Book Review: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book recommended by your favorite blog, vlog, podcast, or online book club (Reese's ...

PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book recommended by your favorite blog, vlog, podcast, or online book club (Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine, and literally the rest of the internet)

Other PS 2020 reading prompts this would satisfy: A book that passes the Bechdel test, A book about or involving social media, A book with a bird on the cover,  A book by a WOC, A book with a main character in their 20s

TW: Racism, classism, stalking, body hatred/fat phobia, animal death

There has been an insane amount of hype for Such a Fun Age. I've seen it, you've seen it. And it has some weight behind it, for sure. This book hooked me from the first page, and I was totally sold the entire way through it.

During one of her best friend's birthday parties, Emira gets a call from her employer asking her to come pick up their young daughter and take her out of the house for a while. It's close to 11 pm, and the Chamberlains have had a situation occur that requires the cops. Alix Chamberlain, an affluential White influencer, doesn't want her daughter around to witness police officers in their home. Emira, a babysitter and 20-something Black woman, takes two-year old Briar to the high-end grocery store down the street, where she's reported to store security and forced to remain in the store until Briar's father can show up and confirm his daughter was not, in fact, kidnapped. Following the grocery store incident, Emira continues living her life as normal, but the situation forces Alix to further consider her own actions and perceptions and to become more involved in the life of her babysitter. 

If you've heard about this book at all, it's likely you've heard or read the snippet about the grocery store incident - it's basically the biggest selling point of the story. But it's literally just the first chapter. This novel is so much more than just that small part of the story. It's a story about race and privilege, of our intentions and expectations. It's about the complications of being well-intentioned.

The book is broken into chapters revolving around both Emira and Alix. There are flashbacks, as well. You really get such an interesting, deep development of both characters, as well as some development of the side characters. As I mention, "good intentions" are certainly a theme in the book, and I was interested in how quickly good intentions became something much more ominous.

There's a unique way of storytelling in Such a Fun Age that made me really inspect my own self, my intentions and the meaning behind them. I was surprised how introspective I became while reading. The story is fictional, but it's also full of real-life scenarios. Not to mention there's a bit of an interesting surprise in the book that I saw coming, but appreciated it nonetheless.

"It's like eating everything on your plate 'cause you think someone else won't go hungry if you don't. You're not helping anyone but yourself." -Such a Fun Age, Kiley Reid

I really truly enjoyed and appreciated this book. It was smart, timely, and relevant. But as a fictional novel, it also held up to being entertaining, immersive, and the definition of a page turner. I could hardly put it down. I would encourage anyone to read this book, and allow the story to make you question your own motives and intentions.

Goodreads rating: ★★★★★

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  1. I'm only just starting it and already frustrated at the comments about her weight in chapter 3. Thoughts? Do they address this in the book or not really?

    1. It's not really addressed at all. I am not at all a fan of her character, and the comments about her weight continue throughout the book. I think it speaks more about that particular character than the actual author, if that makes sense.