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Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 19, 2019

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About the author

Candice Carty-Williams was born in 1989, the result of an affair between a Jamaican cab driver who barely speaks and a Jamaican-Indian dyslexic receptionist who speaks more than anyone else in the world. She studied Media at Sussex because her sixth form teachers said that she wasn’t clever enough to do English, but she showed them all by first working at the Guardian Guide and then moving into publishing at 23.

Carty-Williams has worked on marketing literary fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels ever since; her first highlight was interviewing David Cronenberg and telling him that if she were a white man she’d like to look like him. In response he called her a ‘delightful person’. In 2016, she created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize, a prize that aims to find, champion and celebrate black, Asian and minority ethnic writers. She also contributes regularly to Refinery29 and i-D.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 12,859 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
March 19, 2019
He put a hand on my thigh and moved it higher, digging his nails into my skin. That'll be a pair of tights gone.

This book is a bit deceiving. Queenie is such a funny and lovable character, with what I think of as a very British sense of humour. The book opens with multiple scenes that made me laugh and the author quickly builds up a warm and hilarious dynamic between Queenie and her girlfriends ("the Corgis"), and between Queenie and her Jamaican grandparents. This is everything I would have expected from a book being compared to Bridget Jones's Diary.

Which is why I feel like I need to issue a warning: this book goes to some really dark places. Bridget Jones is klutzy and embarrassing; Queenie is a far more complex and real character. She is dealing with mental health issues and a post-relationship breakdown. The decisions she makes - like having unprotected sex with lots of different men - are clearly not healthy.

I know some readers will feel frustrated with her behaviour at times, but I also think the author never portrays it as a good thing, and instead honestly portrays a young woman dealing with severe anxiety in the only way she feels she can. I think it's a good example of some very serious issues being wrapped up in a book that is full of humour to balance out the sadness.

Queenie has just broken up with her long-term boyfriend Tom, who is white. Through flashbacks, we soon learn that their relationship was pretty messed up from the start, with Tom refusing to defend her against his family's casual racism. Queenie doesn't see it that way, though. This break-up has hit her hard. She responds to it by hooking up with guys and having various dating/sexual encounters that are a mixture of hilarious and cringy.

Carty-Williams explores dating, anxiety and racism through the eyes of a modern-day Jamaican Brit, and she does it all with a sense of humour and no aversion to cringe factor. Oversharing at inappropriate moments, dating disasters, and witty badass girlfriends are just some of the sources of hilarity in this book. I think the serious issues are actually more impactful because of their juxtaposition with the humour and friendship.

No, this isn't another Bridget Jones's Diary, but then we're not living in the 90s anymore either. Queenie is bolder, more complicated, more diverse and - ultimately - more feminist. And I see nothing to complain about in that.

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Profile Image for Roxane.
Author 121 books157k followers
July 2, 2019
This is the kind of novel whose excellence sneaks up on you. The beginning is kind of rocky and I wasn't sure where the book was going but then it gets great and unputdownable and I held my breath reading as fast as I could to see what would happen to Queenie. This is an amazing novel about what it means to be a black girl whose world is falling apart and needs to find the strength to put it back together. There is so much ground covered here from dealing with anxiety and self-loathing to complicated families and learning to let go of things and people that won't serve you well. And Queenie is the kind of narrator you cannot help but root for even as she makes infuriating choices. Wonderful, wonderful novel full of charm and wit and warmth and energy. Check it out.
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews112k followers
February 24, 2020
I empathized a lot with the protagonist and her struggles along with the portrayal of mental health, including the cultural stigma of seeking therapy, how childhood affects the way we treat relationships, how we internalize racism and learn to love ourselves as a WOC, etc. The audiobook narrator also did a great job at bringing the story to life. I struggle to emotionally connect with this book as much as I should, mainly because the progression of the narrative felt disjointed. The first 2/3 of the book is repetitive in her making poor decisions with terrible white men, then the last 1/3 of the book becomes more of a grander statement of being a black girl and reveals the root cause of why Queenie makes so many flawed decisions. I wish the two had been better interwoven together for a more nuanced portrayal rather than a grand revelation towards the end. As a result, this felt forced rather than proper representation, especially when a lot of the writing seemed to generalize the struggles of black women (due to the main character speaking for all black women and making blanket statements) VS presenting this as an individual case that’s symptomatic of a systemic issue. I think what would’ve helped is if the author had peppered hints to Queenie’s past and childhood throughout the book in a more natural way rather than dumping everything towards the end and framing it as a grand political statement. Overall, I have no problem with the protagonist’s self-destructive tendencies and repetitive mistakes at all (I truly empathize with her and have had a similar mindset), it was more so the disjointed execution that prevented me from being fully impacted by what the author intended for this story.
Profile Image for Brown Girl Reading.
349 reviews1,591 followers
July 22, 2019
Queenie is the newest debut sensation coming out of the UK by Candace Carte-Williams. Sadly it was not my cup of tea for a few reasons. Firstly the good things about the book are the writing, especially the natural dialogue, and the fact that Queenie does get that mental health care that she so desperately needs. However as a whole this book is based on too many black women stereotypes. I really feel the author should have toned that down. I'm also not enjoying that this book is being pitched as the black Bridget Jones Diary. These two books aren't alike at all. Queen was not a comedy for me. I feel like it's an exploration of how a black woman watching abuse as a child and being abused affect her choices of men later on. The book's concentration on Queenie's promiscuous lifestyle, at times was hard to read and certainly was not funny. I would even say it could be triggering to some readers. Since the book is being pitched as humorous in the UK I had to ask myself who the target audience is supposed to be. The author doesn't seem to disagree with that pitch because I haven't seen her say the contrary. I also feel the cover was another way to attract black women to want to read Queen, although knowing what's in between the covers, I believe many black women would pass on it. I don't recommend it.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,194 reviews40.5k followers
December 13, 2020
5 shiny, rebellious, beautiful stars!
As soon as I started this book, I thought I was having a light reading. Because the book is advertised as modern version of Bridget Jones. But after a few pages later, I realized this is deeper, more heart wrenching, darker and twisted story of a young woman who is looking for a tree branch to not fall down from a cliff!
Queenie has really a bad year but it’s not about her broken heart after her breakup or time out with her longtime boyfriend Tom. This is such a beginning of domino falling!
After her breakup, she realizes that she just blocks everything about her past and as seems like she has a job she’s been dreaming for so long and boyfriend who’s ready for longtime commitment do not bring her happiness.
But the breakup is the first wake up call which pushes her make so many wrong decisions about meaningless one night stands.
Then she loses one of her best friends’ trust( it isn’t her fault actually, only wrong things about the situation are choosing wrong besties and wrong f*ckbuddies), she gets rejected by all three men she’s hooked up, she loses her job. Finally she understands that she was already lost from the beginning. She doesn’t feel like she belongs to someone or somewhere.

