Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age

eBook - 2019
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A Best Book of the Year:
The Washington Post | NPR | Chicago Tribune | Slate | Parade | Elle | Real Simple | InStyle | Good Housekeeping | Vox | Kirkus Reviews | Library Journal | BookPage
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 BOOKER PRIZE
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A REESE'S BOOK CLUB x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK PICK
"The most provocative page-turner of the year." —Entertainment Weekly
"I urge you to read Such a Fun Age." —NPR
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," and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

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FPL_Lori Feb 18, 2021

Such a Fun Age had me hooked in the first scene. Reid does an excellent job with characters and dialogue, while also creating a page-turning story. While it is entertaining and highly readable, it is also a telling illustration of race, class, social media, and privacy in present-day America. It paints a picture without casting judgment in a preachy way. Highly recommended for books clubs as there is so much fodder for discussion- but also a good choice to take to the beach or on a plane.

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michellecharris
Jan 18, 2021

Just going to say it.....hated it! The storyline was just dumb. Mentions of Hillary Clinton irked me as well as all of the racial references. I felt as though the author was more interested in telling her readers her liberal views or how we should view women of color. I read to be entertained, not “lectured”.

LoganLib_JennyI Jan 10, 2021

Some say this book is too light to cover the serious themes of racism and class, however as a middle class, caucasian person I felt uncomfortable after reading it. So I believe Reid's debut novel speaks with power. Power, not through a story based on huge, violent events affecting tens of thousands, but power through giving weight and insight to an everyday young woman, Emira.
Reid places us in firmly in Emira's shoes - during the inciting incident of the book, in her job, with her friends and relationships and with her inner dialogue about where she "should" be in her mid twenties.
There is fun in the scenes when Emira is with her girlfriends, tenderness in the adventures of Emira and Briar, awkwardness and confusion in the relationship between Alix and Emira and psychological damage, or soon to be, between Alix, Kelley and Emira.

a
a2mayer
Jan 08, 2021

I don’t know how I feel about this book. I enjoyed the light reading and the funny interactions between characters all well addressing some big themes like racism and privilege of wealth. But the ending did not move me and left me wondering if the characters learned anything from the events that took place.
*It should also be noted that there is a lot of swearing in this book.

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ellenorndorf
Dec 19, 2020

I got this book our of my neighbor's little free library. I liked it though was sad that Emira and Kelley didn't end up together. I get why though. Both Alix and Kelley were deep flawed people that couldn't see their own shortcomings.

IndyPL_CarriG Dec 18, 2020

Ooof. A powerful read that sneaks up on you. Emira is a young woman from a family of talented makers, who has yet to come up with a life plan. She works two part-time jobs, one as a transcriber and one as a baby-sitter for an inquisitive and brash little girl who she adores. Her friends are all more successful and driven than she is, and she knows her jobs aren't ideal, but she can't bring herself to really contemplate leaving her fun and fiery charge. One evening, the mother frantically calls her - there was an incident that she needs to call the police for, will Emira please come take little Briar to the upscale grocery store down the street while they are there so she is not traumatized? Dressed for an evening out with her girlfriends Emira shows up, takes little Briar to the store, and is accused of kidnapping her by "concerned" customers. The security guard won't let her leave until Emira calls the father and he shows up, an older white man, to confirm Emira's identity. The incident is filmed by another white man who suggests she sue, post it online, become famous, yada yada yada. Emira is not interested in any of that nonsense - she just wants to live her life and not be a poster child for discrimination.

The rest of the book is a critique of woke culture and micro-aggressions. Emira's life is constantly being picked apart by the white progressives in her life who want her to do more, be better, and, above all, appreciate their involvement. Sometimes this book is so uncomfortable to read I was literally squirming - like watching the infamous "Scott's Tots" episode of The Office bad. Emira is a sympathetic character and very relatable - her friends are lovely, fun, and supportive. The mother in the book constantly made me want to scream and squish my eyes shut and wish her away. The man she ends up dating, on the other hand, made me roll my eyes in exasperation over and over and over again, until I was worried they would get stuck that way. This is a powerful novel about the little earthquakes of racism and behavior that are not talked about as much as the more violent and obvious behaviors like violence, police brutality, and discriminatory hiring practices. It is uncomfortable, important, and definitely causes a reaction.

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betsymarzoni
Dec 14, 2020

The most enjoyable aspects of this novel were the hilarious interactions between Emira and her girlfriends and the tender, touching relationship between Emira and Briar, the child she babysits. There were important themes introduced in this book...social and racial inequality, the insidiousness of privilege and class, the damage done by people with good intentions but poor communication skills. Unfortunately, these themes were not well developed or explored as thoroughly as they could have been. The book could have been very timely and important, but instead was shallow and uninteresting.

m
Margush
Nov 22, 2020

My 50-page rule didn’t work for this book. I was done on page 15. Returned.

g
Gretchenbodnar
Nov 20, 2020

I loved this book. A great read. I found that I could not put it down at times.
The cultural scenarios were accurate and timely. I thought that this book was an important read about the power of strong friend relationships, the evils of manipulation and deceit, how our background and roots help shape who we are and become as adults. I loved that Ermira's core values and beliefs were pure, loving, and directed at Briar's best well-being. I recommend this read! Kudos to the author!

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EljayJohnson
Nov 11, 2020

Wow, I had quite the ride with this book. If someone had told me in the first 100 pages that I would end up giving it 4 stars, I would have thought they were out of their mind. I think my initial problem was all on me: it was because of my expectations. I knew the basic premise of the book and I was expecting some more heft or depth or, frankly, anger -- none of which were present in the first quarter. And, to continue to pile it on, throughout its entirety there were some real problems with pacing, dialogue, characterizations; a lack of refinement and artistry in this raw debut novel. But. But. As I put my expectations aside and actually read the book in front of me, and as it hit its stride for the last three-quarters, I really came to appreciate Reid's bright and breezy style, her clever and even-handed skewering of all members of her cast (including her heroine), her emotional and affecting portrait of the relationship between Emira and little Briar, and - there it was - the final angry and bone-deep realization by Emira of just how execrable the behavior was of almost everyone around her.

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LoganLib_JennyI Jan 10, 2021

"I'm probably gonna start looking for a one-bedroom or a studio."
"Oh, for real?" Emira was shocked, and then she was jealous, and then she wondered, Is that what we're supposed to be doing right now? Cause if it is, I ain't there."

ArapahoeMaryA Apr 25, 2020

One day, when Emira would say good-bye to Briar, she'd also leave the joy of having somewhere to be, the satisfaction of understanding the rules, the comfort of knowing what's coming next, and the privilege of finding a home within yourself.

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