Dealing with an emergency, her employers want Emira to take their three-year-old daughter out of the house while the police are there taking a statement.But as Emira and her best friend Zara are keeping her charge, Briar, entertained in the grocery store down the street, a busybody decides to report suspicious activity to the store rent-a-cop, implying that Emira, a black woman, may have stolen Briar, a white child. A scene follows where the guard confronts Emira and refuses accept her explanation that she is, in fact, Briar's nanny. Meanwhile, a stranger captures the entire thing on his phone's video camera.This is a flashy tale and one that seems all too familiar to any of us with a Twitter account. How many times per week are we confronted with such a scenario? But in this book, just like any post that goes viral, one snapshot of a situation does not a full story make.The vast majority of this book takes place following this incident. Emira is not the only narrator that we follow; her employer Alix Chamberlain, wealthy businesswoman, motivational speaker, and new Philadelphian takes a bite out of half the narrative real estate. We learn how Emira ended up in this particular nanny job and how she generally feels that the child care career path is evidence of her floundering in life. We also discover that Alix has grown slightly disconcertingly attached to Emira while still pretending to herself and all her Instagram followers that she never left Manhattan.Things get complicated when Emira begins to connect with someone significant from Alix's past and, as she tries to decide what career path makes most sense for her life while also delivering crucial health benefits (her 26th birthday looms on the horizon), she begins to question what role she's playing in the lives of everyone around her.Obviously, given the five star rating, I thought this book was brilliant. As others have noted, this book definitely delivers commentary on race and privilege, but there are also many more messages that Reid conveys here. At the heart of everything, I felt this was very much a cautionary tale; we all must be aware of who the people around us are painting us to be and what purpose they think we serve in their lives. The two major characters gunning for one another in this book are both perfectly happy to use Emira as their sword - both trying to prove something to each other and neither are concerned that their battle does not involve Emira in the slightest.Anyone who knows me knows I like my books thought-provoking and this one seriously delivered that while being downright entertaining. But what makes a five star read for me is a book that has a personal connection and, in this case, that's the nanny element. I was a nanny for four years out of college and felt many similar things to Emira, both in terms of the career confusion, but also the connection to the kids. It's hard to convey the nanny-child relationship; that not-quite-family, but a step above friends space that's as emotionally fulfilling as it is torturous since you have no link to these special little people you've spent countless hours with once your employment ends. I myself still have my former charges' birthdays saved in my phone and feel the pang with each year that passes, wishing I could once again give them a big hug, while resenting their growing up too quickly.At times, as a nanny, you're able to see and love the children more for who they really are because you're untied from those shackles of familial expectation. You know you get to go home and spend your off hours being childfree, so you can drink up the special moments of watching them learn or simply seeing them enjoy themselves. You can feel all of this to your core as you read about Emira and Briar. I've never read anything that so accurately depicts what it feels like to be a nanny.But beyond my personal connection, this book is superb. A compelling story, important commentary, and a whole lot of heart, I may have read one of my top books of the year right as it began.
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  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    Such a funny, sharp novel about Emira Tucker, a black woman in her early twenties who works for Alix Chamberlain, a wealthy, white, well-known feminist blogger. Such a Fun Age explores their relationship and Alix’s attempts to get closer to Emira, often to prove her own care for and allyship with black people. Kiley Reid’s prose is clear and entertaining, always grounded in fast-paced, smartly-written scenes with believable dialogue. In some ways this novel felt like a more witty, specific Such a funny, sharp novel about Emira Tucker, a black woman in her early twenties who works for Alix Chamberlain, a wealthy, white, well-known feminist blogger. Such a Fun Age explores their relationship and Alix’s attempts to get closer to Emira, often to prove her own care for and allyship with black people. Kiley Reid’s prose is clear and entertaining, always grounded in fast-paced, smartly-written scenes with believable dialogue. In some ways this novel felt like a more witty, specific version of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, with