She never thinks she deserves to be loved or she deserves good things in life. Now when she sees her own rock bottom, it’s time to discover her strengths and weaknesses, learn how to love and forgive herself and achieve to face her past demons!

This book is not only a typical love life story of a Jamaican English woman’s in mid-twenties. It’s about discovery of your own potential, learning what you want from the life, respecting yourself! It’s about friendship! It’s about forgiveness! It’s about family!
Sometimes you hate Queenie, sometimes you feel sorry for her but mostly you understand her ! She’s flawed, she’s broken, she’s confused but she’s strong enough to find her way and embrace her loved ones tightly to not fall from a cliff, again!
I really enjoyed her story and this is a great debut ! I love to read the upcoming book of this writer!

Profile Image for Khristina.
170 reviews22 followers
August 6, 2019
I don’t know where to start with this book. It’s the most offensive depiction of a black woman I have ever read. She is depicted as lazy, promiscuous, desperate, and broke. The first chapter was fine and then the rest was just awful.

A lot of the reviews I have seen are talking about Queenie being a hot mess. Isn’t that how most black women are contrived? Either that or angry black women. I wouldn’t say Queenie is a hot mess; I would just stay that she is a woman who hates herself. I don’t mind the interracial dating at all, I do it too, but I do mind the way that she just accepts the microaggressions in her relationships and fetishization that her sexual partners put her through. But you teach people how to treat you and she was letting anyone treat her anyway that they would like.

The way that the story is framed is problematic from the start because she is heartbroken about her boyfriend who is making her move out of their shared apartment. The same boyfriend who did not stand up for her when his uncle said a racial slur, who sent her home when she asked him why he wasn’t sticking up for her against the uncle when she said that what he said wasn’t acceptable, the same boyfriend who did not text her or speak to her for three months after asking for a break. Her New Year's Resolutions are about being nicer to people and getting back with Tom. She hasn’t been mean to anyone in this book. She literally has let people use her like a doormat. She believes she is beyond repair, creativity is not for her, she just negs herself into sleeping with men who do not care about her; all the while ruining her career over a heartbreak when Tom doesn’t care about her. She chases men who could never love her because she doesn’t love herself.

Look, I get trying to make black women seem vulnerable and fragile because that is the opposite of the media portrays but I don’t understand why this Queenie needed to be that person without any redeeming qualities. She is 25 years old even though she clearly has PTSD, she doesn’t talk about her past with anyone so that she can get past it. I understand the Jamaican against therapy thing. I’m Jamaican American; therapy is very much looked down on, but Queenie is an adult living in a first world country, she has deviated in every other way from her roots, why not this as well? And even when she does go to therapy, it’s not something she chooses; it’s recommended and she just allows it happen. Just like she allows herself to be sexual degraded and abused by someone who won’t even allow her to touch him; she is having sex with these guys unprotected. Reading this was traumatizing.

Every sentence seems to denigrate her. Writing in her notebook is soiling it, throwing some glitter on her face instead of taking care of herself. She is off for a long holiday and she just binges and cleans up after other people.

Slipping the black lives matter stuff in this narrative feels so forced. She won’t even speak up when she is given the chance and at the same time is trying to write about the police killings in America. The author alludes to Queenie being overlooked at work because she is black. But SHE DOESN’T DO ANY WORK. She has a full-on hour argument with one of her dates after going home with him about racism. She’s walking out because he calls her chocolate and the whole scene just devolves from there.

The author discusses why Queenie doesn’t date black men for a second. For one sentence. Why bother give an explanation at all if you are going to gloss over it? It can just be a preference and that’s fine too, but don’t tell your readers it’s because of anxiety or abuse. It can hardly be surmised that a person will steer clear of an entire race of people because childhood trauma with one person. I mean, come on.


Cassandra is a bad friend...Seriously asking if a restaurant is black enough and you make her the voice of reason who then turns her back on Queenie for sleeping with her boyfriend. She comes back at the end of the book, doesn’t even apologize, insults Queenie for being accepting and grown up about forgiving her and then just is accepted back into the party. The things that Cassandra said would not be forgivable, AT ALL. But we are just accepting this. It happens so close to the end of the book that it just feels like lazy writing and further evidence that Queenie has no respect for herself.

Darcy is the only work friend who is not awful and yet we get no character development for her. She is simply a non-problematic foil for Queenie.

Kyazike is a good friend but I feel like the author uses her to highlight “blackness”; the stereotypes are strong and exaggerated with this one.

All of the men - I don’t know what kind of propaganda this is, but there was not a single male of dating age who was decent in this book. Tom is awful for the aforementioned reasons(see paragraph 3), Ted is a married man with a pregnant wife who has sex with Queenie in the office toilets and then hounds her until he finally corners her to talk to her and then writes her a letter demanding that she not tell his wife. Adi fetishizes her body and has sex with her and then bad mouths her in front of his wife in the street. Guy is in a relationship with Cassandra and has sex with Queenie so roughly that the clinic she goes to thinks that she’s been sexually abused. Courtney, the guy Queenie goes on a date with after she starts therapy, is an all lives matter guy who believes in reverse racism. Even Sid the drummer has difficulty with understanding the word no.

Seriously. What is this?

The Ending

Everything just get wrapped up; which Queenie literally recounts in the bathroom mirror at the end of the book. I’m glad she doesn’t end up with a guy at the end, but it’s not for lack of trying. It’s honestly odd that even at the end, she has to be told not to call her ex, who has a girlfriend and even though she says “he made things better”, he never did. In the end, this is a book that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone.

