Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age

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...

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Title:Such a Fun Age
Author:Kiley Reid
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Such a Fun Age Reviews

  • karen

    this book is smart and excellent in like twelve different ways. believe all hype.

    review to come.

  • Berit☀️✨

    Such a fab book! Kiley Reid’s debut was extremely readable, tremendously thought-provoking, and very hard to review. On the surface this was an engaging story about Emira, A 25-year-old African-American woman finding herself and her voice. But there really was so much more to it, it really was a story about privilege, race, and economic status. The story starts with Emira being accused of kidnapping when she is at the grocery store late at night with A little white girl. The truth of it was she

    Such a fab book! Kiley Reid’s debut was extremely readable, tremendously thought-provoking, and very hard to review. On the surface this was an engaging story about Emira, A 25-year-old African-American woman finding herself and her voice. But there really was so much more to it, it really was a story about privilege, race, and economic status. The story starts with Emira being accused of kidnapping when she is at the grocery store late at night with A little white girl. The truth of it was she was babysitting and doing a favor for the couple she works for and taking the little girl out of the house, because things were happening at home. I grew up in a biracial family so I do know what it’s like for people to assume things. Many times people did not believe my African-American brother was my brother, but if he were ever out with my white children and somebody accused him of kidnapping them, I would probably lose it. There was much more to the story there was Alix Emira’s boss. Alix lived a privileged life and had an obsessive need to bond with Emira. I have to say I found this really strange, disconcerting, and borderline stalkerish. Then there was love interest Kelly who ironically also had a past Thai to Alix. Still really don’t know what to think of him? There were many other characters in the story most of them having very strong opinions as to what Emira should do with her life. Then there was three-year-old Brier the little girl she babysat. Brier was so adorable, precocious, and loving. I love the relationship between Brier and Emira they were just so completely loving and accepting of one another. I have to say I found Emira a much more sympathetic character. The poor girl had so many people trying to tell her what she should be doing, even though she was perfectly fine with being a nanny. I just loved this book so much it was so brilliant in its subtlety so beautiful in its nuance.

    🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by Nicole Lewis. She really brought the perfect voice to this exceptional story.

    This book in emojis. 🧸 🖌 🖍 🥂

    *** Big thanks to Putnam Books, Libro fm, and Penguin Audio for my gifted copy of this book 👯‍♀️

  • Elyse  Walters

    Emira Tucker, an African American woman, was going to turn 26 years old next week....

    ....soon to get booted off her parents’ health insurance. She’s known for a while that her babysitting job - ( for Alix and Peter Chamberlain- white upper class couple with two small daughters), wasn’t exactly sustainable- but she needed to figure out things on her own.

    Emira had a college degree...but she didn’t know what she wanted to do next.

    In the meantime - Emira’s part time babysitting job covered - ‘ ‘

    Emira Tucker, an African American woman, was going to turn 26 years old next week....

    ....soon to get booted off her parents’ health insurance. She’s known for a while that her babysitting job - ( for Alix and Peter Chamberlain- white upper class couple with two small daughters), wasn’t exactly sustainable- but she needed to figure out things on her own.

    Emira had a college degree...but she didn’t know what she wanted to do next.

    In the meantime - Emira’s part time babysitting job covered - ‘ ‘barely’ - her monthly expenses.

    She also knew that it wasn’t her job to raise 3 year old Briar. But for 21 hours a week, Blair got to matter to someone. And that mattered to Emira.

    Blair & Emira were a unit!

    Emira’s nickname for Briar...was pickle. Their relationship was heartwarming.

    Briar was an inquisitive 3 year old....intelligent, odd and charming....and filled with humor.

    Emira knew she was good at her job and it was gratifying.

    Briar thought the world of Emira.

    And Emira loved the ease in which she could lose her self in the rhythm of childcare.

    Personally - I felt Emira was a valuable asset in Briar’s life...

    Alix was often busy working - with her baby-toddler-Catherine-in-toe. Alix loved her job-loved being a working mother. She loved both her daughters and her husband.

    Alix also loved Emira - the woman she paid to love chatty-adorable Briar.

    Peter was working full time in TV journalism.... and wasn’t around too much.

    Kelley Copeland, a white 32 year old male, was Emira’s new boyfriend.

