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Such a Fun Age

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  302 ratings  ·  91 reviews
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 showing other women h
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 7th 2020 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published December 31st 2019)
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  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
    Such a Fun Age
    Release date: Dec 31, 2019
    Enter for a chance to win 1 of 50 advanced reader copies of SUCH A FUN AGE by Kiley Reid!

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    Giveaway dates: Oct 01 - Oct 15, 2019

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    Jenno Advance Review Copies (ARCs), also known as galleys, are made available to libraries, booksellers, and reviews, some in print, some in e-format. It's…moreAdvance Review Copies (ARCs), also known as galleys, are made available to libraries, booksellers, and reviews, some in print, some in e-format. It's a way for the publisher to get buzz going about the book in advance of the release date!(less)

    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 4.33  · 
    Rating details
     ·  302 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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    Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: contemporary, fiction
    At a first glance Such a Fun Age might appear like a light read, but once you read the synopsis, you will realise that's not the case. 

    Such a Fun Age is a story about Alix, a privileged, white, mother of two and Emira, 25 year old black nanny with a bachelor degree. Alix is desperate to befriend Emira and invites her and her new boyfriend Kelley to a Thanksgiving family dinner. When Emira shows up at the door with Alix's high school ex who broke her heart, everything starts to go pear-shaped and
    Jessica Sullivan
    In an era of so many white savior narratives, it’s so refreshing to see a story written by a black woman that directly challenges and upends that problematic narrative trope.

    Alix Chamberlain is the textbook well-meaning rich white woman: She has black friends. She’s read everything Toni Morrison wrote. She’s trying to land a gig with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    Emira Tucker is the 25-year-old black woman who babysits Alix’s two young daughters. She’s aimlessly trying to figure out her life—prefer
    Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    So goddamn smart and nuanced and empathetic and also FUN!!! The dialogue is phenomenal, the characters are 100% real people that I now know. The author has so much empathy for all of them without letting any of them off the hook. An absolute pleasure to read while giving me so much to think about.
    Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
    4.5 stars

    As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew it was my kind of book. I'm so happy that I won an ARC in a giveaway (thank you to Putnam Books).

    The book starts with an incident where Emira, a twenty-something black babysitter, is accused of kidnapping the young white toddler she babysits. Then we get to see the aftermath of this event, and how it changes the relationship between Emira and her boss, Alix Chamberlain.

    First of all, I really enjoyed this book. I found the tone and writing style ver
    I really liked this! The dialogue, in particular, is so well done (the 3 year old is just perfect) and the criticisms of whiteness feel really sharp - these dumb white people who are so wrapped up in worrying about race that they can't see Emira for a unique person. The economics realities of being a childcare worker are pretty accurate too, although I got super mad that she was working for them 20+ hours a week on a regular schedule and they were still calling her a babysitter and not a nanny. ...more
    Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: fiction, netgalley
    3.5 rounded up

    This book has been seriously hyped, and going in I was unsure of what to expect beyond an examination of the relationship between a young black woman and her affluent white employer. Fortunately Such a Fun Age is so much more than that.

    Kiley Reid's novel kicks off with Emira, a 25-year-old black woman who works part-time as a babysitter for Alix Chamberlain's daughter Briar embarking on a late night visit to a supermarket Emira is involved in an altercation with a security guard wh
    Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Nuanced, timely, important, COMPULSIVELY readable and absolutely unputdownable– I flew through this in 24 hours, but I’ll be thinking of this one for much, much longer. Grateful to have had a chance to read an early copy of this one, and absolutely certain you will be seeing it EVERYWHERE (with good reason) in the months to come.
    Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This is a fantastic new addition to the literary fiction shelf.

    The story follows two women during two very different stages of life, yet also not too far apart in age. Emira is about to turn twenty-five and desperately needs a job with benefits. However, she can't let go of her babysitting job with the delightful and lovable Briar Chamberlain. The story also follows Briar's mom, Alix, who is a self-made woman, building up her brand and career with supportive family and friends behind her. Their
    Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    When I first read the synopsis for “ Such a Fun Age”, I knew that I had to read it, but I honestly did not know what to expect. With the current climate of the world, I was expecting a very heavy read but what I found was much more than I expected. My emotions were all over the place. I laughed, I cried, I was angry. Although it focuses on some very heavy topics, the overall tone of this book was surprisingly light, which I really appreciated. Kiley Reid has such a way with words.
    The characte
    Shira Selkovits
    Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I tore through this book. Definitely a must read when it comes out - important and extremely relevant in the face of so much white saviorism in popular culture.
    Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Alix Chamberlain is a white, successful Manhattan mom with two kids, a loving husband, and an amazing babysitter her daughter adores. She started as a blogger and has built her business showing other women how to get what they want.

    Emira is a young black woman, a recent-ish grad feeling aimless in her next step in life, so she babysits 2 year old Briar while she tries to figure things out. She obviously loves being Briar's caretaker, and their relationship is more than cute--it's a once in a lif
    Jillian Doherty
    Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Immediately immersive; Emira loves babysitting Briar, but feels at 25 her life should be more developed, like her friends are. Alix, Briar's mom, adores Emira a bit too much, while spending her time justifying why her life is as amazing as it used to be~ they're both flawed yet relatable characters!

    The story tackles race, how we identify with each other and ourselves. I loved the story's approachable, chaotic, and honestly fun voice~ just what i was looking for!

