Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine discussion

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January 2020 > What did you think?

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message 1: by Hello (new)

Hello Sunshine | 58 comments Mod
Tell us your thoughts on the book--What did you love? What did you think of the characters?


message 2: by Wendi (new)

Wendi | 4 comments can you name the book and author please


message 3: by Fij (new)

Fij Fajardo | 2 comments Can I vent? I didn't understand Alix at all. I don't understand how someone who makes a living from empowering women would go through as much to seek approval from Emira. At first I thought it could be a crush but as the story progressed and I didn't see that plot twist unfold, it just made me confused. I also didn't understand why as a parent, she would only pawn off 1 child to Emira to babysit. She kind of touched on that aspect at the end of the book, but if I was paying a sitter so I could write and work, the younger child would probably need more attention than the older. Just my opinion. Plus, if Alix didn't want her children to see the police after the egging incident, why didn't Emira take both children? Also, I didn't understand what Kelley was doing in that grocery store anyway. He didn't live in that neighborhood and the way his character is written, he would be the type to avoid gentrified areas all together. I was just confused by the whole set up and maybe that is why I had problems relating to these characters


message 4: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Matthews | 2 comments I totally agree with Fij, the characters were strong but the plot holes and vague explanations left me feeling like there’s a lot more that could have been done with this book.


message 5: by Whitney (new)

Whitney Vaughan | 1 comments I agree with the other posters in this thread. Alix acts like she can strap a baby onto her chest and just go about her day and not have to worry about when this baby needs to eat, changing diapers, etc. It seems odd that she never had Emira sit with Catherine during that time. I also found Alix to be incredibly selfish in that she was paying someone to spend time with her child while she was "working," when in reality she was not working at all. As a new mom and a working mom, it frustrated me that she could have spent time with both of her children, but actively chose not to.

I fall directly in between Alix and Emira, age wise, so I think that made it a little difficult for me to connect with either character.

The book was enjoyable in that I wanted to know what would happen next, but I didn't have a strong connection with any of the characters and felt that there were some plot holes that could have been filled in a little better.


message 6: by Holly (new)

Holly De La Vega | 1 comments I agree with you all. I’m just about finished with the book and to be honest, never really got all the hoopla. It seems like the characters are so vaguely written, the plot is very underdeveloped, and this book is about issues of race, yet I can’t get past that both Alix and Ermira dated the same guy. It’s ridiculous! Anyone else feel the same way?


message 7: by Ashley (last edited Jan 14, 2020 12:04PM) (new)

Ashley Giammona (ashleygiammona) | 2 comments Fij wrote: "Can I vent? I didn't understand Alix at all. I don't understand how someone who makes a living from empowering women would go through as much to seek approval from Emira. At first I thought it coul..."

As far as Alix goes- I saw her more as a person who "wants" to empower women than actually doing it. If that makes sense? Like anything she wrote, or did was always for her own benefit. Similar to people who volunteer just so they can post about it on social media for a good "pat on the back". Alix's image was ruined in high school and she needed to rebuild it any way she could. This is why she hired Emira. Having a black babysitter in 2020, at least to Alix, is a statement. As Alix begins to lose her relevancy and gets older (moved from NYC too) she seeks Emira to keep her young and also to add a "token" friend (even though she already had an African American friend).

All of the above is just my opinion (and also things I've gathered from life experience with women like Alix).


message 8: by Cletie (new)

Cletie Hogan | 2 comments I personally really like this book. I think the plot hole were intensional, and there was a lot you could unpack. I think Emira not having any social media working for a woman who only works in this space is such an interesting idea. Alix or Alex infuriated me at the end of the book with her self righteousness and behavior but I love a book with flawed characters.

I also liked the racial aspects of this book and the way they’re addressed.

Kelley, well I’m not sure how to feel about him. I almost feel bad for him because he seemed to be trying so hard to do the right thing but he ended up with the short straw every time.


message 9: by Penny (new)

Penny | 1 comments You have a discussion about a book. I click on the email notification of comment posted... at the top of this page you NEED to have the TITLE and AUTHOR of the book being discussed! "Tell us your thoughts on the book--What did you love? What did you think of the characters?" Good spot to identify the information about he book!


message 10: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Brown | 4 comments Really interesting theme of 'owning people'. Alix clearly struggles with it and how she views people in her life especially Emira and it comes across entitled and creepy, but when Emira talks almost identically about her friend Zara it comes across as insecure and relatable. I guess you feel that more from the intention and in Alix's case her total lack of self awareness which you then realise is more of an intentional way to behave as she rationalises everything.

I also kept going back and forth about Emira's decision to not release the video earlier in the book .

Overall I really enjoyed it, while some characters and scenes were grating and I felt didn't add to the value of the story, all in all it brings up some interesting questions about race, and privilege and even people who have the best intentions can just really get it wrong.


message 11: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Brown | 4 comments Ashley wrote: "Fij wrote: "Can I vent? I didn't understand Alix at all. I don't understand how someone who makes a living from empowering women would go through as much to seek approval from Emira. At first I tho..."

Hey!

I kind of agree with you about Alix, and almost felt that in a more extreme sense, everything she did was about her own 'narrative' and creating a storyline that made it look like she was this amazing, wordly, ambitious, philanthropic person (and victim). She was more obsessed with how the story looked to others, then about actually being the person she wanted to portray.