I’m not saying that the story didn’t need to be told, but not this way. I am at a lot for words as to why this was so well received. This book is an embarrassment. This book is a dangerous thing. This book could have been something that black women could read and feel inspired to change and grow and soar. It could have inspired black women to make a change in their lives but I couldn’t sympathize or empathize with Queenie because the character was weak and coddled by the people around her. She didn’t grow because everything works out in the end and she has no real consequences for her actions.

It’s a no from me. 1 star.

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This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rincey.
786 reviews4,587 followers
April 27, 2019
This book is being pitches as Bridget Jones Diary meets Americanah, but it feels more like Bridget Jones Diary meets Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine with a black lead. I had really conflicted feelings the entire time while reading this book, but I will say that it completely sucked me in and I found it completely compelling, even though I basically spent the entire book wanting to yell at Queenie.
Profile Image for Lisa.
1,462 reviews560 followers
April 7, 2019
A tiresome novel that made me cranky. Everything about Queenie screams middle school angst. Queenie and her crew think and act like 12 year olds trapped in 25 year old bodies. Take away some of the sex, replace their jobs with 7th grade classes and you have the tedious dramas of adolescence. I liked the clever use of texts. That's about it.
Profile Image for Danielle.
805 reviews401 followers
October 13, 2020
Caution: Rated R for adult content 🔥🔥🔥
This book follows Queenie, a girl struggling with her mental health after a breakup. While I empathized with her anxiety troubles, there were other parts that just had my head shaking. 🤔 She struggles to be alone and she sleeps around, a lot. Her escapades are obviously careless and don’t always turn out so well. 😬 Truthfully, she’s a train wreck. Can we all agree, that unprotected casual sex in 2020 is just plain stupid? 🤦🏼‍♀️
Profile Image for Book of the Month.
229 reviews12.6k followers
March 1, 2019
Why I love it
by Jojo Moyes

I have to confess I have a prior interest in Queenie’s author, Candice Carty-Williams. A few years ago, I created a competition offering up my cottage to an aspiring writer in need of time and space to complete their project. Candice was the first winner, chosen from more than 600 applicants. She had never driven outside London before, and it took her six hours to make a two hour journey (the kind of thing that would happen to her character, Queenie!), but when she arrived she declined a cup of tea and went straight to work—she was that determined to make the most out of the opportunity.

Fast forward two and a half years; Queenie is one of the most anticipated books of the year. It grabbed me from the opening chapter because it did something that happens far too seldom—it took me into a world I didn’t know: that of a 25 year-old black woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. Queenie is fresh and flawed and she made me wince and made me laugh and made me think.

Candice is a unique writer. Even that 500-word contest entry told me there was something special about her. After re-reading the finished work I knew I had been right. I’m excited to see Queenie meet a wider audience, and to see Candice’s star really shine. We need more voices like hers.

Read more at: https://bookofthemonth.com/queenie-442
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,399 reviews11.7k followers
April 9, 2019
Whoever is trying to sell this book as a Bridget Jones alike is misleading people.

If you watch as much British TV, as I do, you would get a better idea if you imagine Queenie as a cross between "Fleabag" and "Chewing Gum."

I wouldn't want you to open this book and expect a lighthearted dating comedy with a ditzy heroine who finds love in the end. What you will find is a woman dealing with her past trauma and her recent breakup by engaging in terrible sex with terrible men, which eventually leads her to a mental breakdown. Does this sound like a Bridget Jones type of fun? I didn't think so.

Queenie is both easy to read (its writing style is very accessible) and also hard to read (Queenie puts herself in just horrendous situations). There is some humor, and good British humor that appeals to me on many levels, and only that humor saves this novel from being a complete pit of misery.

Read this for observations about racism, abuse and mental illness stigma. The thing that stuck with me the most is Queenie's experience of men who view her as nothing but a sex object, something to enact their sex fantasies upon. Their unwillingness to connect with her and see her as a person is soul-crushing.
Profile Image for Richard (on hiatus).
160 reviews182 followers
October 17, 2020
3.5 stars.
As this debut novel by Candice Carty-Williams opens Queenie is not in a good place. She’s a twenty five year black woman living in London, writing articles that she considers trivial for a London magazine. She’s also on a very much unwanted relationship break from her long term boyfriend Tom.
This emotional void dictates her life and we watch with mounting disbelief as she makes bad decision after bad decision, her life spiralling out of control.
‘I wanted to feel good about myself. I was so far from that, so far from being who I was, but I couldn’t seem to stop myself from self-destructing.’
The atmosphere of the novel, however, is breezy and humorous, which makes the dark, shocking bits even more wince inducing when they pop up, and they pop up very often.
I did sometimes find these changes in tone strange and there were times amidst the litany of gynaecological detail, weird abusive sexual encounters and bizarre behaviour that I felt I’d strolled into a party I hadn’t been invited to.
The characterisation of Queenie and her female friends was really effective, they lived and breathed, were warm, funny, wise and supportive. The male characters less so. They were mostly cartoonish stereotypes, thinly drawn plot devises (with one or two exceptions).
On top of her emotional disasters Queenie also has to deal with the everyday racism of those around her. Not always overt and aggressive but often subtle, unthinking, insensitive or ignorant. I was surprised at first at the level of incidents that she encounters, but then after some thought, realised that sadly, I wasn’t that surprised at all.
By the end I was cheering for Queenie and despite some reservations about the novel, I became attached to her character and really wanted things to work out.
When I look back at this book I’m not sure that all of the humour worked, but it did develop into a poignant and thought provoking read, taking us a long way to understanding Queenie and her difficult journey.
Profile Image for PorshaJo.
452 reviews659 followers
April 15, 2019
Rating 4.75

I loved this book. Such an unexpected gem of a read. I went into this one blind. I knew nothing about it, I read no reviews. I frequently check out my library for new audio books. I saw this bold orange cover of a book called Queenie. It drew me in. I listened to a sample of the audio. A heavy accent by the narrator. It drew me in. I grabbed a copy of the audio and jumped right in.

Queenie is a hot mess. She's a 26 year old Jamaican woman, living in London, and just completely a mess. We meet her as she is taking a 'break' from her live-in boyfriend, which HE wants, not her. He asks her to move out and by this point, she's already on a downward spiral. She can't face reality. She's out of control. She puts herself in a few dangerous situations (I think). She's got no money, living in a nasty flat with a few flatmates, she's not there for her job, she lets the WORST men abuse her, she has issues with how people see her as a black woman. She doesn't feel she's worth it, she really has had a hard life. It's an absolute train wreck but you can't help but watch. When she hits the lowest of lows, she must bring herself back up. And so you watch her bring herself out of the pit and show her strength.

