Such a Fun Age - Kiley Reid
I'm back (so soon) with another book review - I told you all I do is read books! This time I tried out another fantastic debut novel, from American author Kiley Reid. As I mentioned in my 2021 goals, I wanted to broaden my reading, trying out books that usually I would not intend on picking up. I'm quite narrow-minded in the sense that I enjoy all of my books to have at least one murder in them, but I suppose that probably says something about me as a person that's best kept quiet... However, upon seeing Such a Fun Age being spoken about by some of my favourite lifestyle bloggers, and having it suggested to me when I was browsing the web for something new to read, I bought it, started reading, and suddenly a mere three days later: here we are. If the speed at which I completed this book doesn't tell you how much I truly enjoyed it, then let me go into a little more detail about exactly why.
At the age of 25, main character Emira finds herself wondering exactly when will she figure out where she is heading in life? Genuinely believing that her life will not "resemble adulthood" until she finds a 9-to-5 job, much like the ones her 'successful' friends around her seem to have, Emira earns her wage by babysitting the 3 year old daughter of a very rich (and very white) family. Whilst on the job, an unfortunately timed trip to the supermarket leads to Emira being accused of kidnapping the child. Her life becomes flipped on its head and although it seems the people around her have good intentions, how can she know who is really trying to help?
I really felt a mixture of emotions whilst reading the novel, because although the events of the book seem to be played down and made light of by Emira, it's hard to ignore the underlying sense of racial injustice that runs throughout. When Emira finds herself torn between a full-time job with employment benefits, or the sweet 3 year old which she has grown to love and care for, you really do feel that pull on the heart strings as a reader. Surrounded by her loyal group of girlfriends, who are always on hand to offer their advice (whether it is wanted or not!) Emira embarks on her journey of finally realising her worth - and what an emotional roller coaster of a journey that is.
What I liked
I don't feel that any areas of the book were unnecessary, there always seemed to be something going on that was relative to the story, and I never found myself getting bored or losing interest.
In many ways, Emira is a very relatable main character and as a reader you find yourself feeling absolutely desperate for her to succeed.
As previously mentioned, a recurring theme throughout the book is the racial injustice that Emira faces in her day-to-day life. Despite the weight help by addressing this topic, Kiley Reid has a great way of not challenging the reader, but making them come to this conclusion by looking into themselves and their own actions in comparison to the events taking place in the book. I would be very surprised if everyone who reads Such a Fun Age doesn't say that they learned at least something from it, even if it is just to take a step back for a moment to acknowledge your privilege.
Very original, gripping story line, and I found myself often wondering how things would all turn out.
What I didn't like
Honestly, there's nothing I can really mention that I didn't enjoy. Usually, the kind of books I go for tend to be a little more grisly, such as Crime or a Horror, so I initially believed that I would feel that was lacking in Such a Fun Age. Although the book doesn't contain any jaw-dropping shocks, or twists and turns, I really don't think that any were truly needed; in fact, I quite enjoyed how 'real-life' the whole thing felt.
Overall rating: 9/10
Would I recommend?: Yes
Thanks for taking the time to read yet another one of my book reviews, as always if you have read it yourself, or are considering it, I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinons!
Until next time,