Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. Reese's Book Club.
"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"  (Goodreads). The story begins when the babysitter, Emira, is confronted and accused of kidnapping by a security guard in a grocery store, and things quickly spiral from there. The story shifts back and forth from the perspectives of Emira and her employer/entrepreneur and social media influencer, Alix Chamberlain. This novel explores themes such as race, privilege, the complications of transactional relationships, self-perception of motivations, and denial. 
This book is packed full of flawed and complicated characters that can invoke sympathy as well as extreme frustration, and it makes for a great read! The story really brings into perspective how as humans we are able to justify our actions and convince ourselves that we are being selfless when we are really being selfish. I read this book in three days, and I could not put it down! In many ways, this is a coming-of-age story, and my only criticism was that I was hoping for the protagonist, Emira, to have a ride-off-into-the-sunset moment and put everyone in their place when Reid writes a much more realistic ending. While it was not the ending I imagined, I would highly recommend this novel.

Reviewed by Publicity Librarian, Megan Bryant. 
Rating: ★★★★☆

Read-alikes: Dear Edward by Ann Politano; Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane; Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson; The Dutch House by Ann Patchett; American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins; The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson; The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin; A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum.