Book Reviews Contemporary Own Voices

BOOK REVIEW: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

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Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Standalone Book

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons; an imprint of Penguin Publisher House LLC

Publication Date: December 31, 2019

# of Pages: 305

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary

Format: Physical Copy; hardcover

First Time Reading

Date Started: March 24, 2020

Date Finished: March 29, 2020

Such a Fun Age is one of those books I constantly noticed popping up on my Instagram timeline. I usually try to steer clear of hyped up books but since I’ve been wanting to read a lot of books by POC authors I decided to add this one to my “want to read” list on Goodreads. When I saw the book at my library bookstore for $4 I couldn’t resist buying! So I had it for a few months before I finally decided to buddy read it with Kat from @why_reads on Instagram. We participated in a challenge called #onehouronebook where you read one book for one hour out of the day. The challenge was created by @literallydc_ on Instagram. Of course by day two things were getting so good in the book we decided to do two hours reading per day instead of just one.

Anyways, let’s get right into it! This book has all the DRAMA! From the very beginning the pacing is quick and things start popping off within the first chapter. Such a Fun Age is about 25-year-old Emira who is an African American woman who babysits for an affluent, White family (the Chamberlain’s) and this story begins when that family calls Emira in the middle of the night for help with an emergency they’re having. Emira immediately agrees and come to pick up 3 year old Briar and take her to the grocery store up the street. Should be simple enough right? Emira is always taking Briar places so she expects this day to be nothing different.

But once she gets to the store things take a turn for the worse when she is accused of having kidnapped Briar and the security guard of the store won’t allow her to leave. To complicate things a bystander films the entire thing. The entire situation leads to Emira being extremely angry and embarrassed. She ends up calling Peter Chamberlain to clear things up with the security guard. So that’s all I want to give you in terms of details of the story. This information is in the description of the book as well so don’t worry. I haven’t ruined anything.

This book was well paced from the very jump. I usually get really antsy at the beginning of books and have to really force myself to continue reading until things start to happen. But not with this one. Things were rolling from the very first page. This book was definitely a page turner. I kept trying to tell myself to put the book down so I could rest or be productive but I was glued to these pages. By the time I reached part two I was reluctant to put the book down for more than a few hours at a time.

Another aspect I really appreciate is how well she developed the characters. I feel that the characters were developed perfectly for the story. Not too much was given nor too little. Now I know there can be some more details that she could have added about specific characters and their motivation behind their actions but I like that she didn’t. In my opinion those details would only be relevant if she wanted to follow up with a more detailed story about some of the characters.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the way the Reid incorporated this issue of race without making it all the book was about. I often see books that want to portray the “black experience” but the problem with this is those stories usually seem to make it seem as if the characters life is focused simply around how hard it is to be Black. In reality that’s not how a Black persons life is. As a Black woman living in the United States I do sometimes deal with issues directly related to my race. But I am also still a person and I have to worry about regular things like affordable rent, a job that pays enough money, health benefits, relationships, and just so many other things. This book did a wonderful job of giving Emira a normal life while still incorporating the subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) ways in which she dealt with racism.

Overall I would recommend this book to everyone! Especially other young women of color who are trying to find their voice and place in the world while also dealing with challenges caused by subtle racism . I’m excited to read more by Kiley Reid and have definitely added her name to authors I would auto buy. In addition to crafting an amazing story I also feel in love with her writing style. I’m excited to see more from her.

If you have any thoughts, opinions, or questions Es about this book please feel free to share them in the comments ☺️

Stay Positive,

BriAna

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