both books containing commentary about privilege and white women who seek to do good without awareness of their own biases and shortcomings.I loved how Alix Chamberlain embodies the white savior complex . Reid does a fantastic job showing how she tries to psychologically justify all her attempts to prove herself as a “good white person” even when she hurts people. Without a framework of racial and economic justice (Alix could have very much benefited from reading White Fragility or Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race ), she thinks that hiring a black babysitter and treating her decently puts her on some moral high ground. Reid highlights how Alix surrounds herself with other wealthy women – including a wealthy black woman – who back her up and affirm all her decisions, even when they’re problematic af. I found it both amusing and annoying, the palpable relief Alix felt when she could tell herself that she’s one of the ”good” white people, because her internal processes exemplify how people with privilege will often take the easy way out in terms of short-term fixes without deeply interrogating their racism, sexism, transphobia, classism, etc. I appreciated so many other aspects of Such a Fun Age as well. While I cringed so hard at Kelley every time he showed up – and laughed so, so hard in the scene when (view spoiler)[Alix confronts him and literally can’t get over how she’s still so into him she can barely breathe, lolol (hide spoiler)] - I felt grateful for the sensitive, empowering way Reid concludes Emira’s relationship with him. Zara and Emira’s friendship made my heart feel warm and acted as perhaps the most genuine, truly compassionate relationship in the entire book. I enjoyed Emira’s character in general, how Reid draws her as someone who’s not like, this black woman set on changing the whole world, she’s trying to get a job with benefits and figure out what a solid adulthood looks like to her. This characterization may appeal in particular to my fellow millennial/gen Z readers who reject notions of upward mobility and meritocracy within the United States.Overall, a great book I would recommend to fans of adult fiction and who have a propensity for books that address race and class, though people who do not have a propensity for those topics should read this book too. Reading this reminded me of how much I've grown (several years ago I liked books like The Help and Gone With the Wind which is honestly so mortifying to think about because of how problematic and white savioury those books are, yikes) and how much growing I have to do. It makes sense that Reid bookends the book with a salute to Rachel Sherman’s Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence , a nonfiction read that complements this novel well. Curious to see what Reid writes next!
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid was deceptive — in a good way. The story certainly pulled me in, but at the beginning it felt kind of simple, almost gossipy. But by the end, it had a symmetry that was very clever and left me with a pleased smile on my face. The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Emira and Alix. Emira is a 25 year old African American struggling to make ends meet and to figure out what she wants to do with herself. For the time being, Emira works part time Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid was deceptive — in a good way. The story certainly pulled me in, but at the beginning it felt kind of simple, almost gossipy. But by the end, it had a symmetry that was very clever and left me with a pleased smile on my face. The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Emira and Alix. Emira is a 25 year old African American struggling to make ends meet and to figure out what she wants to do with herself. For the time being, Emira works part time babysitting Alix’s 3 year old. Alix is a white upper class woman in her 30s, recently transplanted from Manhattan to Philadelphia. Both women are surrounded by a chorus of three best friends. The story starts with a late night incident in a high end supermarket involving Emira and Alix’s daughter — the security guard and a customer assume that Emira has no business being with a white toddler close to midnight in a fancy part of town. From there, Emira has to deal with Alix’s not so altruistic desire to befriend her... She also has to deal with the attraction of a bystander who caught the whole thing on video... I won’t say more to avoid spoilers other than to say that the novel works well because Reid doesn’t take the story in predictable directions. And, while she takes on some politically loaded themes, this is not a didactic story. Some may bristle at a big coincidence in the story, but it’s absolutely necessary to the plot. I certainly understand why this one is getting some buzz. Thanks to both Netgalley and Edelweiss for making advance copies available to me.
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  • Irena BookDustMagic
    January 1, 1970
    Such a Fun Age was such an amazing book.No wonder it took bookish community by the storm! It's well deserved.Full review to come.
