counter create hit Such a Fun Age - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Such a Fun Age

Availability: Ready to download

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 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.


Compare
Ads Banner

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 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.

30 review for Such a Fun Age

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    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

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Wow! Okay! I dont 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 didnt 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 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! blog instagram facebook twitter

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chaima ✨ شيماء

    Such a Fun Age is a novel that disheartened me even if it didnt surprise me. Something akin to relief gusted through my room like a warm front when I finished it: not because it was an unpleasant readthough it does depict many unpleasant momentsbut because the story often wound up my feelings to the highest point of second-hand embarrassment that it felt like a huge weight slid down my shoulders when it was all over. Narratives about race and privilege are not unfamiliar literary fodder, but in Such a Fun Age is a novel that disheartened me even if it didn’t surprise me. Something akin to relief gusted through my room like a warm front when I finished it: not because it was an unpleasant read—though it does depict many unpleasant moments—but because the story often wound up my feelings to the highest point of second-hand embarrassment that it felt like a huge weight slid down my shoulders when it was all over. Narratives about race and privilege are not unfamiliar literary fodder, but in her novel, Reid demonstrates a remarkable insight by taking on the monumental challenge of revealing the state of America through what she called the “everyday domestic biases that we don’t even know we have.” Reid’s exploration is a fresh and interesting look at the uneasy performance of “wokeness”—a paper-thin tissue of a word, so conspicuous that it now immediately breeds distrust. At the outset of the novel, Emira Tucker, a young black woman, is accosted by a security guard in an upscale grocery store in Philadelphia and accused of kidnapping the white toddler she’s babysitting. The scene is unnerving, devastating, and all-too-familiar, but rather than dwell on the racial and political implications of this terrible, defining incident, Reid almost speeds through it, and so does Emira, who chooses to give the whole affair the shake of the head it deserves, like putting the whole night in a museum—removed, too-soon forgotten—and turns her mind to the far more preoccupying matter of her inching closer to her 25th birthday and towards the inevitability of being kicked-out of her parents’ health insurance. The author’s choice, however, doesn’t make these details any less affecting, and suggests them, instead, as an essential context for the relationship residing at the heart of the novel: between Emira and her employer, Alix Chamberlain, a white wealthy influencer who built a flowering career writing letters, an endeavor that later carried her forward into a disappointing, grown-up, settled existence in Philadelphia. Reid’s novel is smartly and solidly told; her prose is incisive and lived-in, as though carefully culled from years of listening in on private conversations. But the book’s biggest triumph is the way the author hides barbed, little truths in her otherwise lightweight yarns while still conveying a clear-headed message, as permeable as sandstone. As it happens, if lack of subtlety was a recognized art, Alix Chamberlain would have museum exhibits in her honor. Alix feels that she has earned her woke badge, and prides herself on that fact, but after the incident at the supermarket, she decides to “wake the fuck up” and “get to know Emira better”. This wake-up call is followed by an urge to announce her newly invigorated self-awareness to Emira, hoping for recognition, some kind of affirmation of the work she has done on herself. She wants Emira to know “that one of Alix’s closest friends was also black. That Alix’s new and favorite shoes were from Payless, and only cost eighteen dollars. That Alix had read everything that Toni Morrison had ever written.” Alix’s sudden warmth, which seemed to presume upon some happy old intimacy she and Emira did not share, throws Emira into awkwardness. Her well-meaning words and best efforts—which often made me cringe with a sharpness that was almost pain—to cultivate an image of herself as being politically aware quickly turn into empty puffs of air. Too caught in the weave of her fumbling attempts at identifying with Emira—even going as far as peering on the notifications displayed on the lock-screen of Emira’s phone, mining for answers about her social life—Alix is incognizant of her own remarkable lack of self-awareness. After all, outside the oleaginous remarks and overtly friendly behavior, there remained the central idea that Alix just didn’t want Emira to quit her job. Reid’s subtle evisceration of these woke wannabes—every person of color will undoubtedly recognize in the deftly rendered characters at least a few people they’ve encountered in real life—might be even more bracing at close range. People love the idea of being “woke”, even if they don’t know what to do with it. Even if they only know how to do exactly the wrong thing. They want to be considered progressive, and want everyone to know just how progressive they are. But these efforts, while they create the illusion of reflectiveness and depth, are in fact brittle and shallow as a mirror. Some people do acknowledge the benefits that accrue to them by means of their white privilege, carefully listen, and do their best to amplify the voices of their marginalized counterparts. But many utterly fail to recognize the prejudices in themselves, and like Alix, feel compelled, even, to assert a kind of spurious decency: they claim to be culturally aware and yet are, sadly, incredibly lacking in self-awareness. Though the ending feels abrupt and does not resonate as strongly as the rest of the novel, Such a Fun Age succeeds at the things it sets out to do with brilliance and verve. ☆ ko-fi ★ blog ☆ twitter ★ tumblr ☆