To be honest, I almost stopped with this one. Initially, it was a bit sexually graphic for me. Just not what I tend to read. I actually started another book, but then I did read a few reviews. One said 'stick with it' (Thanks Esil!). So I pushed on and I'm so glad I did. The book gets off to a bit of a rocky start. But it immediately just jumps in to a life already out of control. All I can say is stick with it. When someone has issues, and is mentally struggling, it's never a pretty sight. But you must see everything in it's entirety to see where Queenie is at. I'm so glad I stuck with this one. It made me cringe, made me glad I'm married (oh the horrors of dating apps), made me laugh, but made me root for Queenie. Even though, a few times, I wanted to shake her....you knew she would just make the worst decisions.

I also must say, publishers - DON'T COMPARE THIS TO BRIDGET JONES. This is so not like Bridgette Jones, other than a young girl living in London and dating. Queenie is so much more. If you think you are going to find a Bridgette Jones here, skip this one. Romantic comedy this is NOT.

Anyway, I loved this book and just loved the audio narration. The narrator did a fabulous job. A highlight of a read for 2019 for me. I'll remember this one for some time. So why not 5 stars..... I'm stingy with 5 stars. But I had to knock it a bit for being quite sexually graphic (yes, made it hard to listen to the audio when husband is around saying 'what ARE you listening to') and the reading of emails and text back and forth initially drove me bonkers. So far, this is my top read of the year. And I'll just say, give this one a shot and just stick with it. It's such a reward in the end.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,559 reviews851 followers
June 6, 2022
A wonderful read that starts off like it is a Black woman romantic comedy set in a White (London, UK) world, and turns out to be a lot more. Queenie is sort of not doing good, estranged from her mum, struggling to focus at work and with her partner whom she lives with, things are just not going right for her, but she does have a small number of (female) friends, that she can rely on. And she's anything but a stereotype, she's mostly Anglicised, dates White men, is a bit awkward and is also a catastrophist!

The cooling off of her relationship sets her down a spiral that may change her life forever. This is more than a refreshing, transparent and highly entertaining look at a particular Black Woman's life, loves and struggles, it's a look at the multiple layers of modern Black society; it's an almost unsettling look at how similar to the mainstream Black lives really are, whether first generation Jamaicans through to third generation Gen Zs - unsettling because you realise that across a lot of media it's the differences that are focused on!

And with more than half the main cast being Black, what Carty-Williams also nails is how the Black Lives Matter movement resonates throughout the 2nd and 3rd generations, how it is not all and everything, but its reach is deep and resonant. But let's be honest, this book is wonderful because it takes a Black female-centric story, which is not necessarily a wholly positive one, but one that feels real, and makes it darkly comedic, suspenseful, informative, life-affirming, and above all, Goddamn entertaining. I read somewhere that this is the Black Bridget Jones... nah blood, this is so much more. 9.5 out of 12

2020 read
Profile Image for emma.
1,822 reviews48.1k followers
January 24, 2022
I hate to cringe.

I know this is not a universal feeling, and that is why there are things that are known as “cringe humor” now. But I do not enjoy the feeling of extreme secondhand embarrassment.

And I ESPECIALLY don’t want it in my books. Three hundred pages = too much time spent with my shoulders at my ears.

So when I saw this was billed as similar to Bridget Jones’s Diary, I reacted as if to the news that a beloved friend was moving, if I were feeling particularly dramatic at the time: by dropping to the ground and shouting NOOOOO to the sky.

Turns out this level of drama was not warranted. Oops.

Because, mercifully and to my neverending gratitude, this story wasn’t as much “laugh at this ridiculous and inept protagonist.” It took itself seriously.

Thank God.

Another pleasant surprise this book gave me, on the level of seeing an adorable baby and having the baby wave at you (which is a blessing), was its discussion of sexual assault.

Books that contain sexual assault narratives often do so in black and white, but there are so, so many grayer areas. It was a brave and bold choice by this story to not shy away from that, and one I really appreciated.

It’s still me, though, so all that gratitude and appreciation bullsh*t couldn’t last.

(Sorry I said it was bullsh*t. I’m just trying to seem cool.)

I had two main complaints:

1) I wish there were more recognition of how excellent the people in Queenie’s life are.

Everyone in her life cares about her so much. Even, like, her boss. And whose boss cares about them?! This is capitalism we’re talking about.

2) There was a lot of casual & systemic racism that was never addressed.

Outside of the saint-like miracle-purveying people mentioned above, some of the other people in Queenie’s life were casually racist, and that was never really mentioned. Including a plotline in which her employer is racist towards her in what stories they select and what they listen to - and that plotline just disappears.

It would be unrealistic to expect these loose ends tied up, because racism will likely not be solved in a volume of literary fiction (no matter how good it is), but the disappearance of these storylines was disquieting.

This could also be really hard to get through. Queenie goes through so much. She is so unhappy. And I am the kind of reader who pours myself into my books, so I feel what the characters feel. Queenie's sadness and suffering made me very, very sad. But watching her progress at the end was enough of a reward to make that easily worthwhile.

Bottom line: This is a tough read (and not a perfect one for me), but there’s a lot of good here.


thank god for character development.

review to come / 3 stars


"bridget jones' diary meets americanah"

so either i will adore this book and give it 5 stars and think about it constantly, or i will forever be haunted by another quirky protagonist continually spilling coffee on herself and falling into the lap of not only colin firth but hugh grant???

high risk, high reward.


i am spending this month reading books by Black authors. please join me!

book 1: The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
book 2: Homegoing
book 3: Let's Talk about Love
book 4: Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race
book 5: The Sellout
book 6: Queenie
Profile Image for Lauren.
18 reviews14.3k followers
September 29, 2020
quite liked this! hovering between a 3 and 4, but feeling generous this morning. our protagonist, queenie, definitely falls into the category of "people you look at and wonder how is she still living?" in the best of ways (iykyk). a good chunk of the book is spent watching her self-destruct and refuse to change, so you have to have patience for that, but this is ultimately a redemption story that covers a lot of ground. to that end, this covered some really powerful themes/topics -- objectification of Black women, depictions of the physical manifestations of anxiety/unresolved trauma, etc. -- certainly casts a wide net, but it doesn't go as deep as i had hoped in some places.

i also wish that there had been a little more explanation of queenie's past a little earlier. most of that comes when she finally acquiesces and enters therapy, and i know the reason behind that is bc she had repressed a lot of it, but it all flooded out fast near the end of the book. realistic? yes. frustrating as a reader? also yes.
Profile Image for Meredith B.  (readingwithmere).
234 reviews160 followers
March 20, 2019
4.5 Stars!