  • Nadia
    January 1, 1970
    At a first glance Such a Fun Age might appear like a light read, but once you read the synopsis, you will realise that's not the case.Such a Fun Age is a story about Alix, a privileged, white, mother of two and Emira, 25 year old black nanny with a bachelor degree. Alix is desperate to befriend Emira and invites her and her new boyfriend Kelley to a Thanksgiving family dinner. When Emira shows up at the door with Alix's high school ex who broke her heart, everything starts to go pear-shaped and At a first glance Such a Fun Age might appear like a light read, but once you read the synopsis, you will realise that's not the case. Such a Fun Age is a story about Alix, a privileged, white, mother of two and Emira, 25 year old black nanny with a bachelor degree. Alix is desperate to befriend Emira and invites her and her new boyfriend Kelley to a Thanksgiving family dinner. When Emira shows up at the door with Alix's high school ex who broke her heart, everything starts to go pear-shaped and Emira starts seeing both Alix and Kelley in a new light.Such a Fun Age is about pretence, relationships but first of all it is about race. Both Alix and Kelley have racial issues they can't see themselves. This book is very easy to read due to the straightforward writing and realistic dialogue but it was not straightforward for me to figure out who's side I should be on. I think this is an exceptional debut novel and I'm keen to read more books from this author.Many thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a fast read, which is interesting, because the events that happen are never these big huge things, but generally fairly subtle. Emira is a 25-year-old college graduate who is at a party when the woman she babysits for calls her at eleven p.m. on a weekend night, saying that something dire has come up and she needs Emira to pick up the almost three-year-old Briar and just get her away from the house for a while. Emira needs the money, so she leaves the party and takes Briar to a This is such a fast read, which is interesting, because the events that happen are never these big huge things, but generally fairly subtle. Emira is a 25-year-old college graduate who is at a party when the woman she babysits for calls her at eleven p.m. on a weekend night, saying that something dire has come up and she needs Emira to pick up the almost three-year-old Briar and just get her away from the house for a while. Emira needs the money, so she leaves the party and takes Briar to a local upscale market, where Briar enjoys things like smelling teas and nuts. Partially because Emira is dressed for a party and not for a night of babysitting, but mostly because she’s black and the child she’s caring for is white, an older white woman decides that Emira might well have kidnapped this child. So, the security guard confronts Emira and tells her she can’t leave. The entire altercation is caught on the video of a man in his thirties using his phone. This whole novel is about race and privilege. It’s about Emira, who doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life but has to figure it out soon because she’s about to be kicked off her parents’ insurance, and her struggles of feeling like she’s falling behind her friends’ career advancements and whether her white boyfriend judges her for still being a babysitter despite her age and degree. I really enjoyed it.Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel.
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  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    A great debut book that explores such difficult questions as race, class, privilege, and family relationships with unusual sensitivity and subtlety.Emira Tucker, a 25year old babysitter for a white family, gets a call at ten in the evening. There is an emergency situation in the Chamberlain household and Alix, the mother, would like Emira to take three year old Briar shopping to keep her away from home while the parents are interviewd by the police. A security guard at the grocery store sees a A great debut book that explores such difficult questions as race, class, privilege, and family relationships with unusual sensitivity and subtlety.Emira Tucker, a 25year old babysitter for a white family, gets a call at ten in the evening. There is an emergency situation in the Chamberlain household and Alix, the mother, would like Emira to take three year old Briar shopping to keep her away from home while the parents are interviewd by the police. A security guard at the grocery store sees a young black woman ( dressed up for her best friend's birthday party, not for babysitting) with a white toddler and gets suspicious. Other shoppers seem to take sides and one of them even films the whole scene. Emira calls Peter Chamberlain who promptly arrives and sorts the situation, but Kelley Copeland, the bystander who made the video, urges Emira to keep it in case she decides to sue the guard or the store. Emira would like to forget this humiliating experience, but there is something she doesn't know about Alix Chamberlain, her employer. Alix is a woman who writes letters to companies and institutions to get what she wants. She even started her own movement #LetHerSpeak and teaches women to become confident and demand things they want. Alix isn't going to forget the store incident, she is going to stand by Emira and 'make it right' the way she understands it. There is something else Emira doesn't know about Alix and that is that she used to date Kelley in her senior year of high school, and that their relationship ended in a series of embarrassing events for Alix.The book is well-written and easy to read. I found it impossible to put down, as I kept thinking about the strange ways in which the lives of the protagonists were interconnected. The story is multi-layered, complex and thought-provoking without being heavy-handed or preachey. The characters are well-developed. I really liked the addition of their inner thoughts and the contrast between what they thought and what they chose to say or not to say. Call me lazy, as in real life we do not get the benefit or drawback of this information. Emira was the character I liked the most in all her 'undecidedness' or desire to hold on and explore life. Emira's relationship with Briar is touching and revealing of what a deep and loyal person she is.I will definitely be looking forward to reading more books written by Kiley Reid as this was one of the most remarkable debut novels I have read this year.Thank you to Edelweiss and G.P.Putnam's sons for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
