Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid |G.P. Putnam’s Sons {Book Review}

Such a Fun Age book

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Book Summary:

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, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store’s security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, 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 things 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.

Publication Date:

December 31st, 2019

Genre:

Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

Such a Fun Age Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age is the debut novel by Kiley Reid. This is one of those books that is written in a light and engaging manner but is deceptively heavy-hitting. It a compelling contemporary fiction novel that dives into racial issues from two very different standpoints as well as how we identify with ourselves and with one another.

We meet two women, Emira Tucker and Alix Chamberlain. Emira babysits for Alix’s young daughter Briar and after a late-night incident where Emira is stopped by security when she is out with Briar, everything changes. While Emira deals with the aftermath of this incident, Alix resolves to make this “right”.

While this book is absolutely engrossing to read, Reid also takes on the issue of “white savior” narratives. I appreciated that Reid created multi-faceted and incredibly detailed characters within these narratives. While I couldn’t entirely relate to either of these women, I felt I understood them and a lot of this came from knowing their backstories.

I appreciated that Emira and Alix were both imperfect in their own ways which I think added so much nuance to this storyline. Such a Fun Age was a fascinating and thought-provoking read and I just enjoyed Reid’s writing style so much. I predict this one will get a lot of buzz when it is released at the end of December!

Thank you to NetGalley and G.P. Putnam’s Son’s for an advanced copy. 


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The Second Home by Christina Clancy | St. Martin’s Press {Book Review}

Gen The Bookworm book review

The Second Home by Christina Clancy

Book Summary:

After a disastrous summer spent at her family summer home on Cape Cod, seventeen-year-old Ann Gordon was left with a secret that changed her life forever, and created a rift between her sister, Poppy, and their adopted brother, Michael.

Now, fifteen years later, her parents have died, leaving Ann and Poppy to decide the fate of the Wellfleet home that’s been in the Gordon family for generations. For Ann, the once-beloved house is tainted with bad memories. Poppy loves the old saltbox, but after years spent chasing waves around the world, she isn’t sure she knows how to stay in one place.

Just when the sisters decide to sell, Michael re-enters their lives with a legitimate claim to the house. But more than that, he wants to set the record straight about that long-ago summer. Reunited after years apart, these very different siblings must decide if they can continue to be a family—and the house just might be the glue that holds them together.

Told through the shifting perspectives of Ann, Poppy, and Michael, this assured and affecting debut captures the ache of nostalgia for summers past and the powerful draw of the places we return to again and again. It is about second homes, second families, and second chances. Tender and compassionate, incisive and heartbreaking, The Second Home is the story of a family you’ll quickly fall in love with, and won’t soon forget.

Publication Date:

June 2nd, 2019

Genre:

Family Life/Coming of Age Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

St. Martin's Press

The Second Home

I normally try and wait to review books that have publishing dates that are 6+ months away but after I read the book summary of Christina Clancy’s debut novel I knew I had to read it right away. I am a big family of sagas that follow a family over time and The Second Home centers around the Gordon family and spans multiple decades.

Clancy’s writing style is incredibly detailed and engrossing and I felt like I could picture each of her main characters so well. They were layered and raw and while I couldn’t always relate to them (Poppy) I felt like I could understand them because of Clancy’s gifted character development.

The Cape Cod setting was perfect for this family drama that reads like a beach read but has a depth that made it so much more than that. Through the shifting perspectives of Ann, Poppy, and Michael, secrets are revealed and family bonds are tested.

The ending was particularly satisfying and I loved how the charactered connected and reconnected throughout time and the idea that family can sometimes be something you create on your own.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy.


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