Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Expected publication: December 31st, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Adult
* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*
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 Ageexplores 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.
This is so much more than I was initially expecting. I was completely enthralled from the very first page and it just kept getting more and more interesting!
This book has some of the best drama I’ve read about recently. It was incredibly gripping!
I think my favorite part was how unreliable the characters in this book were. I never knew who to trust and it kept me turning the pages as fast as I could.
It does deal with racism quite a lot, but in a way you don’t see much, so I felt that was interesting and unique.
Our MC is a babysitter, so we have some childcare related parts. I really loved Emira and Briar’s connection. I loved how much she tried to make the kid have a good time, help her out on not feeling so lonely and just overall be there for her. The mom was quite an interesting character to read about, both on a romantic and a maternal level. She definitely wasn’t there for her kid as much as she should be and we can kind of see the effect of that in Briar’s life, and the repercussions that may appear in the future.
I really enjoyed Emira’s circle of friends. I felt that they were super connected and there was something very real about their friendship. How much they helped each other, even if we mainly saw them at party-out moments, it was still present there. As for her romantic life, it was awesome, unique and unexpected!
There’s a lot of white lies gone wrong, weary intentions and disrespectful situations in here that I loved to read about. But the best topic might have been how we feel the need to compare ourselves to others. How we see other people’s lives and how we feel that our age we should also be doing that but instead… You know? I really liked that aspect and it really spoke to me. I do believe there’s an age for certain things, but then again everyone is different. Other people might have things you want in life at a sooner or later stage and that’s okay. Just live your life the best you can, doing what you love and try to achieve your goals. Comparing ourselves will only make us feel bad and unappreciative of what we have and what we’ve achieved. I really loved to see Emira figure out her life and see her feelings throughout.
The book’s wrapping up was quite quick, but it also gave an overview of how her life went after it all, which is not as common anymore, so it was a nice change.
It was emotional and exciting and full of drama, and I really enjoyed reading it and would recommend it!
What did you think of it? Are you excited about this book? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!