SUCH A FUN AGE - KILEY REID
Title: Such A Fun Age
Author: Kiley Reid
Published: December 2019
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.
NICKY'S REVIEW ⭐️⭐️⭐️
There was so much hype around this book, I mean Reece recommended it. The story of two contrasting women, Emira, a 25 year old African American student and Alix, a middle class white woman in her late 30’s. It starts with an incident at a grocery story, where Emira, who babysits Alix’s 3 year old daughter, finds herself on the receiving end of a racial tyrant. What then progresses is a narrative around feminism, racism and privilege. It explores what impact this has on their own complex relationship, as well as the relationship they have with those around them. As it seemed more plot focused then character driven, I struggled to resonate with either Emira or Alix. I also wasn’t able to depict a clear message which it was trying to convey, because at times it seemed disjointed and quite surface level. It was sharp, light hearted and the undercurrents of class and race were there. I did enjoy the book, but I feel it slightly missed the mark.
TAY'S REVIEW ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I first heard about this book from @reesesbookclub, and obviously sent it straight to the top of my TBR pile. The first few chapters had me hooked, with so much to unpack from those initial events. They made an impact and the unwritten words spoke volumes, so naturally I was excited for more. But I've got to be honest, it only went downhill from there. I felt detached from the story and the characters, none of which I overly liked (except little Briar, of course). There were definitely moments of substance that were thought provoking but there were also moments that annoyed the shit out of me. I'm the first to say that books/film/art that highlights racial issues are so important, but I found the way it was done in this book came off a little flat and lacklustre, and other times obnoxious. There was borderline stalker behaviour, an unexplained name change and a love interest that I didn't really know what to make of? A lot going on, and yet not always a lot of depth. Perhaps it was just my inability to see the nuance. I hope the emotional connection is stronger for you than it was for me.