He paused and lifted his glasses to wipe his wet eyes. "You're full of fight Queenie. Full of Fight." He turned away and ambled back down the garden path, leaving me standing there unable to process anything he'd said.

This is marketed as "Bridget-Jones" but I want to tell you that this is so much more than that and I mean much more and much more important that that.

Queenie is a twenty-something who is living in London. She is Jamaican and it trying to fit in to both Jamaican and British culture. She was with her boyfriend, Tom, for awhile and they are currently going through a "break" period where they both try to take some time apart. Queenie realizes what she has lost but is also seeking worth from outside sources.

Queenie ends up hooking up with multiple people, going through fights with friends, navigating her family and just navigating her life is general. She goes through situations based on her race and ethnicity. She is gets comments thrown at her, that are inappropriate. She is treated a certain way and she has to fight to stand up for what she believes it even when everyone else is knocking her down. Queenie truly goes through a growth journey in this book. In the end, she ends up asking herself "Who do you want to me in today's world?"

I read this book fairly quickly because it sucked me in. I knew within ~30 pages that I was going to love this book and it just kept getting better. I almost felt like I was Queenie's friends and I was going through life with her. I experienced happiness when she did and heartbreak when she did. There were times I wanted to shake Queenie and say what are you doing! And other times I just wanted to give her a hug and tell her it'll all be OK and I'm proud of you.

This book really gave me perspective. There are a lot of situations that Queenie experiences in the book that I will never experience. I think it's important to put myself in someone else's shoes and have a better understanding of the types of things they go through and situations they are put through. At the same time though, there were a few situations I felt that I could relate to Queenie just as a woman in the modern world as well as someone with anxiety/depression.

I highly recommend this book and think everyone should pick it up! The cover alone sold me on this one - it's GORGEOUS! Thank you to Gallery/Scout Press for my ARC of this book.
Profile Image for Kate Olson.
2,185 reviews724 followers
March 6, 2019
[free review copy] I inhaled this in one afternoon. Two things you need to know:
1) don’t go into it expecting it to meet that “Bridget Jones” description because it is WAY deeper and at times very emotionally dark. That comparison is deceptive and sets readers up for confusion.
2) you’ll either LOVE Queenie, or get frustrated with Queenie but if you are in the latter group, maybe quick check yourself and make sure it’s not age or privilege making you feel that way?
I may write more later or I may not, but for now I want it on record that we need more books like this one in the contemporary fiction market. I learned so much from Queenie ❤️
Profile Image for BookOfCinz.
1,404 reviews2,351 followers
May 26, 2019
I could not wait to get my hands on a copy of Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams mainly because the main character is a Jamaican. I was also drawn to this book because it is being dubbed as “Bridget Jones meets Americanah” and while I see why that is the case, in some (most) instances I don’t- we will get to that soon.

We meet Queenie Jenkins a 25-year-old living in London who is from Jamaica. Queenie’s had a lot going for her, especially for a millennial living in one of the most expensive cities in the world. She works at national newspaper, a job she actually likes, she lives with her long-time white boyfriend and still manages to have a solid group of friends around her. Things begin to fall apart and fast, for Queenie when Tom, her long-term boyfriend tells her they need to go on a break… a long one. We see our main character begin to spiral in more ways than one, she messes up constantly at work, her personal relationships are falling apart and her toxic behaviour starts taking a mental toll on herself and those around her.

I have a lot of things I want to say, so I will break them up into two parts- what worked and what didn’t work for me.

What Worked:

The whatsapp group chat with the friends I found worked really well in how it moved the plot along and got us to know more about Queenie and her friends. I think this was my favorite part of the book if I am being honest. I love how real those chat felt, how hilarious they were at times and as a millennial, that part of the book really resonated with me.

I particularly loved two themes that the author discussed one being mental health and how it is viewed in a Caribbean and Black community setting. I felt it was addressed in a very real way.  Being from the Caribbean, we can still be very archaic in how we address mental health and those who decide to go to therapy for help are sometimes shunned or seen as bringing embarrassment to the family. The author did an amazing job of addressing this issue. I also liked that the author explored how black women’s bodies are often fetishized. This is a topic I don’t read a lot about and how we were able to experience that through Queenie felt very real and often times infuriating.

What Didn’t Work

While I liked that the author tried explored racial tensions and discrimination, I felt like it wasn't deep enough. Maybe I am nit-picking because how deep can one go when the main character’s life is falling apart and she is engaging in self-destructive behaviour. However, the race theme felt very “by the way” because this is current and it would be good to add to the discussion.  This also applies to Queenie’s heritage, I hoped to read more about how her Jamaican heritage impacted her overall. Aside from her Grandparents and Aunty that were Jamaican it wasn’t addressed much.

I feel the comparison to Bridget Jones Diary is a long stretch. The only thing Queenie and Bridget have in common is that they live in London and are bad at love. The writing at times did lend to a Bridget Jones-esq feel but that’s where the comparison ends. Queenie is a way more complex character and while the book started out very shallow, things got deeper in the end.

Overall this book will be open to a lot of reader interpretation. I do see a lot of people either loving it or being underwhelmed- it is too hard to not like a character like Queenie. I am here for Williams’ next book because I did enjoy reading this book. Queenie will be available for purchase in March 2019. 
Thanks Orion Publishers for this ARC.

Full review is on blog- http://bookofcinz.com/queenie-by-cand...
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,727 reviews6,662 followers
June 9, 2019
This book explores individual and collective trauma in all its eye-opening forms. Queenie is such a well-developed and layered character, and when you follow her through this book be very aware of judgments that may arise. You may be frustrated by her choices but allow yourself to learn, understand, and be kind...yes, even toward a fictional character because she represents another. Awareness and hope are beautiful gifts.