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    ***NOW AVAILABLE*** **REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK** This is one of those books thats hard to review because I think if read quickly it would come across as just a good story. Reading this more slowly its 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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    Such a fab book! Kiley Reids 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 👯‍♀️

  6. 4 out of 5

    JanB

    4.5 stars There are books I read for the pure pleasure of the storytelling and there are books I read to make me think. Occasionally a book comes along that does both, without it being an issue book. This is one of those books. One of the best ways to make a point is through witty satire, through stereotypical characters who are ridiculous, yet compulsively readable. Taking the biggest hit in this book are the progressive woke individuals who are so fearful of appearing racist, so convinced that 4.5 stars There are books I read for the pure pleasure of the storytelling and there are books I read to make me think. Occasionally a book comes along that does both, without it being an “issue book”. This is one of those books. One of the best ways to make a point is through witty satire, through stereotypical characters who are ridiculous, yet compulsively readable. Taking the biggest hit in this book are the progressive “woke” individuals who are so fearful of appearing racist, so convinced that they aren’t racist, that they lack self-awareness. Alix (pronounced Ah-Leeks) Chamberlain is an entitled, progressive, white woman in her 30s who is a blogger and Instagram influencer. Emira is a college-educated black woman in her mid-20s, uncertain and confused about what she wants to do with her life. Emira is hired by Alix to babysit her toddler daughter, Briar (who is just the sweetest!). A defining incident happens early in the book and from there we are given the perspectives of Alix and her privileged friends (who are both black and white), as well as Emira, her friends, and her (white) boyfriend. This is so much more than a book about racial bias. It’s about race, yes, but it‘s also about social class, success, parenting, friendship, and the relationship between a nanny and the family she works for. Bias can be subtle. It can be the hubris of thinking you know what is right for others. Everyone here seems to know what Emira needs, and are so busy "doing good" that they don't bother to really get to know Emira or her wants and needs. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and it’s never more evident than in this story. One measure of a successful story/book is that it accomplishes what the author sets out to do. This author avoids the easy solutions and doesn’t tell us what to think. Instead she makes the reader think and examine their own feelings, opinions and actions, which can be uncomfortable indeed. The last line in the book packs quite a punch. Do yourself a favor and grab a friend or two, and read this book together. It’s a book that begs discussion. I had the good fortune to read this book with my friends Marialyce and Victoria. Our discussions were insightful and thought-provoking, enhancing the experience beyond measure. This is an amazing debut, and I can’t wait to see what this author writes next. *I received a free digital copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Emira Tucker, an African American woman, was going to turn 26 years old next week.... ....soon to get booted off her parents health insurance. Shes known for a while that her babysitting job - ( for Alix and Peter Chamberlain- white upper class couple with two small daughters), wasnt exactly sustainable- but she needed to figure out things on her own. Emira had a college degree...but she didnt know what she wanted to do next. In the meantime - Emiras part time babysitting job covered - barely - 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!!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    This was a thought-provoking novel I didnt want to put down. Emira is nearly 26, that crucial age when shell 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/.

  9. 5 out of 5

    karen

    this book is smart and excellent in like twelve different ways. believe all hype. review to come.