Just extremely unlikable.


message 12: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Garlinge (bookishly_kelly) | 1 comments To me the only way Alix can be believable is if she was suffering from post natal depression. She just seems to completely loose touch with reality. She leaves her baby at home alone by accident. She stalks a high school ex. She obsesses over her babysitter. The fact her husband is so absent from the story also bothers me. She gets a lot of stick for her mothering skills but is there one scene where he does any caregiving? Is any of that intentional? I just don’t know. I just don’t really get the book if I’m honest. Some bits are brilliant and others feel poorly thought through. I really think the story would have been a lot stronger without the Kelley storyline. It was too ridiculous that he just happened to meet Emira and although it did allow for the brilliant thanksgiving dinner scene it just added another layer that I think weakened the story. An examination of Alix’s adjustment to her new life and her liberal racism and Emira’s lack of direction and love of Briar would have made a much better book for me. It felt like too many ideas being forced into one story and them not quite fitting together convincingly.


message 13: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Liko | 17 comments Fij wrote: "Can I vent? I didn't understand Alix at all. I don't understand how someone who makes a living from empowering women would go through as much to seek approval from Emira. At first I thought it coul..."

I agree to the other posts as well. There were many good plot ideas in the book, but however I felt like the book fell short in driving the plot home; there seemed to be a lot of loose ends at the end. I overall just had difficulty reading the book because Alix infuriated me as a character. How can someone who makes their living empowering other women, bring others down and play the victim card so much? I also didn't understand how she could leave Briar like she did, especially since she wasn't even writing, to spend time with Catherine. Wouldn't Alix need more help from a sitter with a newborn? And I thought the plot with Kelley and always surrounding himself with African Americans just didn't flow right with the rest of the story.


message 14: by Riley (new)

Riley | 2 comments I really loved this book. I think that the author did a great job bringing Emira to life and I loved the personality of Briar. I can see where others are trying to understand the way Alix takes care of Catherine and why the baby isn’t more involved with the babysitter. My interpretation was that it made readers see that Catherine was more around mommy and Briar was essentially pawned off on the babysitter. This was the main event that led Briar to feel a little left out from her mother’s life and another thing that made Emira so frustrated. I do think that the author could have written more about Alix actively caring for the baby because it seems like the baby never fussed or needed anything at all, which is unrealistic for the most part.


message 15: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 1 comments While I agree with a lot of what has already been said here, I think the confusion regarding Briar and Catherine is intentional - we're not supposed to get why Alix does this because we wouldn't do it. Alix is letting us down in this sense, which makes her flawed, and this adds to Emira's cold view of her boss. I also think Kelley is a crucial character because he's an example of how white guilt can manifest into overly compensating - he has good intentions, but he's centering on race by actively only selecting black friends and girlfriends. In the same vein, Alix is combating feelings of racism by giving special attention to her black employees, and justifying it through the opinions and validation of her black friend, Tamra. I also think Alix had every intention of getting back at Kelley for high school, and Emira happened to be her pawn. The main theme I've taken away from this book, is any treatment given based on race is still a form of bias, whether it's accusing a black woman of kidnapping a white child she's watching or assuming her boss is racist for hiring her in the first place.


message 16: by P.W. (new)

P.W. Hazeldine (pwhazeldine) | 2 comments I agree totally with Victoria.
I thought the characters were without substance, unlikeable really. It is not a book I would recommend


message 17: by Debra (new)

Debra Schnitzer Riley wrote: "I really loved this book. I think that the author did a great job bringing Emira to life and I loved the personality of Briar. I can see where others are trying to understand the way Alix takes car..."

I agree with everything you said. While this book seems like it should be a simple story it is actually very complex.


message 18: by Debra (new)

Debra Schnitzer Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid Such a fun name but this book is anything but fun. The characters were in different ages in the book. Actually none of them seemed fun. Alix/Alex had a very bad time during high school. I wonder if she was trying to give Emira the same home experience with a african American taking care of her that she had. Her parents had become rich and didn't seem to be handling well. She is now well off but is still not handling well. She has also just had another baby so may be going through some depression. I am planning on reading this book again. It is actually more complex then the name makes it sound. Did anyone else picture Reese as Alix while reading.


message 19: by Kate (new)

Kate (areadersramblings) | 7 comments Fij wrote: "Can I vent? I didn't understand Alix at all. I don't understand how someone who makes a living from empowering women would go through as much to seek approval from Emira. At first I thought it coul..."

I just finished reading the book and I went back and forth on Alix. On one hand she seemed so needy and it really was walking right up to the line of being a stalker. On the other hand I could see a really insecure woman who had built up this facade around her that she was terrified to let down and have people see the real her. It seemed like she saw Emira as this enigma, or some mystery she had to crack, some person to save- which gave her a sense of purpose. Having known several influencers (whose online life looks very different then life at home) I can say that aspect of Alix felt pretty spot on. You're playing a role and just hanging on as tight as you can.


message 20: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Brown | 4 comments Riley wrote: "I really loved this book. I think that the author did a great job bringing Emira to life and I loved the personality of Briar. I can see where others are trying to understand the way Alix takes car..."

Nice - such a good point re: the distinction between Briar and Catherine :)


message 21: by Anushka (new)

Anushka (justanotheravidreader) | 2 comments hey I am new here on goodreads and like idk what took me so long to join goodreads but I am thrilled to have joined this group and would love to make some new friends!


message 22: by Mico (new)

Mico Done (mico_done) | 5 comments Still thinking what to write, because my first comment got swallowed


message 23: by Jordan (new)

Jordan Culler | 3 comments I finished Such a Fun Age yesterday and i'm still feeling like i'm missing something..... There was so much detail put into the entire story, yet the ending felt rushed and incomplete.


message 24: by Bada (new)

Bada | 34 comments Fun book!!


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