Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid | Book Review

★★★★☆
July 3rd

I’m so glad that I got to read this book when I did from the library, because this book has blown up in popularity recently, and is very difficult to get now!

Such a Fun Age follows Emira, an African American woman in her early twenties who is asked late one night to take the young girl she babysits, Briar, to the local grocery store to distract her from a family crisis. When she’s at the grocery store, a security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar, causing a long series of events.

I was really expecting this book to be about a lot of drama following the incident in the grocery store. I was expecting a large presence of the media, a bigger tie into the Black Lives Matter movement in terms of protesting, and maybe some examples of the white parents trying to fix things and overstepping their boundaries.

I wasn’t expecting this book to be what it was: an African American women to just want to go about her life without drawing attention to herself, or to try and fix everything in the world. There’s a great quote in this book where she tells another character “I don’t need you to be mad that it happened. I need you to be mad that it just like… happens.”

This book is a lot about allyship, specifically performative allyship. Emira’s boss Alix continuously mismanages and missteps with her actions, and it was sometimes really tough to read. She has a white savior mentality and continuously tries to get close to Emira in very creepy ways to make herself seem like the good guy. Throughout the book we see her tendency to try and re-write history to try and make herself seem like the victim, and how it’s easier for her to continue to believe something she knows is a lie.

This book felt extremely grounded in reality, and I loved how well the fallout of the situation was portrayed. I loved the dynamic that Emira had with her friends, and how much she loved Briar, the little girl that she was babysitting. Emira was an incredibly bright, smart and brilliantly written character who was looking to better herself, get a stable job, have a decent apartment, and be happy.

I highly recommend the audiobook for this. It made the reading experience incredible and added significantly to my enjoyment of the book. I’m so impressed with Kiley Reid’s debut and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with in the future.

July Recap | 2020

This month was a fantastic reading month for me! I read for a bunch of different readathons, book clubs, and prompts! Total I read 3583 pages across 12 books, and found some really great new books.

Literally Dead Book Club

  • June – The Guest List by Lucy Foley (Read July 1st – 2nd)
    ★★☆☆☆
  • July – Zone One by Colson Whitehead (Read July 4th – 7th)
    ★★★☆☆

The Reading Rush

  • The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (Read July 20th)
    ★★★★★
    Read for the book that starts with the word “The”, a genre you want to read more of, and the first book you touch
  • V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd (Read July 21st – 24th)
    ★★★★☆
    Read for the book outside your house, that inspired a movie I’ve already seen, and that takes place on a different continent than where you live.
  • Home Before Dark by Riley Sager (July 24th – 25th)
    ★★★★☆
    Read for the birthstone challenge

Books and Tea Readathon Prompts

  • Read a previous Books and Tea readalong book – A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (Read July 9th – 13th)
    ★★★★☆
  • Finish a book – Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia (Read July 13th – 15th)
    ★★★★☆

General TBR
These are the books that don’t fit into any of the prompts for either readathon, but that I had a desire to read this month:

  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (Read July 3rd)
    ★★★★☆
  • Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan (Read July 5th – 6th)
    ★★★☆☆
  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele (Read July 2nd)
  • Carrie by Stephen King (Re-Read July 18th)
    ★★★★☆
  • Navigate Your Stars by Jesmyn Ward (Read July 28th)