Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: Your Preview Verdict

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: Your Preview Verdict

It has been called one of the books to watch in 2020. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid tackles 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.

Our Preview readers loved that the book was thought provoking, but still completely engaging.

Read some highlights here:

Couldn’t have enjoyed this book more! Everything from the immediately immersive story line to the perfect dialogue (little Briar was definitely my favourite character) made this book a must read. – Brielle, NSW, 5 stars

An edgy novel that explores racism and stereotypes and different classes. I loved the relationship between Emira and her best friends, and how the storey exposes the subconcious stereotyping of Emira by the people in her life who profess to care. A thought provoking read – Rachel, QLD, 5 stars

This was a fun book to read, Emira a 25 year old is a baby sitter for Alix and Peter she is still trying to sort her life out, her friends Zara Shaunii and Josefa are all great characters part 3 of this book is brilliant – Deborah, NSW, 5 stars

Such A Fun Age is hard to read without re-examining your own interactions with people of other races. An entertaining drama, this is also a sharp commentary on how race inevitably affects relationships. This is a sharp and incisive novel. Reid presents strongly believable characters, and lures the reader to invest in their stories. It is this strong characterisation, and the relationships, which provide the main engine for the novel – but it’s a powerful engine, making this both hard to put down and hard to forget. In some ways this is a very American book. There is a particular history between white and black people in the US which affects today’s culture; the employment environment is very specific also. However, it has things to say to us too. Our history with Indigenous Australians may be very different, but it’s still infused with racism and incorrect assumptions, and those things still affect us today. This is a very strong novel – it’s entertaining, with a lot of material for thought. It’ll stay with you for a long time after you’ve read it. And hopefully, it will make you think about how you treat people who look different to you. Highly recommended. – Lorraine, Act, 5 stars

Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age is a fabulous debut novel grounded in racial politics and modern day society. Funny yet sobering, Emira’s challenge is to find her own way in the world, despite the strong and often uninvited opinions foisted upon her. My favourite character was Emira’s charge 3 year old Briar, who is quirky, spirited and fiercely authentic. A deeply thought-provoking read that is delivered through an engaging narrative. Highly recommended. – Imogen, VIC, 5 stars

Thank you to Better Reading #BRPreview for the opportunity to review this book. Such a Fun Age was a wonderful book to read with interesting characters that kept you drawn to each page. Emira is a young 20 something year old black nanny who has her life changed one eventful night. We follow Emira’s relationship with her employer, friends and potential new love. Beautifully written and with realistic dialogue. – Nektaria, VIC, 5 stars

In the mix are a thirty-three year-old feminist blogger, a twenty-five year-old black baby sitter, a cute but demanding three year-old girl, a tall, fine-looking boyfriend, a racist incident in a supermarket, and two very different versions of the same high-school romance. Throw it all together at a Thanksgiving dinner, sprinkle with loyal friends, food and alcohol as desired, and wait for sparks to fly. Topical, insightful, thought-provoking and funny: an utterly brilliant debut novel. – Marianne, NSW, 5 stars

Wow I loved this book I couldn’t put it down it was well written and the characters felt so real. I feel as if I grew along side Emira as she learnt and grew in herself and grew to know what she wanted. Also the hardships she had to face in her life because of her skin color and race you felt as if you faced them with her. I could see what the characters looked like and could imagine their personalities as I was reading. I would so recommend this book to Everyone to read. – Beth, TAS, 5 stars

Such a Fun Age is a clever take on the issues of race and class in America in 2019. The dynamics between Emira, Alix and Kelley are fascinating as they unfold and the author cleverly interprets the events from each persons point of view. The twists in plot keep you turning pages quickly, a thoughtful but fun holiday read! – Chloe, ACT, 5 stars

Loved loved loved it – Sally, VIC, 5 stars

Be prepared for Such a Fun Age to be one of THE books of 2020. What a debut novel from Kiley Reid! I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this book, but wow was I surprised and in a great way. Reid has delivered a timely storyline that is as important as it is addictively immersive to read. Reid has dealt with a number of societal issues in a way that delivers an unputdownable read which is not to heavy yet still has a tremendous impact and keeps you thinking long after you have finished it. I feel this is The Hate U Give but for those about 10 years older. – Mel, NSW, 5 stars

A young black American graduate woman, Emira, is drifting aimlessly while she figures out what to do with her life but struggling to cover her monthly living expenses with a part time gig babysitting for a white middle class woman, Alix, and aware she needs to get a “proper job” soon with health care benefits. Alix is a successful “brand” in her own right, married with two young children, a three-year-old toddler Briar and a young baby Catherine. Both have a group of supportive female friends around them. However, late one night Emira is unexpectedly called on to take Briar to a nearby supermarket whilst Alix and her husband deal with a household issue which has developed after Alix’s husband made a ill-judged ad lib comment on television. Emira, dressed for a night out and somewhat merry, is then accused by the security guard of kidnapping Briar. The resulting altercation is captured on video by a white male passerby and both this video and the man become important to the rest of the book. This is an engaging contemporary debut novel largely about race, but one not written in a heavy-handed manner, from an author to watch. Thanks Better Reading! – Pamela, VIC, 5 stars

Such a Fun Age is a thought-provoking, easy-to-read and enjoyable debut novel that would make a great book club read. It explores issues of race, social status, family and relationships in an approachable and entertaining way and at a great pace that you want to keep turning pages. A novel that I believe will be a hit in 2020. – M Manalo, NSW, 5 stars

Such a Fun Age is a brilliant, powerful novel about racism and privilege. The story focuses on Emira, who is employed by Alix to babysit her three-year old daughter, Briar. Late one night, at Alix’s request, Emira takes Briar to a local supermarket where she is detained by security due to prejudicial beliefs about a black woman being out alone with a white child late at night. The consequences of that night are the focus of the book. The author did a fantastic job of writing a compelling story, that so perfectly communicated issues around racism and privilege in society. Such a Fun Age is not just an interesting story, it is an important and thought-provoking read. I really enjoyed reading about Emira and Briar, and their beautiful bond. For me, Alix and Kelley were less likeable but this worked really well in the context of the book, as it brought great depth to the novel and perfectly portrayed the issue of white people purportedly advocating for equal rights but in reality making the issue more about themselves and their own needs. I absolutely loved reading this amazing book. – Amanda, QLD, 5 stars

Such a Fun Age is intriguing, and not at all what I was expecting. Kiley Reid plays with the intersection of race, class and power insightfully, weaving social commentary through dialogue and imagery. Her characters are real and honest and imperfect, and this is what draws the reader to them. Despite featuring strong female lead characters, Such a Fun Age is far removed from chick lit, although a superficial classification of the novel might result in it ending up in this genre. That would be a shame – it would be wasteful to pigeonhole such a gem. One of the real delights of Such a Fun Age is the jolt of surprise when, having immersed oneself in the lives of Alix or Briar or Emira, or all three, as does happen, a wee nugget of information is ever so casually dropped into the storyline that may or may not connect them. And the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, the events that influence the direction one’s life takes, start to fall into place. Such a Fun Age deserves to be savoured. It tugs at your emotions, at times forcing the reader to question their own behaviours, at other times eliciting laugh-out-loud joy. – Teena, WA, 5 stars

Read all Preview reviews here

Buy a copy of the book here

Read our review here


Preview Reviews: Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Review | Preview

8 January 2020

Preview Reviews: Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

    See What Everyone is Talking About: Take A Sneak Peek at Kiley Reid's Such a Fun Age

    Review | Extract

    7 January 2020

    See What Everyone is Talking About: Take A Sneak Peek at Kiley Reid's Such a Fun Age

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      Review | Our Review

      7 January 2020

      Is Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid Worth the Hype? Definitely. Read a Review here

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            Publisher details

            Such a Fun Age
            Kiley Reid
            31 December, 2019


            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.
            Kiley Reid
            About the author

            Kiley Reid

            Kiley Reid is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she was the recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Such A Fun Age is her first novel.

            Books by Kiley Reid


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