  10. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    i absolutely adore reese witherspoon and enjoy her book club choices, but this one isnt quite the hit i was expecting it to be, unfortunately. i appreciate the dialogue this story opens about heavy topics such as racial inequality and white saviour complexes. racism is a topic that tends to be discussed in fiction, but focuses more on the aggressive and antagonistic part of it. this is the first novel ive read where white people treat POC fairly, but only because they think it makes them a good i absolutely adore reese witherspoon and enjoy her book club choices, but this one isnt quite the hit i was expecting it to be, unfortunately. i appreciate the dialogue this story opens about heavy topics such as racial inequality and ‘white saviour’ complexes. racism is a topic that tends to be discussed in fiction, but focuses more on the aggressive and antagonistic part of it. this is the first novel ive read where white people treat POC fairly, but only because they think it makes them a good person/better than everyone else. its just another form of racism that i havent considered much and is really eye-opening. that being said, i couldnt get on board with the writing. i understand this is a debut novel, but wow. the writing just did not click for me. its disjointed, has no flow or pacing, the dialogue is either forced or cringy, and it does not leave room for me to bond or relate to any of the characters. its quite unfortunate. the message of the story is important, i just wish it had been executed a little bit better. ↠ 2.5 stars

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sister

    2.5 stars. An easy read that lacked the emotional connection and powerful punch that I had expected. This book is all the buzz lately. I couldnt wait to dig in and see what all the hype was about. Im not sure if the overhyping is what made me feel like I was missing something or this simply wasnt a powerful book for me. Yes, there are some very heavy topics covered within these pages, but the way they are presented didnt impact or resonate with me. From start to finish the narrative made me feel 2.5 stars. An easy read that lacked the emotional connection and powerful punch that I had expected. This book is all the buzz lately. I couldn’t wait to dig in and see what all the hype was about. I’m not sure if the overhyping is what made me feel like I was missing something or this simply wasn’t a powerful book for me. Yes, there are some very heavy topics covered within these pages, but the way they are presented didn’t impact or resonate with me. From start to finish the narrative made me feel distanced from the characters and storyline. I never felt completely immersed in their lives. It was like I was being told this story without being given the opportunity to truly experience it. Often times the dialogue felt awkward and somewhat forced which further distanced me from the characters. I didn’t like the way the changing perspectives overlapped - it often felt choppy and lacked flow. Overall, it was an easy, quick read, but not one that lived up to my expectations. Please read the many raving reviews before deciding on this book, as I am clearly the outlier. Thank you to Edelweiss for my review copy!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Asia J

    Entertaining mostly towards the end. For a debut novel it wasnt 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. 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.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    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.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    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: 12/17/19 Publication Date: 12/31/19

  15. 4 out of 5

    Esil

    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 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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Corina