My favorite quote:
“You aren’t as alone as you think.”
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,457 reviews8,555 followers
July 5, 2019
Such a relevant book for the millennial era! Queenie, our main character, goes through so many relatable experiences: struggling to find an affordable place to live in a gentrified city, partaking in mediocre to outright awful dates with men, and texting her best friend squad when life goes awry. I loved how Candice Carty-Williams centers the black female experience in Queenie, by showing how Queenie encounters racism in the form of people touching her hair without her consent and her white female boss tone-policing her, the internalized stigma her family has toward therapy, all of the microaggressions her romantic interests perpetrated, and much more. In an interview Carty-Williams writes about how part of what inspired this book included how she struggled to see herself represented in books, and I commend her for fighting to put forth Queenie into the world given the overwhelmingly white composition of the publishing industry and books published today.

What resonated the most for me in this novel: Queenie’s struggle with mental health. The way Carty-Williams wrote her mental breakdown and the early stages of her therapy felt so realistic, both based on my experience as someone who has worked through my own PTSD and as someone who now provides therapy. Black women are often expected to be strong and resilient, and while Queenie does embody those traits, she also gets anxious and makes impulsive, self-destructive decisions and takes more than an optimal amount of time to say bye to trash male romantic interests, potential or otherwise. Carty-Williams affords Queenie the space to mess up and be human while also showing her gradual yet significant path to recovery.

Definitely recommended for those who enjoy realistic fiction. While I wanted some aspects of the book to go a little deeper – like more commentary or self-awareness on Queenie’s part about her consistent dating of white men even when they are mediocre and/or racist over and over again and her disinterest in dating black men – I commend Carty-Williams for taking on so many nuanced topics without letting Queenie get lost in the shuffle. I’m excited to discuss this one at my local book club!
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,478 reviews19.2k followers
September 25, 2022
This book has been languishing on my tbr since it came out in 2019 and I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner because this is easily one of the best books I have ever read. Queenie was so real and raw and honest and I just loved this *so* fucking much. Definitely a top read of the year for me

CW: miscarriage, sexual assault, domestic abuse, racism, fatphobia, police brutality, cheating, slut shaming, ptsd, panic attacks, night terrors, child abuse, suicide
Profile Image for Brandice.
855 reviews
August 12, 2020
Meet Queenie a 25 year old Jamaican Brit living in London, who has been asked to move out of the apartment by her white boyfriend, Tom, who insists they need a break. Queenie is a glutton for punishment, seeking easy forms of it nearly everywhere she goes.

She works at a newspaper and wants to write about current issues like racial tension in both the UK and U.S. but gets rejected by her boss, Gina, and told to keep making and correcting layouts for top 10 list pieces. She gets in trouble at work for not working enough and engaging inappropriately with a coworker.

The racism Queenie dealt with at work and in day to day life was frustrating and sadly, is still timely. Gina would make condescending comments and so would the many men she interacted with, including one who dismissed the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and others who fetishize her because she was Black.

Queenie had little self respect when it comes to men and this was tough to watch — I wanted her to want more for herself and even in the challenging circumstances she was in, given her upbringing and financial situation, it didn’t feel like she always did. It was difficult to sympathize with her at times when she continued to make poor decisions, again and again. At one point she mentions her friends being tired of her and her problems and I thought, well how could they not be?

Queenie did grow on me though and I enjoyed her character progression. I liked her friend, Kyazike, as well as her grandparents — While they were definitely old-fashioned, you could tell they cared about her and I found their dialogue together comical.

Calling Queenie a late bloomer coming of age story seems accurate as she was certainly not child but still addressing her identity and finding her footing as an adult.
Profile Image for Fadwa (Word Wonders).
547 reviews3,543 followers
August 19, 2020
CW: Anxiety, depression, PTSD, child abuse, self-destructive behavior especially through sex, work place harassment, racism, gaslighting, fatphobia.

I think. The more I'll sit on this book the more I'll love it and it'll end up becoming an all time favorite of mine. I think that, as it is, it'll very probably make my favorite books of 2020 list because of real and genuine it is.

Queenie is a book that does every single thing it attempts to do right. The exploration of break-ups, friendships, both good and bad, work place wins and losses, messy family dynamics, racist micro and macro-aggressions, society's views on Black bodies and especially Black women, but my favorite of all and the reason this book has blown me away, is the mental health exploration. I think it's the best and most relatable I have ever read in my life. And I think that the main reason for that is that it features a Black woman going through the motions of life with a deteriorating mental state, while everyone perceives her as invincible and while simultaneously dealing with every other things that comes with being Black. And I just...this really meant a lot to me? Especially because of the fact that it also dove head on with how mental illnesses are treated and approached in Black communities, with how taboo it is and many hoops people need to jump through to seek and get help.

In addition to that I liked how the book showed a step by step of Queenie's struggles with mental health, from when she was still in denial about her mental health state and trying to hide it and deal with it on her on, to her seeking treatment and getting better, going through all the motions of self-destructive behavior, self-isolation, loss of motivation, panic attacks and so on and so forth. And my favorite part? It not only tells you that recovery isn't linear and that it can be ugly and messy but it also shows that it's peppered with setbacks and one setback doesn't mean you're getting worse again. And all of these serious topics are topped with humor that had me cracking up and counter-balanced the sometimes heaviness of it.

Queenie's relationship with her best friend was seriously the best to read about, and I loved how this book showed that trauma is intergenerational and your own can blind you to other people's, but it also shows that relationships can be mended even when they seem irreparable, and that with the right support system, you can go far, and even when some are reluctantly part of it, they eventually come around and their support is unconditional.

Profile Image for Camille.
121 reviews165 followers
March 18, 2020
This book came at the right time for me. Can draw so many parallels between myself and Queenie...

Update: I loved this book the second time around. I wish the author delved more into why Queenie felt the way she did about Black men, and her mom's issues. I think a follow-up to this book would be a good idea for the author.
Profile Image for Caro (Bookaria).
612 reviews19.4k followers
June 10, 2019
Compelling, deep, and ultimately heartwarming. 