    “Emira and Kelly talked about race very little because it always seemed like they were doing it already. When she really considered a life with him, a real life, a joint-bank-account-emergency-contact-both-names-on-the-lease life, Emira almost wanted to roll her eyes and ask, ‘Are we really gonna do this? How are you gonna tell your parents?’”

    “Who’s gonna teach their son that it doesn’t matter what his friends do, that he can’t stand too close to a white woman when he’s on the train or in an elevator? That he should slowly and noticeably put his keys on the roof as soon as he gets pulled over?”

    Is there such a thing of being the opposite of racist? Is it possible for a white person to like a black person too much?

    Alix Chamberlain, 33 years old, (who had a relationship with Kelly in High School and a ‘piercing damaging-to-others’, breakup...fifteen years ago), was saying....

    “Kelley is one of those white guys who not only goes out of his way to date black women but ‘only’ wants to date black women”.

    And....

    “How difficult is it to tell someone, ‘hey, your boyfriend likes you for the wrong reasons?’”

    One of Alix’s friends, Tamra, pitches in her point of view...

    She thinks Emira is very lost.

    I WASN’T SO SURE ABOUT THIS NEXT EXCERPT....but I thought about it along with many points of views examined in this TERRIFIC & REFRESHING debut...( while hiking this morning)....

    “Emira is twenty-five years old and she has no idea what she wants or how to get it. She doesn’t have the motivation to maintain a real career the way our girls will have, which is probably not her fault but it doesn’t make it less true. What I’m saying is...

    There are a lot of jerks like Kelley out there, but when they get hold of girls like Emira? Someone who’s still trying to figure herself out? That’s when I start to really worry. And the more I think about it, it makes a lot of sense she ended up with a guy like this. He’s looking to validate himself through someone else. She hasn’t caught on because she doesn’t know who she is”.

    OUCH?

    The storytelling, with the multi textured, well developed characters was fascinating, refreshing and thought-provoking.... with our own thoughts doing somersaults.

    Things were very complicated from the very start of this novel. FANTASTIC PULL-IN- opening scene.

    The complexities of the inner thoughts from each of the characters added authentic truth.

    Haven’t we all had thoughts we were not proud of? Do we beat ourselves up for our ugly thoughts - or just notice them and let them pass? ( ha, we’ve probably all done a little of both)...

    It would be so easy to judge - or point fingers at any one of our leading characters ( Emira, Alix, or Kelly) - or the supporting characters, too, for that matter....

    but in my opinion - this novel provided an opportunity to get bigger than finger pointing...

    instead it’s worth looking at the bigger issues at hand — and the humanity of the human condition.

    Each character’s inner voice was worth examining...and worth putting our own judgements aside to ‘really’ get each one of their points of view.

    TERRIFIC DEBUT, by Kiley Reid ( a new author to admire)

    Discussion-book-

    extravaganza!!!

  • Emily May

    Wow. The writing in this book is so light and breezy and easy to read that it can take a while to appreciate the depths the author takes us to in

    . Combine the compelling writing with a cute font on the cover and this book is seriously deceiving.

    You know, this book reminded me of some of the criticisms others and myself had about

    . I feel like I have to be careful here because even now, ten years later, there are people who love that book so much that they kiss it before

    Wow. The writing in this book is so light and breezy and easy to read that it can take a while to appreciate the depths the author takes us to in

    . Combine the compelling writing with a cute font on the cover and this book is seriously deceiving.

    You know, this book reminded me of some of the criticisms others and myself had about

    . I feel like I have to be careful here because even now, ten years later, there are people who love that book so much that they kiss it before they go to bed each night. But

    honestly seemed to me like a way for white folks to make themselves feel better about the way they behaved during Jim Crow segregation. Total white lady saviour vibe.

    This book is like what would have happened if Abilene had called Skeeter out and told her to go be a hero somewhere else. Of course,

    is set in 2015 and not the 1960s so the circumstances are different but, alarmingly, not that different.

    is about two women-- Emira Tucker and Alix Chamberlain. Emira is a young black babysitter for the Chamberlains' eldest daughter, Briar, and is currently juggling two jobs as she struggles to pay rent, keep her healthcare, and figure out what she wants to do with her life. Alix Chamberlain is a wealthy white blogger and minor social media celebrity who battles doubts and insecurities, all while on the surface maintaining a facade that she has everything she ever wanted.

