A Fantastic Debut and a Brilliant Voice | Review: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

6:30 AM

Such a Fun Age was fantastic! This is another review duo for me--I read along in a physical copy and listened to the audiobook.

by Kiley Reid

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.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid 
Rating: ★★★★☆

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the authors in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. I also received the audiobook in exchange for my honest review via Libro.FM.

Such a Fun Age was, er, such a great read. I'm going to say it now: Kiley Reid is one of THE voices to look out for in the literary world. Reid's writing is just divine and engaging; the way in which the story flowed is what dreams are made of, and the honesty behind Such a Fun Age makes it all the more striking.

What you need to know, first, above all else, about Such a Fun Age is that it's written in a way that provokes emotion from its readers. Good storytellers can make you feel something, anything, in just a few words, and Reid had a way about telling this story that made me feel so much more than you could imagine.

There were times where I flinched, smiled, felt embarrassed, etc. Sometimes I wanted to cry. Sometimes I genuinely wanted to reach out and have a heart-to-heart with these characters. Kiley Reid captures more than your interest with the way she tells this story.

Such a Fun Age was very much so driven to new heights by the development of its characters. The lead characters are believable; flawed, complex, sometimes frustrating and undeniably like people you may or may not know in life. They all but jump off the page and reach out to touch you. At times, you wish you could reach them. Alixa and Emira feel real, because they could be so many.

The topics that are explored in Such a Fun Age are blunt and cohesive to the central plotlines. It was quick to tackle important issues in a way that was timely, heartfelt, honest and riveting. Such a Fun Age is only as good as it author, and its author is brilliant. I cannot say enough good about Such a Fun Age, only that I think it should be at the top of everyone's 2020 reading list.

As for the audiobook, it was definitely an engaging and illuminating addition to an already incredible story. Such a Fun Age is elevated further with the audiobook and made the novel breeze by me.

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