When I started reading this book, I thought it would be about dating and breaking up in the modern world. But as the story developed, it became clear our main character was walking though a confusing and challenging road. 

I can't say much about the plot without getting into spoilers but I absolutely enjoyed this novel, it was so much more than what it is mentioned in the description. This novel is all about the journey, growing up, forgiveness, and family.

I enjoyed it and highly recommend it to readers of contemporary fiction.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,444 reviews7,533 followers
April 10, 2019
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Let me make sure y’all have some things straight before we get started. I am not a 20-something. I am not single. I am not British nor am I of Jamaican descent. And yet somehow when it came to this book . . . .

The jumping off point to Queenie’s story might ring a bell to many of you as it derives from a timeless classic . . . .

Except, you know, this show actually has black people in it.

The tagline for Queenie states it is Bridget Jones meets Americanah - a book which I have not yet read, but do own because . . . .

So while I can’t speak for the second, I actually am one of the few it seems who can see why the comparison was made to the first. As mentioned above, Queenie’s story begins with her “taking a break” from her live-in, three year long relationship with her boyfriend Tom. You then follow her as she moves physically from a shared flat to eventually back home with her grandparents and as she moves psychologically from a mindset full of self-sabotage (mainly of the horrifying casual sex variety) to admitting she needs some mental help and coming to terms with the upbringing that helped propel her poor decision making.

I loved Queenie – despite all of her flaws. She was a little Bridget Jones . . .

“I like your hair. It’s really long,”

“Thanks. I bought it myself.”

And since I have not yet read Americanah, I’d say another fair comparison might be a little Eleanor Oliphant . . . .

“The last time you came in here, you had vaginal bruising, some anal tearing, and bruises on your bottom and thighs.”

“Ahhhh, but at least I had my pride.”

Maybe I’m a wrongreader once again, but I think if people can get past the dark backstory and the graphic descriptions regarding Queenie’s bad choices, you’ll find she’s a character a lot of young women could relate to. If nothing else, we could all stand to learn that . . . .

“You’re better than you think.”
Profile Image for Alexis Hall.
Author 50 books10.8k followers
December 18, 2021
So this is all complicated. Because this is a very complicated book and I think – glancing at reviews from both non-white and white people – a polarising one? And obviously it is its own kind of problem if white people won’t talk about books by Black people, but also, as a white person, it feels (rightfully) icky to be passing judgement on books by non-white authors. Not that I think writing your thoughts about a book need to be inherently passing-judgementy. But also … it kinda is?

I think for me there are two complicating factors about Queenie which boil down to 1) how it was marketed and 2) who it is for.

It pinged on my radar as a Black romcom and because it was also British I was all very there. I think the exact terminology was “the Black Bridget Jones.” Which, um, no? Not at all. This book is not a Black romcom. For a start there is absolutely no rom and, while the com is there, the humour is grim AF. This is a book about trauma and recovery from trauma. And comparing it to Bridget Jones, a book about a privileged white woman whose problems are largely self-inflicted, feels just … sort of … so horrendously wrong I can’t quite process it. Not, I hasten to add, that there *couldn’t* be a book which was a Black take on Bridget Jones: I think that might be super fun. It’s just this book is not that book.

And I don’t know what marketing it this way was supposed to accomplish: is it because it was assumed (probably correctly? Who knows?) white people wouldn’t be interested if it wasn’t pitched as being like something we knew we already liked? And I will say, as a white reader, when I realised I wasn’t actually reading a Black romcom but a book about Black trauma I just sort of adjusted my expectations and buckled in anyway? But, then, the stakes for me were lower. And, of course, I can’t speak for people who aren’t me (and, let me clarify, I’m not even trying) but I can’t help wondering how a Black reader might feel in the same position. Not to imply marginalised experiences are all the same, but as a queer reader, if someone gets me to buy a book on the grounds that it’s a queer romcom and it turns out not to be a queer romcom at all, I generally feel furious and exploited. And that’s not because I want ALL queer books to queer romcoms but as someone belonging to the group the book is ostensibly about and for I feel I deserve appropriate marketing. I don’t want to feel tricked or deceived, and I want to be allowed to make meaningful decisions about the sort of content I want to consume. Especially because books about queer pain aren’t an abstract experience for me.

For the record, how books get marketed, and who they’re marketed to, is—in my experience—a publisher issue, not an author choice. And, obviously, the goal with any book is to reach as large a potential audience as possible, which becomes especially tricky when you’re selling across axes of marginalisation. But if this was a queer book I’d feel it was attempting to appeal to a majority audience at potential cost to the people it directly affects.

Again: that’s about publishing. Not about authors. And, again, I could be wrong. Marginalised people are not monoliths and I can equally see why someone might feel liberated or represented by this book, and why they might feel triggered or stereotyped. From a broader marginalised-identity-in-general perspective, it feels like it’s as important to write about frailty and self-destruction, as it is to write more explicitly about strength and empowerment. But no book exists outside its context and one of the on-going problems with writing about ANY marginalised identity is that we still live in a world where Representation is, well, sort of its own tyranny. In that any depiction of a person of marginalised identity will not be read as the portrayal of an individual but as a general statement on all people of that identity.


So with all that preamble out of the way, I will say that as a white person with zero standing for whom, perhaps, the book was intended: I found lots to value in this book. And I did feel that one of the things the narrative was doing was peeling back the layers of romcom-style tropes, not to criticise those tropes exactly, but to explore the ways in which we are socially encouraged to accept (and even encourage) certain behaviours without also recognising that they can equally be manifestations of real trauma.

Because, on the surface, Queenie IS a romcom heroine. She’s got a quirkily diverse friendship group, her relationship with her boyfriend is falling apart leading her to obsess over him, she goes on a series of catastrophic dates with unsuitable men, she’s fucking up at work etc. etc. Except it quickly becomes apparent that none of this is cute, funny or normal. The book opens with the heroine having a lost coil recovered, but it soon becomes apparent she’s actually had a miscarriage (a quiet grief that saturates the whole book, and which—like much of the trauma Queenie faces—largely goes culturally unexamined). Her catastrophic dates quickly devolve into objectifying, barely-consensual, definitely abusive sexual encounters. And even Queenie’s friends take too long to recognise that she isn’t just playing the Hot Mess Heroine Making Some Poor Choices After A Breakup. To be fair, she’s not completely honest with them but because Queenie’s behaviours cloak themselves in tropes everyone just assumes she’s basically fine.