    When Emira is stopped by a security guard at a fancy grocery store and accused of kidnapping Briar, everything changes. The moment is caught on camera and, though Emira is determined to forget all about it, both Alix and the bystander who filmed it want to make things right and get justice for Emira.

    It's a very engaging contemporary novel with a lot of nuance. Though it is clearly a critique of "white saviours", Reid is careful not to let the characters fall into one-dimensional stereotypes. She uses these fully-fleshed out characters to explore the way well-meaning white people often overstep and actually make black people's lives harder. "Protecting" and "helping" as a means of control is nothing new, but the author really shines a light on the way white liberals use these words to take over situations and narratives.

    Plus it's also just a really great story about two very different women, all their quirks and habits, and what happens when their lives intersect.

    The only thing that was a little disappointing was the way it ended.

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  • Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

    ***NOW AVAILABLE*** **REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK**

    This is one of those books that’s hard to review because I think if read quickly it would come across as just a good story. Reading this more slowly it’s revealed that there is much more to this book than just entertainment. It highlights lots of racial issues, from two different points of view. Alix is a successful, married white woman and Emira an “undecided” African-American woman. Alix discovered her talents quite quickly and has a

    ***NOW AVAILABLE*** **REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK**

    This is one of those books that’s hard to review because I think if read quickly it would come across as just a good story. Reading this more slowly it’s revealed that there is much more to this book than just entertainment. It highlights lots of racial issues, from two different points of view. Alix is a successful, married white woman and Emira an “undecided” African-American woman. Alix discovered her talents quite quickly and has a thriving online business as well as lots of speaking engagements.She and her husband now have what seems to be “the good life”. She has one amazing, open hearted and apparently open mouthed (in jest here) little 3 year old daughter. She plays an important part in this novel, her name is Briar. She also has an infant daughter, about 6 months old whom she usually has with her when she works.

    Enter our other main character Emira, a 25 y/o African American, college educated young women who hasn’t figured out what she wants to do with her life. To some she would appear in need of a helping hand, mentorship or whatever. In truth, however, Emira isn’t overly upset about where she is in her life, she is giving herself permission to explore different ideas and career paths.

    These two women start out in the book as “boss” and “babysitter”, but Alix’s feelings for this young woman go much deeper and sometimes in a questionable way.

    Here’s a good little taste of what’s to come, the big “event” that changes the trajectory of the relationship between these two women. “So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.”

    Into this mix of emotions and presumptions between both Alix and Emira we add Kelley Copeland, the boy who “ruined Alix’s senior year in high school”. He presumably circulated a letter she had written. Lots of high school students descended on her home and swimming pool, one young man had his scholarship taken away because Alix called the police when the students wouldn't leave. Alix has never really gotten over Kelley and now he shows up in the most awkward position possible.

    Sometimes I think that racial relationships have gotten better in the last decade but then I read a book like this and it really makes me wonder, have we really made much progress understanding each other and our differences? Are we still trying to make everyone act like white people? I had never heard the term white “saviorism” before but it was an interesting topic to contemplate. In this book I felt that both women used each other in different ways, neither was guilt free in the outcome of their story.

    I can definitely recommend this book to everyone, it's a quick read with a big message!

    I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss. The novel is set to publish in January 2020.

  • Carolyn

    On the surface this excellent debut novel from Kiley Reid is a fun account of a young woman finding her feet and standing up for herself but it cleverly goes much deeper than that to highlight issues around racism, feminism and privilege.

    Emira Tucker is a 25 year old college graduate who has no idea what she wants to do with her life. Her girlfriends are all forging ahead in their chosen careers but Emira is taking her time to find what she wants to do, although time is running out as she will

    On the surface this excellent debut novel from Kiley Reid is a fun account of a young woman finding her feet and standing up for herself but it cleverly goes much deeper than that to highlight issues around racism, feminism and privilege.

    Emira Tucker is a 25 year old college graduate who has no idea what she wants to do with her life. Her girlfriends are all forging ahead in their chosen careers but Emira is taking her time to find what she wants to do, although time is running out as she will need a job with health benefits once she can no longer be included on her parents insurance. In the meantime she is juggling two casual jobs, one with the Green Party and one babysitting a toddler called Briar three days/week.

