Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun AgeIn The Midst Of A Family Crisis One Late Evening, White Blogger Alix Chamberlain Calls Her African American Babysitter, Emira, Asking Her To Take Toddler Briar To The Local Market For Distraction There, The Security Guard Accuses Emira Of Kidnapping Briar, And Alix S Efforts To Right The Situation Turn Out To Be Good Intentions Selfishly Mismanaged Wow The writing in this book is so light and breezy and easy to read that it can take a while to appreciate the depths the author takes us to in Such a Fun Age Combine the compelling writing with a cute font on the cover and this book is seriously deceiving You know, this book reminded me of some of the criticisms others and myself had about The Help I feel like I have to be careful here because even now, ten years later, there are people who love that book so much that they kiss it before t Wow The writing in this book is so light and breezy and easy to read that it can take a while to appreciate the depths the author takes us to in Such a Fun Age Combine the compelling writing with a cute font on the cover and this book is seriously deceiving You know, this book reminded me of some of the criticisms others and myself had about The Help I feel like I have to be careful here because even now, ten years later, there are people who love that book so much that they kiss it before they go to bed each night But The Help honestly seemed to me like a way for white folks to make themselves feel better about the way they behaved during Jim Crow segregation Total white lady saviour vibe.This book is like what would have happened if Abilene had called Skeeter out and told her to go be a hero somewhere else Of course, Such a Fun Age is set in 2015 and not the 1960s so the circumstances are different but, alarmingly, not that different.Such a Fun Age is about two women Emira Tucker and Alix Chamberlain Emira is a young black babysitter for the Chamberlains eldest daughter, Briar, and is currently juggling two jobs as she struggles to pay rent, keep her healthcare, and figure out what she wants to do with her life Alix Chamberlain is a wealthy white blogger and minor social media celebrity who battles doubts and insecurities, all while on the surface maintaining a facade that she has everything she ever wanted.When Emira is stopped by a security guard at a fancy grocery store and accused of kidnapping Briar, everything changes The moment is caught on camera and, though Emira is determined to forget all about it, both Alix and the bystander who filmed it want to make things right and get justice for Emira It s a very engaging contemporary novel with a lot of nuance Though it is clearly a critique of white saviours , Reid is careful not to let the characters fall into one dimensional stereotypes She uses these fully fleshed out characters to explore the way well meaning white people often overstep and actually make black people s lives harder Protecting and helping as a means of control is nothing new, but the author really shines a light on the way white liberals use these words to take over situations and narratives.Plus it s also just a really great story about two very different women, all their quirks and habits, and what happens when their lives intersect.The only thing that was a little disappointing was the way it ended view spoiler Alix was such a complex, flawed and misguided character throughout, so it was a shame to see the ending destroy her characterization Especially the flashback where she discovered the letter and decided to lie about it I thought it was smarter, and truer, to paint her as someone who thought she was helping even when she was being selfish It weakened the story s power when she was reduced to a scheming villain, in my opinion hide spoiler Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Wow Okay I don t know what I have to feel about this book Did I like it Mostly I did But as soon as I finish, I felt like something missing Maybe I didn t like how the things ended for the characters and I wished alternate solutions for their stories I enjoyed the writing and intercepted lives of two female protagonists, the development and progression, objective and genuine approach of racism, diversity, hypocritical attitudes of the people At the end of the story I lost my love for Ali Wow Okay I don t know what I have to feel about this book Did I like it Mostly I did But as soon as I finish, I felt like something missing Maybe I didn t like how the things ended for the characters and I wished alternate solutions for their stories I enjoyed the writing and intercepted lives of two female protagonists, the development and progression, objective and genuine approach of racism, diversity, hypocritical attitudes of the people At the end of the story I lost my love for Alixa and wanted to kick her ass so bad and shook Emira s shoulders so hard to force her get a grip I still stick with 3.5 stars and of course I will round them up to 4 because the story really got imprinted on my mind and I wanted to learn what s gonna happen , how the interwoven relationship dynamics will change the characters lives and what kind of revelations will come out.So we have a privileged, wealthy, blogger Alixa Chamberlain, living her dream life but it s still something missing about her She s insecure, not quite satisfied with her new appearance after having her new baby, questioning her life choices Our other protagonist Emira Tucker, nanny correction babysitter as Alixa calls he, making her wear a uniform, yes like younger version of Viola Davis from Help movie of Alixa s elder daughter Briar, trying so hard to make her ends meet by working at two jobs and pushing hard to pay her rent and keep her health insurance One day, at eleven p.m Alixa calls Emira urgently to take her daughter to the grocery store Awkward request alert Of course nothing good will come out after strange demands So Emira leaves her friends, still wearing her party clothes and a little tipsy to help her employers but