    Its 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.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Put it in the pot and stir! A rich white employer, a poor black employee. Stick them in a pot and stir. This isnt a black and white story, though, or a soap opera. Oh such juicy, complex relationships. Those 4 stars I was doling out? A thing of the past. Im now firmly planted in 5-star land because I cant stop obsessing over this book. I think its because the way the two main characters act around each other is so vivid. Theres usually an undercurrent, which seems like a character in itself, one Put it in the pot and stir! A rich white employer, a poor black employee. Stick them in a pot and stir. This isn’t a black and white story, though, or a soap opera. Oh such juicy, complex relationships. Those 4 stars I was doling out? A thing of the past. I’m now firmly planted in 5-star land because I can’t stop obsessing over this book. I think it’s because the way the two main characters act around each other is so vivid. There’s usually an undercurrent, which seems like a character in itself, one that I couldn’t take my eyes off of. Lots is left unsaid. Conversations are loaded. We’re privy to what Alix (rich, successful, white mother) and Emira (poor, educated, black nanny) are thinking about the other, and their thoughts and agendas are so opposite. There’s a lot of push-pull going on. The undercurrents I mentioned, combined with anxiety, awkwardness, embarrassment, misinterpretations, and miscommunications, create the juice. What is so cool is that this isn’t an “issues” book, but it really makes you think about privilege and race, and about the dynamic of bosses and their workers. Here are some things I mulled over; some are issues I can relate to: -It made me think about how in some ways, we haven’t come very far when it comes to prejudice. Early on in this book, there’s an upsetting, pivotal scene concerning race that shakes things up. There’s fallout, of course. -Can a boss and employee of two different races ever be friends? (Actually, can a boss and worker of the same race ever really be “equal” friends?) The two characters here are so different! Alix really really wants Emira to be her friend. How should a worker (here, Emira) handle it? -I kept thinking about how money is power and how power over someone makes it nearly impossible to level the playing ground. I’m an afternoon nanny these days, so I can actually relate to some of the money funnies. -Should you stay in a job you don’t like, because there’s one aspect that you love? (Emira loves the cool kid she takes care of, but can she deal with the mother?) -Don’t believe everything you hear. We get a story about a past traumatic event, and I 100 percent believed it. Yet later, we hear a different version. Which one is true, or is there some truth in the middle? Made me think about assumptions, and perspectives. -Social media can be so brutal. Here, there are two internet horror stories. With one of them, we realize late in the story that what we’ve been hearing isn’t necessarily the truth. I didn’t know who to believe. I loved how I kept changing my mind as to who was the victim. -I thought about the times I’ve been uncomfortable because of race or privilege differences. I’ve been both boss and employee, and I remember some super awkward times in both roles. I pulled just a couple of quotes to give you a feel for the writing: “Laney had an embarrassing laugh, a disproportionate gum-to-teeth ratio, and she often said things like ‘holy moly.’” “…you know how Valentine’s Day was invented by card companies? What I thought I heard was ‘car’ companies. Till college, I thought that like, Toyota and Kia invented Valentine’s Day.” Teensy tiny Complaint Board: -There is a huge coincidence that you have to buy into, but the story was so captivating I didn’t mind. -I would have liked it if the writer had made Alix a little less annoying and embarrassing. -A minor stretch: I don’t think Emira would be charging her phone while working at Alix’s place. She would have it charged before she got there, plus she would have needed her phone to be close to her while with the kid. (I babysit regularly so I know the cell phone story, lol.) The story is not overly dramatic—there is no crime, no mental illness, no addiction, no abuse, and no illness or death—yet I found myself squirming, wondering what would happen next. Seldom do I find a domestic drama so exciting that I’m grabbing the book every chance I get. I wasn’t expecting a page-turner. This debut writer is a gifted storyteller. Every scene and every bit of dialogue are carefully crafted. She knows how to keep your attention, she knows how to create tension. You share the near constant discomfort that both Alix and Emira feel; that a writer can transfer this discomfort so well to the reader shows real talent. When I love a book, especially one by a new author, I head for the Internet in search of videos. I found this short one, where Reid describes how she came about writing this book. Her passion jazzed me up. She’s so cool, I want her to be my new best friend! She’s smart and articulate, but she also seems humble and nice. Here’s the clip: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=... Get your hands on this book! It would be a great choice for a book club or a buddy read. Thanks to Edelweiss for the advance copy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tucker

    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 fat teenagers - sucks because you're a hormonal mess young adults - sucks because you're a hormonal mess who has to deal with college and living on your own new 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 fat teenagers - sucks because you're a hormonal mess young adults - sucks because you're a hormonal mess who has to deal with college and living on your own new 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 gone older - sucks because you're body is dyinggggg elder - sucks because you're losing your mind AND your body is dyingggggg dead - sucks because... do i even need to tell you why being dead sucks... | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | Reddit | LinkedIn | YouTube |

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    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.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marchpane

    Such a Fun Age is much lighter, frothier and more comedic than I expected. At the same time, its 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.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Im completely in the minority here, this book is popular and there is a reason for it, its readable (mostly) engaging and fun with a fresh and contemporary feel while also tackling some pretty serious issues of race and white privilege, parts of this story are great for furthering discussion about inequality and racism although Im afraid it also perpetuates stereotypes rather than evolving them. (Perfect for book club discussion!) But what I cant get past is the poor execution of the writing, it I’m completely in the minority here, this book is popular and there is a reason for it, it’s readable (mostly) engaging and fun with a fresh and contemporary feel while also tackling some pretty serious issues of race and white privilege, parts of this story are great for furthering discussion about inequality and racism although I’m afraid it also perpetuates stereotypes rather than evolving them. (Perfect for book club discussion!) But what I can’t get past is the poor execution of the writing, it’s choppy and incomprehensible at times. The dialogue..don’t get me started! I understand this is a debut novel so some lenience I’ll allow for the undercooked writing. Also what’s with the title, is it meant to be ironic, I don’t get it??