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  • Corina
    January 1, 1970
    It’s hard to write a review about a book that left me so undecided. I think the biggest issue I had with this novel was trying to connect with any of the characters. Besides the relationship between Emira, and her charge, which was genuine and heartwarming, the story itself failed to draw me in deeply enough to become passionate about it.The writing was acceptable for a debut novel, but I felt the execution was choppy at times. The way the plot was structured and told, especially the backstory, It’s hard to write a review about a book that left me so undecided. I think the biggest issue I had with this novel was trying to connect with any of the characters. Besides the relationship between Emira, and her charge, which was genuine and heartwarming, the story itself failed to draw me in deeply enough to become passionate about it.The writing was acceptable for a debut novel, but I felt the execution was choppy at times. The way the plot was structured and told, especially the backstory, sounded too clinical, and dispassionate and sometimes even disjointed. But besides that the novel was easy to read, and it had some compelling and definitely thought provoking moments.Emira’s voice felt genuine and authentic. And her relationship with her charge was the soul and heart of this story. Whereas the relationship between mother and caregiver was unhealthy, thanks to a strange obsession from the mother's side, and brought with it a slew of other issues. Also, besides Emira and Blair (the child) none of the other characters were relatable, likable, or felt authentic. It's hard to feel passionate about a book if I feel so indifferent about the cast of characters. Oh and the ending left much to desire.But even though this book wasn’t as compelling for me as it was for many others. The topics and relationships depicted in this book will make for great book club material.ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mackenzi
    January 1, 1970
    Believe the hype.
  • Jessica Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    In an era of so many white savior narratives, it’s so refreshing to see a story written by a black woman that directly challenges and upends that problematic narrative trope.Alix Chamberlain is the textbook well-meaning rich white woman: She has black friends. She’s read everything Toni Morrison wrote. She’s trying to land a gig with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.Emira Tucker is the 25-year-old black woman who babysits Alix’s two young daughters. She’s aimlessly trying to figure out her life— In an era of so many white savior narratives, it’s so refreshing to see a story written by a black woman that directly challenges and upends that problematic narrative trope.Alix Chamberlain is the textbook well-meaning rich white woman: She has black friends. She’s read everything Toni Morrison wrote. She’s trying to land a gig with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.Emira Tucker is the 25-year-old black woman who babysits Alix’s two young daughters. She’s aimlessly trying to figure out her life—preferably before she turns 26 and loses her parents’ health insurance.One night when Emira is at a grocery store with Alix’s daughter, she’s confronted by a security guard who accuses her of kidnapping the young girl. A white man named Kelley films the incident, and he and Emira begin dating.Horrified that this happened to Emira, Alix resolves to make things right, but as it turns out, Kelley is someone from Alix’s past, and things start to get messy.While the central conflict of the narrative rests on a premise that is perhaps unrealistically coincidental, the fact remains that this book is compulsively readable. The characters are so well-developed and the dialogue so authentic, with tons of little details and observations.Emira becomes the reluctant target of both Alix and Kelley’s well-intentioned but problematic white saviorism, as they both try to do what they believe is best for her, pushing her life in what they perceive to be the right direction. But Emira doesn’t need to be saved—especially not by these two.Laced with important commentary about race and privilege, this is ultimately a story about owning one’s own life. Emira may be the aimless one, but she’s true to herself—something that, we come to find, isn’t the case for Alix, despite how much she seems to have it all together.I really enjoyed this and never wanted to put it down while I was reading it. I have no doubt that it’ll get a ton of buzz when it comes out.*Thanks to NetGalley for a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Bkwmlee
    January 1, 1970