surprisingly security guard at the grocery store interrogates her and gets suspicious that she kidnapped Briar As soon as Alixa s husband Peter arrives to the store, the problem solves and Emira wants to forget all of this humiliated misunderstanding even though somebody filmed everything to make things right and emailed the video to her Then that somebody from the grocery store runs into Emira at the train a good looking, tall, witty man named Kelley and they start to see each other So as you may imagine even the one of the worst nights of her life helps her to meet with her new boyfriend But well this coincidental beginning and her humiliating experience will be the key of Pandora s box and helps all hell breaks loose It will affect both of Emira and Alixa s lives.Alixa is selfish, insecure and a little immature character Most of the book I loved her craziness, her passionate approach to Emira which makes her cross the line between protectiveness and obsessiveness But at the end some big revelations about her made me lose my sympathy for the character and as some parts I found Emira, a little lost, aimless, confused If she was younger than 25, I may understand how she lost the tracks of her own life or if there was any tragic background story tells that why she prefers only existing instead of finding her passion about life.Overall I loved the pure, objective, riveting writing style and the author s approach to the sensitive matters I partly loved the characters and their relationship dynamics, the big revelations and the story s direction after everything is getting out of control Only thing I didn t like the conclusions of characters stories But this is still interesting, fast pacing and promising reading I m happy to start the year by finishing this reading So yes it may be considered as a winner bloginstagramfacebooktwitter find this review others on my blog Such a Fun Age is a novel that disheartened me even if it didn t surprise me Something akin to relief gusted through my room like a warm front when I finished it not because it was an unpleasant read though it does depict many unpleasant moments but because the story often wound up my feelings to the highest point of second hand embarrassment that it felt like a huge weight slid down my shoulders when it was all over.Narratives about race and privile find this review others on my blog Such a Fun Age is a novel that disheartened me even if it didn t surprise me Something akin to relief gusted through my room like a warm front when I finished it not because it was an unpleasant read though it does depict many unpleasant moments but because the story often wound up my feelings to the highest point of second hand embarrassment that it felt like a huge weight slid down my shoulders when it was all over.Narratives about race and privilege are not unfamiliar literary fodder, but in her novel, Reid demonstrates a remarkable insight by taking on the monumental challenge of revealing the state of America through what she called the everyday domestic biases that we don t even know we have Reid s exploration is a fresh and interesting look at the uneasy performance of wokeness a paper thin tissue of a word, so conspicuous that it now immediately breeds distrust.At the outset of the novel, Emira Tucker, a young black woman, is accosted by a security guard in an upscale grocery store in Philadelphia and accused of kidnapping the white toddler she s babysitting The scene is unnerving, devastating, and all too familiar, but rather than dwell on the racial and political implications of this terrible, defining incident, Reid almost speeds through it, and so does Emira, who chooses to give the whole affair the shake of the head it deserves, like putting the whole night in a museum removed, too soon forgotten and turns her mind to the farpreoccupying matter of her inching closer to her 25th birthday and towards the inevitability of being kicked out of her parents health insurance.The author s choice, however, doesn t make these details any less affecting, and suggests them, instead, as an essential context for the relationship residing at the heart of the novel between Emira and her employer, Alix Chamberlain, a white wealthy influencer who built a flowering career writing letters, an endeavor that later carried her forward into a disappointing, grown up, settled existence in Philadelphia.Reid s novel is smartly and solidly told her prose is incisive and lived in, as though carefully culled from years of listening in on private conversations But the book s biggest triumph is the way the author hides barbed, little truths in her otherwise lightweight yarns while still conveying a clear headed message, as permeable as sandstone.As it happens, if lack of subtlety was a recognized art, Alix Chamberlain would have museum exhibits in her honor Alix feels that she has earned her woke badge, and prides herself on that fact, but after the incident at the supermarket, she decides to wake the fuck up and get to know Emira better This wake up call is followed by an urge to announce her newly invigorated self awareness to Emira, hoping for recognition, some kind of affirmation of the work she has done on herself She wants Emira to know that one of Alix s closest friends was also black That Alix s new and favorite shoes were from Payless, and only cost eighteen dollars That Alix had read everything that Toni Morrison had ever written Alix s sudden warmth, which seemed to presume upon some happy old intimacy she and Emira did not share, throws Emira into awkwardness Her well meaning words and best efforts which often made me cringe with a sharpness that was almost pain to cultivate an image of herself as being politically aware quickly turn into empty puffs of air Too caught in the weave of her fumbling attempts at identifying with Emira even going as far as peering on the notifications displayed on the lock screen of Emira s phone, mining for answers about her social life Alix is incognizant of her own remarkable lack of self awareness After