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell

    I literally gasped at one of the big moments near the end (if you've read it, you probably know the one). Any book that can make me get so investedeven at times not even realizing I was that investeddeserves 5 stars. There is so much to unpack in this novel, it would make a great book club read. Whether you are reading through the lens of gender, race, what generation you are part of, or some other POV, Reid has managed to pack a lot into a relatively short novel without it ever feeling cluttered I literally gasped at one of the big moments near the end (if you've read it, you probably know the one). Any book that can make me get so invested—even at times not even realizing I was that invested—deserves 5 stars. There is so much to unpack in this novel, it would make a great book club read. Whether you are reading through the lens of gender, race, what generation you are part of, or some other POV, Reid has managed to pack a lot into a relatively short novel without it ever feeling cluttered or forced. A wild ride of a debut. Reid is definitely one to watch.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    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 Alixs attempts to get closer to Emira, often to prove her own care for and allyship with black people. Kiley Reids 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 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!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    I feel like this book started off pretty strong, but then it just sort of lost its way.. I really enjoyed the first few chapters of this book; I like what it was trying to say about race and the way people of color get treated differently and unfairly in certain situations, and I thought it was a really great start and shedding some light on important issues. But then I feel like as soon as Kelleys character is introduced into this book, it really lost its momentum. The dialogue got so cringe. I feel like this book started off pretty strong, but then it just sort of lost its way.. I really enjoyed the first few chapters of this book; I like what it was trying to say about race and the way people of color get treated differently and unfairly in certain situations, and I thought it was a really great start and shedding some light on important issues. But then I feel like as soon as Kelley’s character is introduced into this book, it really lost its momentum. The dialogue got so cringe. There were so many dialogue moments I underlined and wrote “what the fuck?” because who talks like that??? There’s literally a scene where Emira says “you’re lit” and Kelley is like “you too miss” like um, no thanks. The writing was just so bad in some parts. And I just couldn’t get invested in these character or this story, it just wasn’t really for me. I’ve been trying to read this for weeks, which is a long time for me to get through something this short and I just don’t care enough about it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    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 Im hoping itll 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 dont want to spoil any of its goodness. More thoughts to come soon. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: 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

  26. 5 out of 5

    Irena BookDustMagic

    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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Dawn

    This definitely could've been a bit longer, it would've helped a lot with building a stronger connection to the characters. It was a very great read nonetheless.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Olive

    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.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ When I first heard the plot of this book was about a young black woman being confronted by a security guard due to him believing she may be a kidnapper I immediately dismissed the idea of reading it because I thought that is stupid most people would just assume she was the nanny. And then I realized I either had to read it or drink a gallon of poison because did my brain say that due to my subconscious already having that information? Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ When I first heard the plot of this book was about a young black woman being confronted by a security guard due to him believing she may be a kidnapper I immediately dismissed the idea of reading it because I thought “that is stupid – most people would just assume she was the nanny.” And then I realized I either had to read it or drink a gallon of poison because did my brain say that due to my subconscious already having that information? Or was it due to me having some sort of implicit bias that would automatically categorize a 20-something black woman as some sort of hired help (that’s where the poison comes in)? And would I feel that way about young women of any color who were accompanying a child of a different race? What if it were a 30-something? Or a 40-something? What if it were a man? What if I’m not “woke”?!?!?!?! (Just kidding – I am well aware that I am not woke *sad face emoji*) Anyway, that’s the type of things this book makes you think of. Hot button topics like race and socioeconomic status and perception and appearance vs. reality are all tackled within the pages, but not done so in a heavy-handed manner. You see the goings on from each character’s individual perspective – including all of their biases. And those characters are all flawed. From the vapid Alix (I’m not even going to address the stupid pronunciation of her name), to Emira and her state of arrested development, to their male counterparts, to their friend groups. It was a real thinker (but again delivered with humor) that one minute had me “aww how cute-ing” a scene (for those interested I’m referring to the Kelley and Emira exchange on the bus where he declares her to be his girlfriend), that by the end of the book had me wanting to grab that poison again because “holy hell that was maybe not so cute after all.” Reese’s Hello Sunshine Book Club has been a fairly consistent deliverer of what I like to call “Saturday Reads.” They have kept me not only interested but also invested and are light enough to get through in an afternoon. Such a Fun Age would easily be another 4 Star selection, if not for the addition of Briar bumping it up to the full monty. If you know me you know that . . . . (Probably not someone who should have had a couple of my own, huh? Hindsight is 20/20 and I like mine okay since I have molded them into mini-assholes much like myself, but other people’s kids? Blech.) Anyway, every couple of years a kid comes along that I’d like to meet. The last one I can remember is Frank and now there’s Briar. Not only did her description conjure up an angelface like . . . . But her worldly observations???? Briar asked questions like, “Why can’t I smell that?” or, “Where is that squirrel’s mama?” or, “How come we don’t know that lady?” “If you eat all your toes?” Biar looked back at Emira, and whispered, “Then, then guess what, Mira? No more toes.” “Should I come eat pie with you this week?” “Yes,” Briar decided. “But you can only have ten pieces.” Oh my lord I just wanted to kidnap her from a grocery store! ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mackey

