A review by jesscoast
Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid

emotional funny tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Such A Fun Age is a genius take on privilege, race, class, and that awkward period after university when many people struggle to identify themselves as a graduate who hasn't fully figured out their next move.

I'd set a trigger warning for cringe, the book was both such a pleasure to read because of Reid's smooth writing, but also hard to read because I wanted to close my eyes in mortification. The character's competing intentions and actions were loud and awkward and culminated in almost painful confrontations.

I do have to say that, as a nanny of years, I loved the unpacking of that relationship in this story. The love and commitment for the best interests of the child in question is so beautifully portrayed, I felt pangs of longing for my former days in childcare and the bonds I formed with the kids. Emira is such a relatable character, and I loved the different aspects of her life playing into the story line, including how she handled herself in comfortable fun places and uncomfortable situations. The dynamics of bosses and employees is explored in such a personal and intimate way, where it's no surprise that boundaries get crossed. I also loved how real that struggle and frustration is built when Emira knows she should find a better job but doesn't have immediate success. I wish Reid had gone a little deeper in exploring what Emira's intentions were, though I get that part of her being "lost" and "finding herself" is sitting in that space where she doesn't know what to do and is maybe a little too easily influenced by others because of that.

Overall, this was such a provocative read, that has the reader turning the same story over and over in the mind to find new angles and guess who's account to trust. No one comes off as blameless, but the extent of some people's manipulation is tested. And Emira can be trusted to have a good head on her shoulders.

I found Alix's side plot of weight loss quite unnecessary. I wasn't sure if this was intended to display her neurosis or not but it came off as insensitive to the reader.

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