When she really isn’t. And for all that Queenie is an incredibly engaging heroine, there are deep layers of trauma within her, much of it racialised. It is, I will say, slightly overwhelming to read about how hostile Queenie’s world feels: I don’t think she meets a single white man who doesn’t objectify or abuse her, and most of the women aren’t much better. Her family, too, carries a history of abuse, both personal (her mother’s second husband was physically and emotionally abusive to both Queenie and her mother) and political (her grandparents are explicitly Windrush generation, the book references the BLM movement and the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the primarily Jamaican neighbourhood where Queenie grew up is undergoing aggressive gentrification). I think one of the aspects of the book I found most fascinating was way all these narratives are woven through Queenie’s sense of her own identity (or example, something she has to deal within in the latter half of the book is accepting both her need, and her right, to have therapy—partially because of resistance to it in Jamaican communities in general, but also her pain is constantly invalidated by the understanding of what other Black people have lived through and are living through). The way it ultimately crystallises into a very simple question: how can you love yourself when so many of your experiences are shaped by hatred.


All of which said, I adored the fact the relationships ultimately centred by the book are friendly and familial. As a queer reader, chosen family always gets me in the feeling places, and by the end of the book Queenie’s decision to focus on the people who love her—her complex, difficult Jamaican grandparents, her very damaged mother, her hyper-religious aunt and said aunt's abrasive daughter, her two closest friends—instead of needing a romantic relationship to ease the pain of the life she has lived feels both hard won and genuinely celebratory. Although I will say that one of the side-effects of the book’s priorities is that the element of Queenie’s trauma explicitly related to Black men (springing from the abuse of her stepfather) is never really addressed. It feels so far out of my lane to comment on this and, obviously, not all trauma can (or should) be wrapped up in a neat little bow at the end of a book so full of complexities but … I don’t know. Was this an okay thing to leave sitting there? Especially given the fact white men consistently treat Queenie appallingly too. I do recognise that trauma isn’t logical, nor do I think giving Queenie a Nice Black Boyfriend would have been the right ending here either because it would have gone down that messy route of suggesting the answer to Bad Men is Good Men (regardless of race). But. Yeah. I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Basically there’s a lot I think I need to accept I Don’t Know TM when it comes to this book. For example, I do think one of its major themes was about what it means to be—to use a difficult term—a strong Black woman. Which by necessity required an exploration of weakness. Of the idea that strength takes different forms and can, in fact, encompass weakness: that it is something you work towards, not something you inherently have. That it can be both taken away and found for yourself. I don’t know how that would feel to someone who isn’t me.

So I guess I’ll just leave it with: there was a lot I personally found incredibly powerful in this book, despite the themes it is actually really funny, and the writing and the dialogue is *chef’s kiss*. Obviously, it’s not my place to comment more broadly than that. But if you do decide to read it, especially if its subject matter is directly relevant to you in any way, please take care of yourself.
Profile Image for Jessica J..
1,019 reviews1,959 followers
March 9, 2019
This book surprised the shit out of me, because the marketing copy led me to believe I was getting something other than what it turned out to be. I even wrote a blurb when I was halfway through this one, thinking that it would be perfect for readers of rom-coms like The Wedding Date.

The marketing copy pitches this as a cross of Bridget Jones and Americanah because it features a quirky, unlucky-in-love black woman who wants to be a journalist covering the Black Lives Matter movement from her British/Jamaican perspective while hilariously having bad luck with men.

(side note: my husband thought I meant Americana, as in the musical genre, and was massively and hilariously confused when I tried to describe how it wasn't like that at all.)

But, no, that's not really what this book was in the end. What it was was actually so much better than that. It's about Queenie, a black woman in London who, yes, is unlucky in love and wants to advance her journalism career by covering the Black Lives Matter movement. But it's ultimately about Queenie's journey of self-discovery as a woman outside of her identity as an object of men's attention. It's wildly empowering in a thoroughly unexpected way.

When we first meet Queenie, she and her long-time boyfriend Tom are agreeing to try going on a break. He wants it more than she does, so she continues to reach out to him occasionally and is hurt when it's consistently met by radio silence. Despite the fact that she desperately wants to get back together, she responds to this rejection by sleeping with as many inappropriate men as she can find, no matter how terrible this makes her feel. the resulting lack of self-esteem bleeds over into other facets of her life, affecting her performance at work and her friendships (with a group she affectionately calls the Corgis because she is Queenie—a detail I frickin adored).

Yes, this does sound like the set-up of a stereotypical haphazard romantic comedy in the vein of Bridget Jones, but the thing about this book is, without getting too spoilery, that Queenie begins to recognize how problematic her behavior is and she fucking does something about it. When is the last time you read that in a book that gets marketed as "chick lit"?

Queenie is a phenomenal character because her journey feels so real. Her emotional baggage is not only relatable, but it's ultimately fleshed out in a way that feels authentic and not forced. While her personal growth feels a bit rushed at times, given how deep her pain goes, it's done in a way that is brutally honest. There's no sugar-coating here: Queenie has to acknowledge less-than-flattering aspects of herself and figure out how to deal with them.

There are some aspects of Queenie's life that felt a bit glossed over—the roommates that she moves in with are barely acknowledged and the extent of her problematic sexual exploits is covered in a few sentences that sort of minimize their magnitude—but I was able to forgive that one quibble because of how much I appreciated the frankness with which Candice Carty-Williams explored the hard work of battling mental health struggles. She doesn't just use depression or anxiety as a catch-all term to show that Queenie has some minor problems—she lays out exactly how Queenie experiences the real symptoms of these issues, how they're rooted in her family history, and the real techniques she learns to combat them.

And at the same time, the book doesn't feel too touchy-feely or didactic. The tone stays relatively light-hearted; Queenie's relationship with the Corgis is admirable and often hilarious. The book recognizes when Queenie's behavior is problematic even when she doesn't, but it treats her with empathy and understanding. Which is, honestly, something that we could all stand to learn to do a little better.

A great read, highly recommended. Just don't go in expecting it to be "the black Bridget Jones" like the publishers seem to want you to do,
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