    Let me just say that Such a Fun Age definitely will be on my Top Ten list of reads for 2020. That just goes without saying, I think, and I also think it will be on a lot of "favorite" lists this year. I have, however, hesitated to write a review of the book out of fear of diminishing its importance as well as its enjoyability.  Such a Fun Age is a cross-genre tale about race, class, upbringing and the difficulty it is to cross those barriers. Age even plays a role in this clever, well written, Let me just say that Such a Fun Age definitely will be on my Top Ten list of reads for 2020. That just goes without saying, I think, and I also think it will be on a lot of "favorite" lists this year. I have, however, hesitated to write a review of the book out of fear of diminishing its importance as well as its enjoyability.  Such a Fun Age is a cross-genre tale about race, class, upbringing and the difficulty it is to cross those barriers. Age even plays a role in this clever, well written, very timely book. Emira is a babysitter - not a nanny - for Peter and Alix (who changed the spelling of her name to be more relevant.) Peter is a newsreader on television and Alix is an "influencer" on social media. Emira is charged with caring for Briar, their very precocious, charming daughter and she loves it. There is a beautiful, loving relationship throughout the book between Emira and Briar. It reminded me a bit of the The Help, another book that looks at these same themes. Problems arise when Peter makes a racist on-air remark and their house is egged as a result. Alix asks Emira to take Briar out of the house to an upscale store until things can get sorted. There, however, Emira is accused of kidnapping Briar; after all, why would a black teenage girl have a white little girl at a store at 11pm? There is a huge scene and isn't resolved until Peter arrives to clear up the confusion. Emira remarks that the security guard should be pleased since "Peter is an old, white guy."  Things escalate from there as Alix and her extremely politically correct friends try to make things better for Emira who is more concerned about not having health care than she is about "the incident." Things grow more tense throughout the book leaving you feeling as though you are watching a snowball grow into an avalanche until the very final page of this book. So, after reading Such a Fun Age twice through, I realized that this is far more than a book about "transactional relationships," - seriously, did you even know that word existed until this book? I didn't. It is far more than a book about race, although it very clearly is that too. This is a story about the disconnect we all have with one another as we make assumptions about the people who come into and out of our lives. Do I treat the migrant differently than I treat others in my world? Do I see a person in their 30s and immediately make assumption about their "millennial" lifestyle? Do I try to make others see me as "relevant," when, in fact, we all are. But, what I came away with most is that Emira was her own person, with her own goals and her own identity. She didn't want to be super successful like some of her "home girls." Neither did she want to be left behind in the job market. Most importantly, she didn't have her life all figured out on the time-table that society set for her - few do! We forget that we are individuals and each of us - regardless of race or religion or lifestyle choices - have to allow that individuality to flourish. Stop putting people into boxes to fit your own ideas, ideals or beliefs. It really is that simple and Such a Fun Age illustrates this beautifully.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.