all, outside the oleaginous remarks and overtly friendly behavior, there remained the central idea that Alix just didn t want Emira to quit her job.Reid s subtle evisceration of these woke wannabes every person of color will undoubtedly recognize in the deftly rendered characters at least a few people they ve encountered in real life might be evenbracing at close range People love the idea of being woke , even if they don t know what to do with it Even if they only know how to do exactly the wrong thing They want to be considered progressive, and want everyone to know just how progressive they are But these efforts, while they create the illusion of reflectiveness and depth, are in fact brittle and shallow as a mirror Some people do acknowledge the benefits that accrue to them by means of their white privilege, carefully listen, and do their best to amplify the voices of their marginalized counterparts But many utterly fail to recognize the prejudices in themselves, and like Alix, feel compelled, even, to assert a kind of spurious decency they claim to be culturally aware and yet are, sadly, incredibly lacking in self awareness.Though the ending feels abrupt and does not resonate as strongly as the rest of the novel, Such a Fun Age succeeds at the things it sets out to do with brilliance and verve ko fi blog twitter tumblr NOW AVAILABLE REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK This is one of those books that s hard to review because I think if read quickly it would come across as just a good story Reading thisslowly it s revealed that there is muchto this book than just entertainment It highlights lots of racial issues, from two different points of view Alix is a successful, married white woman and Emira an undecided African American woman Alix discovered her talents quite quickly and has a thr NOW AVAILABLE REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK This is one of those books that s hard to review because I think if read quickly it would come across as just a good story Reading thisslowly it s revealed that there is muchto this book than just entertainment It highlights lots of racial issues, from two different points of view Alix is a successful, married white woman and Emira an undecided African American woman Alix discovered her talents quite quickly and has a thriving online business as well as lots of speaking engagements.She and her husband now have what seems to be the good life She has one amazing, open hearted and apparently open mouthed in jest here little 3 year old daughter She plays an important part in this novel, her name is Briar She also has an infant daughter, about 6 months old whom she usually has with her when she works.Enter our other main character Emira, a 25 y o African American, college educated young women who hasn t figured out what she wants to do with her life To some she would appear in need of a helping hand, mentorship or whatever In truth, however, Emira isn t overly upset about where she is in her life, she is giving herself permission to explore different ideas and career paths These two women start out in the book as boss and babysitter , but Alix s feelings for this young woman go much deeper and sometimes in a questionable way.Here s a good little taste of what s to come, the big event that changes the trajectory of the relationship between these two women 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 Into this mix of emotions and presumptions between both Alix and Emira we add Kelley Copeland, the boy who ruined Alix s senior year in high school He presumably circulated a letter she had written Lots of high school students descended on her home and swimming pool, one young man had his scholarship taken away because Alix called the police when the students wouldn t leave Alix has never really gotten over Kelley and now he shows up in the most awkward position possible.Sometimes I think that racial relationships have gotten better in the last decade but then I read a book like this and it really makes me wonder, have we really made much progress understanding each other and our differences Are we still trying to make everyone act like white people I had never heard the term white saviorism before but it was an interesting topic to contemplate In this book I felt that both women used each other in different ways, neither was guilt free in the outcome of their story.I can definitely recommend this book to everyone, it s a quick read with a big message I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss The novel is set to publish in January 2020 Entertaining mostly towards the end For a debut novel it wasn t terrible, but I most definitely felt like I was reading a book written about black struggles by a white woman The dialogue was also fucking atrocious. i absolutely adore reese witherspoon and enjoy her book club choices, but this one isnt quite the hit i was expecting it to be, unfortunately i appreciate the dialogue this story opens about heavy topics such as racial inequality and white saviour complexes racism is a topic that tends to be discussed in fiction, but focuseson the aggressive and antagonistic part of it this is the first novel ive read where white people treat POC fairly, but only because they think it makes them a goo i absolutely adore reese witherspoon and enjoy her book club choices, but this one isnt quite the hit i was expecting it to be, unfortunately i appreciate the dialogue this story opens about heavy topics such as racial inequality and white saviour complexes racism is a topic that tends to be discussed in fiction, but focuseson the aggressive and antagonistic part of it this is the first novel ive read where white people treat POC fairly, but only because they think it makes them a good person better than everyone else its just another form of racism that i havent considered much and is really eye opening.that being said, i couldnt get on board with the writing i understand this is a debut novel, but wow the writing just did not click for me its disjointed, has no