    Briar's mother, Alix Chamberlain is a successful motivational speaker and blog writer, married to a journalist and TV anchor man. She's made a career out of teaching people how to write successful letters and resumes and is now planning to write a book. She's too tied up in new baby Catherine to have much time for Briar, an intelligent, ever curious child constantly asking questions. Fortunately Emira loves Briar and can give her all the love and attention she's missing out on, at least three days per week.

    Alix had never paid much attention to Emira until a late night incident in a grocery store where Emira is suspected of abducting Briar by a store guard (because why else would an African American girl not wearing a Nanny’s uniform be with a white baby?) and Emira is filmed on a bystander's phone standing up for herself. Alix suddenly becomes interested in Emira and decides to make her a pet project. However, when Emira accepts an invitation to attend Alix's Thanksgiving party with her boyfriend, their relationship suddenly becomes complicated when Alix is filled with horror at recognising Emira's boyfriend.

    This is a fun read but is also a very thoughtful novel cleverly highlighting what happens when we make assumptions about the life of a person of different ethnicity or economic status. I really love the characters in this novel - Alix who is sell centred and has no idea what it’s like to live Emira’s life but wants to mold her a vision of what she thinks it should be and Emira who is a little directionless at the moment but smart and knows what really matters in relationships. Briar is also a wonderful character – a precious, inquisitive little girl who Alix fails to appreciate, but who has a lovely, warm bond with Emira. I’ll certainly be looking out so see what Kiley Reid writes next!

  • Nilufer Ozmekik

    Wow! Okay! I don’t know what I have to feel about this book. Did I like it? Mostly I did. But as soon as I finish, I felt like something missing. Maybe I didn’t like how the things ended for the characters and I wished alternate solutions for their stories.

    I enjoyed the writing and intercepted lives of two female protagonists, the development and progression, objective and genuine approach of racism, diversity, hypocritical attitudes of the people. At the end of the story I lost my love for

    Wow! Okay! I don’t know what I have to feel about this book. Did I like it? Mostly I did. But as soon as I finish, I felt like something missing. Maybe I didn’t like how the things ended for the characters and I wished alternate solutions for their stories.

    I enjoyed the writing and intercepted lives of two female protagonists, the development and progression, objective and genuine approach of racism, diversity, hypocritical attitudes of the people. At the end of the story I lost my love for Alixa and wanted to kick her ass so bad and shook Emira’s shoulders so hard to force her get a grip. I still stick with 3.5 stars and of course I will round them up to 4 because the story really got imprinted on my mind and I wanted to learn what’s gonna happen , how the interwoven relationship dynamics will change the characters’ lives and what kind of revelations will come out.

    So we have a privileged, wealthy, blogger Alixa Chamberlain, living her dream life but it’s still something missing about her. She’s insecure, not quite satisfied with her new appearance after having her new baby, questioning her life choices. Our other protagonist Emira Tucker, nanny ( correction: babysitter as Alixa calls he, making her wear a uniform, yes like younger version of Viola Davis from “Help” movie) of Alixa’s elder daughter Briar, trying so hard to make her ends meet by working at two jobs and pushing hard to pay her rent and keep her health insurance.

    One day, at eleven p.m. Alixa calls Emira urgently to take her daughter to the grocery store.(Awkward request alert! Of course nothing good will come out after strange demands) So Emira leaves her friends, still wearing her party clothes and a little tipsy to help her employers but surprisingly security guard at the grocery store interrogates her and gets suspicious that she kidnapped Briar. As soon as Alixa’s husband Peter arrives to the store, the problem solves and Emira wants to forget all of this humiliated misunderstanding even though somebody filmed everything to make things right and emailed the video to her.

    Then that somebody from the grocery store runs into Emira at the train: a good looking, tall, witty man named Kelley and they start to see each other. So as you may imagine even the one of the worst nights of her life helps her to meet with her new boyfriend. But well… this coincidental beginning and her humiliating experience will be the key of Pandora’s box and helps all hell breaks loose. It will affect both of Emira and Alixa’s lives.