    Galley borrowed from the publishe
    Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
    I want to thank Putnam for gifting me an ARC copy of this book at the United for Libraries Author Tea at ALA Annual 2019. I have not received any money from the publisher for this review.

    Short Review

    Kiley Reid is a fresh voice in fiction, and her debut novel Such a Fun Age critically examines and flips the "white-savior motif" through the character of Emira as well as her employer, Alix Chamberlain. The fact is there are a lot of incredibly selfish characters in this book, and the fact Emira cou
    Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: first-reads
    Finally, a white savior novel that includes a fully developed perspective from the African American savee. Emira, the young black babysitter, is accused of kidnapping her charge and the entire incident is captured on video. After the incident, her employer, Alix, desperately wants to make it up to her and to become friends. Not only does the book explore race, class, privilege and turn all tropes on their heads, it brings back the reality that being in your 20s is hard and it really isn’t a fun ...more
    Ilyssa Wesche
    Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Fuck yeah!!!

    Emira triumphs in the end, with her friends, and I love that. Like Emira I’m a little sad about one thing and one thing only. I hate to reveal too much about books before they’re published....

    Sort of reminded me Queenie if Queenie wasn’t so messed up - due to their struggle to find themselves, both dated white guys of questionable intent, both had an incredible group of ride-or-die friends.

    I expected to read a chapter and give it up. Instead I read the whole book in one night. The l
    Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Quick, interesting, fresh perspective. Well developed characters showed multiple perspectives, which were not overblown or caricatures. This is certainly going to stick with me for a while. Recommended!
    Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: books-read-2019
    This book had pacing problems, problems with scene transitions, cringy dialogue, and overly preachy about social issues. Not a fan. The only thing that I liked in the book was the little girl, Briar.

    ARC obtained at 2019 ARSL conference.
    Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: read-in-2019
    Wonderfully written with excellent characterisation. You know a book is good when you find yourself thinking about the characters while you’re at work!
    Many thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
    kerry cullen
    Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    smart, addictive, excellently plotted.
    Sarah Kovac
    Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    The characterization in this book is amazing. Emira is in that stage between college and adulthood. Her friends are getting jobs and promotions, and she's still babysitting. Everyone is telling her to be more ambitious, to be someone she's not. Alix is so driven, she can be oblivious to everyone around her. I started out relating to her struggles balancing work and family. But as she starts to "help" Emira, her behavior becomes more and more appalling. Even 3-year-old Briar, with her love of tea ...more
    Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: adult-reads
    Compellingly readable story for our time: about race, friendship, class, and the aimlessness of our 20s after college . A perfect bookclub book. Please read!
    Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Great debut! A young black babysitter gets caught up in a moment when she’s stopped by a security guard at a grocery store while taking care of her white charge. In the age of on-demand videotaping on devices, her moment was magnified and threatens to unleash all sorts of past grudges and misplaced intentions. Electrifying and layered, this book is timely and discussible. Perfect for book clubs and for fans of Laura Sims and Liane Moriarty.

    Thanks to the publisher for an advanced copy.
    Asia J
    Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it
    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.
    Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Holy shit. Everyone needs to read this book.
    Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2019
    Unique and confrontational

    Debut author Kiley Reid worked as a babysitter in New York for six years. Reid lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she was the recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. Her first novel Such a Fun Age is published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

    Such a Fun Age tells the story of Emira, who is a young black babysitter in New York, trying to make the best of her life. When she babys
    Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
    This book is something like a German horror film that is unsettling from the start, but is fine. Until the creepiness ratchets up a bit. And then a bit more. And you're uncomfortable, but also OK, because nothing is too scary yet. And then suddenly you're terrified, and you're sure everything will end in the worst possible way. At first this story seems like too many stories we see in the news. A young, black woman takes her toddler, white baby-sitting charge to a grocery store. She is accused b ...more
    Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    What a brilliant read! So well written and with characters that appear fully formed from the outset, ‘Such a Fun Age’ is the perfect family-centred novel for our times. Focusing on the fraught-with-difficulties relationship between the parent and child carer, Kiley Reid also explores race, self-conscious liberalism and economic hardship as she tells the story of Emira, her employee Alix and their daughter Briar.
    Alix is an anxious person. Successful in her own right, she is still desperate for ap
    Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: arcs, read-in-2019
    This book is about a lot of things, but I'd boil it down to explorations of three central ideas: the struggle to grow up and figure out what you want to be; what money does to relationships; and the pain and damage caused by the implicit racism that all white people have in them, even the most well-meaning and self-proclaimed "woke" ones. All of this is covered within this buzzy story of a young black babysitter, Emira, who is called on to pick up her three-year old white charge one night in a p ...more
    Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This is such a fun, gossipy read despite the subject matter that is quite serious. I received an Advance copy of this at BookExpo, and it was the one book that I packed in my bag to take with me instead of shipping home with my other ARCs. It immediately pulled me in, and I read it desperately over my breakfasts and on my lunch breaks at work because I just had to know what would happen next. Each character is distinct and has their own voice, Briar is completely charming, believable, and lovabl ...more
    Sigrid C
    Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I haven't stayed up late to finish a book in a long time, but I couldn't stop reading Kiley Reid's amazing novel Such a Fun Age (coming out Dec. 31, 2019). This is such a smart book, intertwining a sharp commentary on race, class, identity, motherhood, and privilege in an engrossing narrative.

    The main character, Emira, may feel adrift and unsure about when she'll ever be like her friends who have "adult jobs," but she is also a sharp-eyed observer who stands up for herself and doesn't feel comp
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