flow or pacing, the dialogue is either forced or cringy, and it does not leave room for me to bond or relate to any of the characters its quite unfortunate the message of the story is important, i just wish it had been executed a little bit better 2.5 stars As the adoptive mother of a child of color this was a muchemotional read for me than I generally care for in my fiction However, once I began I couldn t put it down, even as it wrecked me.When a security guard at a grocery store assumes a young black woman who s babysitting is instead kidnapping the white child in her charge Well, the world goes nuts When the toddler s woke mom gets involved and tries to make it right YeahThis is great story telling that feels a teeny bit like a sto As the adoptive mother of a child of color this was a muchemotional read for me than I generally care for in my fiction However, once I began I couldn t put it down, even as it wrecked me.When a security guard at a grocery store assumes a young black woman who s babysitting is instead kidnapping the white child in her charge Well, the world goes nuts When the toddler s woke mom gets involved and tries to make it right YeahThis is great story telling that feels a teeny bit like a story, anecdote or joke that hits way too close to home I flip flopped between having the emotional distance to get into the story and dying a little inside imagining this being my daughter 4.5 stars There are books I read for the pure pleasure of the storytelling and there are books I read to make me think Occasionally a book comes along that does both, without it being an issue book This is one of those books One of the best ways to make a point is through witty satire, through stereotypical characters who are ridiculous, yet compulsively readable Taking the biggest hit in this book are the progressive woke individuals who are so fearful of appearing racist, so convinced 4.5 stars There are books I read for the pure pleasure of the storytelling and there are books I read to make me think Occasionally a book comes along that does both, without it being an issue book This is one of those books One of the best ways to make a point is through witty satire, through stereotypical characters who are ridiculous, yet compulsively readable Taking the biggest hit in this book are the progressive woke individuals who are so fearful of appearing racist, so convinced that they aren t racist, that they lack self awareness Alix pronounced Ah Leeks Chamberlain is an entitled, progressive, white woman in her 30s who is a blogger and Instagram influencer Emira is a college educated black woman in her mid 20s, uncertain and confused about what she wants to do with her life Emira is hired by Alix to babysit her toddler daughter, Briar who is just the sweetest A defining incident happens early in the book and from there we are given the perspectives of Alix and her privileged friends who are both black and white , as well as Emira, her friends, and her white boyfriend This is so muchthan a book about racial bias It s about race, yes, but it s also about social class, success, parenting, friendship, and the relationship between a nanny and the family she works for Bias can be subtle It can be the hubris of thinking you know what is right for others Everyone here seems to know what Emira needs, and are so busy doing good that they don t bother to really get to know Emira or her wants and needs The road to hell is paved with good intentions and it s neverevident than in this story One measure of a successful story book is that it accomplishes what the author sets out to do This author avoids the easy solutions and doesn t tell us what to think Instead she makes the reader think and examine their own feelings, opinions and actions, which can be uncomfortable indeed The last line in the book packs quite a punch Do yourself a favor and grab a friend or two, and read this book together It s a book that begs discussion I had the good fortune to read this book with my friends Marialyce and Victoria Our discussions were insightful and thought provoking, enhancing the experience beyond measure This is an amazing debut, and I can t wait to see what this author writes next I received a free digital copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review 2.5 stars An easy read that lacked the emotional connection and powerful punch that I had expected This book is all the buzz lately I couldn t wait to dig in and see what all the hype was about I m not sure if the overhyping is what made me feel like I was missing something or this simply wasn t a powerful book for me Yes, there are some very heavy topics covered within these pages, but the way they are presented didn t impact or resonate with me From start to finish the narrative made me 2.5 stars An easy read that lacked the emotional connection and powerful punch that I had expected This book is all the buzz lately I couldn t wait to dig in and see what all the hype was about I m not sure if the overhyping is what made me feel like I was missing something or this simply wasn t a powerful book for me Yes, there are some very heavy topics covered within these pages, but the way they are presented didn t impact or resonate with me From start to finish the narrative made me feel distanced from the characters and storyline I never felt completely immersed in their lives It was like I was being told this story without being given the opportunity to truly experience it Often times the dialogue felt awkward and somewhat forced which further distanced me from the characters I didn t like the way the changing perspectives overlapped it often felt choppy and lacked flow Overall, it was an easy, quick read, but not one that lived up to my expectations Please read the many raving reviews before deciding on this book, as I am clearly the outlier Thank you to Edelweiss for my review copy FANTASTIC

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  • Hardcover
  • 307 pages
  • Such a Fun Age
  • Kiley Reid
  • English
  • 15 July 2017
  • 052554190X