JanB 's Reviews > Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
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bookshelves: edelweiss, 2020-reads

4.5 stars

There are books I read for the pure pleasure of the storytelling and there are books I read to make me think. Occasionally a book comes along that does both, without it being an “issue book”. This is one of those books.

One of the best ways to make a point is through witty satire, through stereotypical characters who are ridiculous, yet compulsively readable. Taking the biggest hit in this book are the progressive “woke” individuals who are so fearful of appearing racist, so convinced that they aren’t racist, that they lack self-awareness.

Alix (pronounced Ah-Leeks) Chamberlain is an entitled, progressive, white woman in her 30s who is a blogger and Instagram influencer. Emira is a college-educated black woman in her mid-20s, uncertain and confused about what she wants to do with her life. Emira is hired by Alix to babysit her toddler daughter, Briar (who is just the sweetest!). A defining incident happens early in the book and from there we are given the perspectives of Alix and her privileged friends (who are both black and white), as well as Emira, her friends, and her (white) boyfriend.

This is so much more than a book about racial bias. It’s about race, yes, but it‘s also about social class, success, parenting, friendship, and the relationship between a nanny and the family she works for.

Bias can be subtle. It can be the hubris of thinking you know what is right for others. Everyone here seems to know what Emira needs, and are so busy "doing good" that they don't bother to really get to know Emira or her wants and needs. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and it’s never more evident than in this story.

One measure of a successful story/book is that it accomplishes what the author sets out to do. This author avoids the easy solutions and doesn’t tell us what to think. Instead she makes the reader think and examine their own feelings, opinions and actions, which can be uncomfortable indeed. The last line in the book packs quite a punch.

Do yourself a favor and grab a friend or two, and read this book together. It’s a book that begs discussion. I had the good fortune to read this book with my friends Marialyce and Victoria. Our discussions were insightful and thought-provoking, enhancing the experience beyond measure.

This is an amazing debut, and I can’t wait to see what this author writes next.

*I received a free digital copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

August 10, 2019 – Shelved
August 10, 2019 – Shelved as: edelweiss
January 20, 2020 – Started Reading
January 22, 2020 – Finished Reading
January 24, 2020 – Shelved as: 2020-reads

Comments Showing 1-50 of 84 (84 new)


Elyse  Walters I think you'll enjoy this JanB. Happy Thanksgiving to you! xo


JanB Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) wrote: "I think you'll enjoy this JanB. Happy Thanksgiving to you! xo"

Thanks Elyse, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you too 🦃


message 3: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly  B Well wasn't even on my radar, NOW you've made me ADD it!! haha thanks ... sounds like a worthy read!


message 4: by Kaceey (new)

Kaceey Fabulous review Jan! Glad you all enjoyed this one! Sounds so good! Maybe Susanne and I need to pick this one up!


message 5: by Jenna (new) - added it

Jenna I'm sold! Terrific review, Jan, and I agree -- "One of the best ways to make a point is through witty satire, through stereotypical characters who are ridiculous"!


Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City Excellent review, JanB! I can’t wait to read it. — mo ✌️


message 7: by Dana (new)

Dana I love books like this. Splendid review, Jan! Look forward to reading it.


message 8: by Anne (new) - added it

Anne Wow. Great review, Jan. I'm sold. Adding it.


Marialyce We did have such a fun time with this story. So glad we all shared a great experience and of course your review is brilliant, Jan!


message 10: by Richard (new)

Richard A really enticing review Jan ....... I’ll certainly look out for this book.


message 11: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Smith Glad you enjoyed this Jan, nice review too.


message 12: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Langford Brilliant review Jan! You’ve definitely motivated me to pick this book up some point in the future (once the waiting list in my library isn’t so long 😂)


message 13: by marilyn (new) - added it

marilyn Great review and you make me want to read the book...it's going on my TBR list!


message 14: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Thanks again for a great review!


message 15: by Jen (new)

Jen Terrific review, Jan! Glad it was a good one for you


message 16: by Diane S ☔ (new) - added it

Diane S ☔ Love books that do both. Awesome review. Toni.


message 17: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Jan, a wonderful review. Sounds like one I need to add to my big piles .


Theresa Alan Well said. Great review.


message 19: by Jayme (new)

Jayme Well, I wasn’t planning to read this one, but your wonderful review has me intrigued! 😩📚


message 20: by Esil (new) - rated it 4 stars

Esil So glad you ended up liking it. Excellent review, JanB.