    Alixa is selfish, insecure and a little immature character. Most of the book I loved her craziness, her passionate approach to Emira which makes her cross the line between protectiveness and obsessiveness. But at the end some big revelations about her made me lose my sympathy for the character and as some parts I found Emira, a little lost, aimless, confused. If she was younger than 25, I may understand how she lost the tracks of her own life or if there was any tragic background story tells that why she prefers only existing instead of finding her passion about life.

    Overall: I loved the pure, objective, riveting writing style and the author’s approach to the sensitive matters. I partly loved the characters and their relationship dynamics, the big revelations and the story’s direction after everything is getting out of control. Only thing I didn’t like the conclusions of characters’ stories. But this is still interesting, fast pacing and promising reading. I’m happy to start the year by finishing this reading. So yes it may be considered as a winner!

  • Larry H

    This was a thought-provoking novel I didn’t want to put down.

    Emira is nearly 26, that crucial age when she’ll be dropped from her parents’ health insurance. While most of her friends have started making their own paths career-wise and life-wise, she works as a babysitter for the wealthy (and white) Chamberlain family. She knows she needs a better, more stable job but she really enjoys taking care of their young daughter, Briar.

    Late one night Emira gets a call from Mrs. Chamberlain. They had an

    This was a thought-provoking novel I didn’t want to put down.

    Emira is nearly 26, that crucial age when she’ll be dropped from her parents’ health insurance. While most of her friends have started making their own paths career-wise and life-wise, she works as a babysitter for the wealthy (and white) Chamberlain family. She knows she needs a better, more stable job but she really enjoys taking care of their young daughter, Briar.

    Late one night Emira gets a call from Mrs. Chamberlain. They had an incident at their house and she asked Emira if she could take Briar to the gourmet grocery store down the street until the hubbub dies down. Emira was at a party so she’s dressed a bit provocatively and she may have had a drink or two, but she agrees to help the Chamberlains.

    While at the grocery store, she is questioned by security who think she kidnapped Briar, since they're not of the same race. The incident escalates until she has to call the Chamberlains to verify she is, indeed, the babysitter. While someone videotaped the whole incident, Emira doesn’t want any part of the trouble that releasing the video could cause, even if she might benefit because she was clearly the victim of discrimination.

    After the incident, Alix Chamberlain becomes a little obsessed with making sure Emira feels comfortable in her job. Alix tries to build a sort of friendship with her babysitter, giving her gifts, offering her more hours, trying to serve as a combination mentor/big sister/best friend. Emira, who has begun dating a new man, wants to find a better job, but doesn’t want to leave Briar. And when a strange connection between Emira and Alix is discovered, it sets an odd chain of events in motion which will cause ripples in everyone's lives.

    is a fascinating look at issues of class, race, privilege, motherhood, struggling to find your own way, and relationships. These characters aren’t always likable, but I really enjoyed this book. I think it would be a great pick for book clubs (and I saw this morning that Reese Witherspoon just chose it as her latest book club pick) because it really would be a great source of discussion and conversation.

    Kiley Reid is tremendously talented, and this book feels really self-assured for a debut novel. Not a bad book to start 2020 with!!

    Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at

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  • Chaima ✨ شيماء

    thinking about the former senior books editor at Bustle who wrote a review for this book titled

    before she got laid off....only for this book to be INDEED Witherspoon's book club’s first pick of the year lol

    I hope that lady is having a nice day.

  • Tucker

    every time i see this title, i think to myself

    toddlers - sucks because you can't do anything. you're a helpless blob of fat

    teenagers - sucks because you're a hormonal mess

    young adults - sucks because you're a hormonal mess who has to deal with college and living on your own

    new adults - sucks because you are trying to survive being an adult (and 9 times out of 10, you're lonely)

    middle aged - sucks because you're constantly wondering

    every time i see this title, i think to myself

    toddlers - sucks because you can't do anything. you're a helpless blob of fat

    teenagers - sucks because you're a hormonal mess

    young adults - sucks because you're a hormonal mess who has to deal with college and living on your own

    new adults - sucks because you are trying to survive being an adult (and 9 times out of 10, you're lonely)

    middle aged - sucks because you're constantly wondering where your life has gone

    older - sucks because you're body is dyinggggg

    elder - sucks because you're losing your mind AND your body is dyingggggg

    dead - sucks because... do i even need to tell you why being dead sucks...

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