    I actually finished this book a few days ago but held off on writing the review because I was busy, for one (the past week has been chaotic for me both at home and at work), and two, I needed some time to gather my thoughts and figure out how best to approach this one. It’s not often that I come across a book that, on the surface, reads like a simple, straight-forward story where a few dozen pages in, I feel like the plot is going to head in a predictable direction, but then things get turned I actually finished this book a few days ago but held off on writing the review because I was busy, for one (the past week has been chaotic for me both at home and at work), and two, I needed some time to gather my thoughts and figure out how best to approach this one. It’s not often that I come across a book that, on the surface, reads like a simple, straight-forward story where a few dozen pages in, I feel like the plot is going to head in a predictable direction, but then things get turned completely upside down and by the time I finish reading, I realize that the story is much more layered and complex than I initially thought.The story is told from the viewpoints of the 2 main characters: Emira Tucker and Alix Chamberlain. Emira is a 25-year-old African American woman who is college-educated but still trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life, so she takes up part-time babysitting for Alix and Peter Chamberlain, a privileged white family living in an affluent neighborhood in Philadelphia. One night, Alix calls up Emira with a favor – to take her two-year-old daughter Briar to the neighborhood grocery store for a bit while she and her husband deal with an emergency at home. While walking around the grocery store with Briar, Emira is suddenly confronted by a security guard who accuses her of kidnapping Briar and threatens to have her detained. Amidst the verbal back-and-forth between Emira and the security guard, a handful of onlookers gather and a young man records the entire incident on his phone. Thought the misunderstanding is cleared up fairly quickly, Emira is humiliated, upset, and visibly shaken. When Alix finds out about the incident, she is outraged and determined to make things right. From there, a series of events is set into motion that threatens to upend both Emira’s and Alix’s lives forever.This is a book I found very readable, one that pulled me in from the first page and kept me engaged, even during some of the “slower” parts where nothing much seemed to happen. The story was well-written, timely, and relatable, with characters that were not just well-developed, but also portrayed in a way that was realistic yet respectful and empathetic. This type of balance is not easy to achieve, especially with a story like this one that has a “social commentary” bent to it in its exploration of topics such as race, privilege, class, etc. I appreciated the fact that the author Kiley Reid took a completely different approach from most of the books out there that address racism and bias – she took the story in a non-traditional direction that was totally not what I expected, but in a good way. I also liked how, despite the serious and oftentimes contentious subject matter that Reid deals with here, it’s not done in a heavy-handed way, and most important of all (to me at least), there is no “preachiness” to the story in that it doesn’t attempt to steer the reader in one direction or another. Life is complicated, as are the various relationships that make up the landscape of our lives, and more often than not, the lines between right and wrong can become blurred and not easily distinguishable – this is a story that reflects these complexities but does so in a way that is subtle and therefore is more effective in its message.This is a book I definitely recommend, one that everyone should read, especially given the state of affairs in our country currently, and with the issues of race versus privilege being at the forefront of so many discussions nowadays. For me personally, this book gave me much to think about – I only wish I had read this one more slowly, as there were some nuances that I feel deserved some pause to reflect upon. This book definitely deserves the buzz it has been getting so far and by the looks of it, with the many angles that can be explored and discussed, this will likely be a hot-button read for many book clubs in the coming year as well!Received ARC from G.P. Putnam’s Sons via Edelweiss.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    What a great debut Kiley Reid! This was a fun book about racial relations, the life of the privileged, and betrayal. It was a lot of fun to read and I found it to be very contemporary as far as language and atmosphere. The book mainly focuses on the relationship between Emira - the babysitter, and Alix - the employer. When Emira is asked to take Briar (age 2), Alix's daughter, away from the house for awhile late one night after an incident, she is detained by a security guard in a grocery store What a great debut Kiley Reid! This was a fun book about racial relations, the life of the privileged, and betrayal. It was a lot of fun to read and I found it to be very contemporary as far as language and atmosphere. The book mainly focuses on the relationship between Emira - the babysitter, and Alix - the employer. When Emira is asked to take Briar (age 2), Alix's daughter, away from the house for awhile late one night after an incident, she is detained by a security guard in a grocery store and accused of kidnapping Briar. A crowd gathers and someone makes a video of the occurrence.The book was easy to read and the dialogue was great. The writing style was warm and inviting and the characters were interesting.The book does make me wonder how far we have really come in racial relations - although in my day to day life I feel we have made great progress. Working in IT I work with many races and we all have different colors and shades of skin.Thanks to Kiley Reid and Penguin Publishing Group through Edelweiss for an advance copy.
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  • Asia J
    January 1, 1970
    Entertaining mostly towards the end. For a debut novel it wasn’t terrible, but I most definitely felt like I was reading a book written about black struggles by a white woman. The dialogue was also fucking atrocious.
  • Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
    January 1, 1970
    Solid 4 stars -- so much to think about and still unpack upon finishing it. In addition to being a captivating story, it deftly touches upon race, white saviorism & fetishization and all the ways even "woke" white people can mess up and completely miss the mark. Love Amira's character -- she was a 20-something just trying to pay the bills and figure her life out when she gets caught up in all this. She doesn't always have the answers or know how to navigate any of this perfectly either. I Solid 4 stars -- so much to think about and still unpack upon finishing it. In addition to being a captivating story, it deftly touches upon race, white saviorism & fetishization and all the ways even "woke" white people can mess up and completely miss the mark. Love Amira's character -- she was a 20-something just trying to pay the bills and figure her life out when she gets caught up in all this. She doesn't always have the answers or know how to navigate any of this perfectly either. I can't say this is what I expected based on the summary (thought it would be way more about "the event" for some reason) but I REALLY loved what it turned out to be and showed just the every day things -- not just getting accused of kidnapping -- that black women especially endure. So much nuance in every character in this book -- each had lots of dimensions. You could probably think of people in your own life that remind you of them. It showed how things and people aren't so clear cut. All the little things related to race that influence our interactions and thoughts and how our histories shape us.Would be a GREAT book club book though in my head I wondered how many mostly white book clubs (mine included) would totally miss the point altogether. I don't know but I think there is a TON to talk about with this one and I think I might try to pitch it to my book club.
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  • Chelsey
    January 1, 1970
    There’s nothing more exciting than a debut author who is willing to tackle a controversial subject and does so with style and poise. Reid does just that with this incredibly well written, fun, relevant novel. I laughed out loud, I cringed, I connected with the characters, and I absolutely can’t wait to see what Reid does next. Her storytelling felt like a combination of Liane Moriarty and Angie Thomas, and lets be honest, could there be a better comparison?!Alix Chamberlain is a women’s rights There’s nothing more exciting than a debut author who is willing to tackle a controversial subject and does so with style and poise. Reid does just that with this incredibly well written, fun, relevant novel. I laughed out loud, I cringed, I connected with the characters, and I absolutely can’t wait to see what Reid does next. Her storytelling felt like a combination of Liane Moriarty and Angie Thomas, and lets be honest, could there be a better comparison?!Alix Chamberlain is a women’s rights activist whose earned her 15 minutes of fame. As a youth, Alix found herself in some compromising situations and was labeled racist by her peers. Haunted by her past and cognizant of her white privilege, Alix desperately tries to appear “color blind” in many awkward and inappropriate ways. When she and her family move to Philadelphia from NYC, the Chamberlains hire a babysitter to help with their two girls a few days a week. Emira is a mid-twenties Black woman who doesn’t quite have life figured out, however, she quickly forms a meaningful bond with Alix’s older daughter, Briar. Alix and Emira’s lives intersect in an unexpected and uncomfortable way, launching Alix’s past to the forefront. Desperate to form a stronger connection with Emira, Alix sacrifices her reputation and integrity. Reid did an incredible job of highlighting a major issue our nation faces today. Her writing, though often lighthearted, dealt with the hard topics of race and privilege in a meaningful way that was easy to connect with. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone and everyone!Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Klinta
    January 1, 1970
    OK, so I expected something a bit more serious in regards of racism than a contemporary love-hate-revenge novel with black characters in it and I suppose that was my biggest problem with this book. Had I know it isn't, I don't think I would have even started it. The book started very strong, I loved Emira, I loved that she was shown in a situation that is possible in the real life yet is unjust - the ugly truth of our current world. I felt for her and hoped that this will deal with these issues OK, so I expected something a bit more serious in regards of racism than a contemporary love-hate-revenge novel with black characters in it and I suppose that was my biggest problem with this book. Had I know it isn't, I don't think I would have even started it. The book started very strong, I loved Emira, I loved that she was shown in a situation that is possible in the real life yet is unjust - the ugly truth of our current world. I felt for her and hoped that this will deal with these issues and show us a better world. But instead it concentrated on a teenage drama. I liked (not loved) and hated this book at the same time. I often cringed and had troubles picking it up because it was just so cringy. At the same time Emira was a lovely character and I liked her a lot, I think she was the main driving force behind me finishing this book. Unfortunately almost around 1/3 everything was revealed and the route this book will take was clear. There were a couple of small guesses, sure, but the main route was clear and from then on the book became boring. I also felt like during the resolution Emira's character and spirit weren't as strong as before. Based on the nature of the story, I'd guess it wasn't on purpose, but it really hit me because I started to care less about her. And the rest of their characters and reasons for their actions are just stupid. Especially after final reveal. I started to write their rights and wrongs, but you know what, it doesn't matter. Emira was the most sensible and her resolution was the best for a normal human being.
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