DeAnn Amazing debut indeed!


message 22: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen Great review Jan! Added!


message 23: by Julie (new)

Julie Splendid review, Jan!! Sounds like a good one! 💖


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) If I failed to comment before, this is a wonderful review. I really thought this one was special also :)


message 25: by Debra (new)

Debra Fabulous review, Jan!


message 26: by Kat (new)

Kat Valentine Excellent review JanB!!👍💋😉💞


Tammy Fab review Jan!! 💖


Debbie Love this review! I couldn’t agree with you more—on all the points you made. I just can’t stop thinking about this book. Yay, we have a wonderful new author! So much fun when we’re in synch on a book.


message 29: by Susanne (new)

Susanne  Strong Fantastic review Jan! I am so glad to see that you loved this! I just bought this book yesterday (the thought never occurred to me to check EW.. shame on me!). Lol. I love that this book made you think and incorporated fabulous storytelling. I have to move it up on my list! Great review!


message 30: by Paula (new)

Paula Eloquent review, Jan!


JanB Holly wrote: "Well wasn't even on my radar, NOW you've made me ADD it!! haha thanks ... sounds like a worthy read!"

haha...yay!! It's so worth it! Read it. Now!


JanB Kaceey wrote: "Fabulous review Jan! Glad you all enjoyed this one! Sounds so good! Maybe Susanne and I need to pick this one up!"

Kaceey, yes! It is a book that needs to be read with others. You HAVE to discuss it as you read. I hope it ends up on your list :)


JanB Jenna wrote: "I'm sold! Terrific review, Jan, and I agree -- "One of the best ways to make a point is through witty satire, through stereotypical characters who are ridiculous"!"

Jenna, I just know you would love this book and I hope you get a chance to read it. I would love to know your thoughts.


JanB Monica wrote: "Excellent review, JanB! I can’t wait to read it. — mo ✌️"

Thanks so much Monica, I hope you love it too 😊


JanB Dana wrote: "I love books like this. Splendid review, Jan! Look forward to reading it."

Thanks so much Dana! I hope you love it too 💖


JanB Anne wrote: "Wow. Great review, Jan. I'm sold. Adding it."

Thanks so much Anne. I look forward to you thoughts. I can't get it out of my mind and may even bump up my rating.


JanB Marialyce wrote: "We did have such a fun time with this story. So glad we all shared a great experience and of course your review is brilliant, Jan!"

I know I would not have loved this book as much if I had not had the experience of reading it together with you and Victoria. I'm so glad we did. What a terrific discussion we had!


JanB Richard wrote: "A really enticing review Jan ....... I’ll certainly look out for this book."

Thank you so much Richard. It would be well worth your time!


JanB Miriam wrote: "Glad you enjoyed this Jan, nice review too."

Thanks so much Miriam! 🤗


JanB Lucy wrote: "Brilliant review Jan! You’ve definitely motivated me to pick this book up some point in the future (once the waiting list in my library isn’t so long 😂)"

Lucy, haha, yes! I hate it when that happens. I was lucky to get an ARC before Reese chose it. I do hope you are able to get hold of a copy and read it. I think it would be well worth your time.


JanB marilyn wrote: "Great review and you make me want to read the book...it's going on my TBR list!"

Yay! Thank you! It makes me happy when someone adds it to their tbr 😊 I hope you love it too!


JanB Lucy wrote: "Thanks again for a great review!"

Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it 😊


JanB Jen wrote: "Terrific review, Jan! Glad it was a good one for you"

Thank you Jen!


JanB Diane S ☔ wrote: "Love books that do both. Awesome review. Toni."

Thanks Diane. I do too, it's the best and what makes reading so awesome.


JanB Angela M wrote: "Jan, a wonderful review. Sounds like one I need to add to my big piles ."

Angela, thank you. In my humble opinion I absolutely think this is one that is worth adding and moving to the top of the tbr. Such timely issues.


JanB Theresa Alan wrote: "Well said. Great review."

Thanks Theresa, I'm glad we both loved it and I'm glad the book is getting the buzz it deserves 💖


JanB Jayme wrote: "Well, I wasn’t planning to read this one, but your wonderful review has me intrigued! 😩📚"

Jayme, yes, read it! And read it as a buddy read. You won't be sorry, I promise!


JanB Esil wrote: "So glad you ended up liking it. Excellent review, JanB."

Thanks Esil. I loved your review and I think it's one of the rare books that gives a message but does so brilliantly without it being a "message" book. What reader could ask for more, right?


JanB DeAnn wrote: "Amazing debut indeed!"

Yes, what talent! I'm glad we both liked this one 💖


JanB Karen wrote: "Great review Jan! Added!"

Yay! I think we've been friends long enough that I know your tastes in books and I'm confident you would love it! I'd love to hear your thoughts.


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