Cover Image: Queenie

Queenie

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Member Reviews

Queenie, a British-born Jamaican woman, is fresh out of a long-term relationship with Tom, her white, (now) ex-boyfriend. The majority of this novel is spent on Queenie’s nosedive down a very steep path of self-destruction. The narrative alternates between her current circumstances and flashbacks of her relationship with Tom.

This novel felt like a first draft to me, everything needed fleshing out. The character development was minimal. While there were many important racial issues introduced (police brutality, gentrification of black neighborhoods, white privilege), there was not adequate time spent developing any of them. It was like reading cliff notes on racial issues in America and Britain. Also, I was really hoping for a deeper, more insightful perspective on interracial relationships and this novel did not deliver on that subject either. 

I would have to recommend a hard pass on this one. ARC was provided by NetGalley and Simon & Schuster.
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I loved Queenie! Originally I was drawn to the Americanah meets Bridget Jones comparison...I would say this screws more heavily towards Americanah. Queenie is a 25 year old woman living in London and facing a break (up). Between the break up and a health condition, she spirals and loses sight of herself. I loved the honest representation of losing yourself in your 20s, as well as insight into seeking help when things go awry. This book is not one to miss!
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This book was such a joy to read mostly because I felt for Queenie and I felt I totally understood her and her world. I loved the writing and I cannot say enough how important it is for stories like these to be told. I would seriously recommend. 

Also loved the book cover!
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Queenie is a young black woman whose childhood traumas play out in her adult relationships. This books is being compared to Bridget Jones’ Diary, and honestly that’s a terrible comparison. The book touches on themes of blackness and black identity, the fetisization of black womens bodies, mental health and more specifically mental health within the Black community. 

I would liken this book to a slice of life novel. You find out more about Queenie in the latter part of the book when she is seeking therapy. Otherwise, the character development is pretty minimal. Some things occur in the book, that honestly make no sense and could have been excluded. 

This book is a 3.5 star book for me primarily because of the importance of th themes. As a black woman I was able to really relate to some of the dialogues and mental anguish that Queenie grapples with. Her struggles with on,one dating as a black woman are spot on. This is definitely an “Own Voices” read.  

Thank you to Netgalley for providing this ARC for m to review.
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They type of book you read and say - I CANT WAIT TO SEE THIS MOVIE  and are casting the characters in your head. I fell in love with Queenie. She is a fully realized character with flaws but wins over your heart. 

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 big newspaper and is constantly forced to compare herself to others she feels she shouldnt compare herself to. Queenie makes a ton of mistakes in the love department. Queenie is a very relatable story of what it means to be a woman in todays society looking for and finding herself.
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My thanks to Orion Publishing and NetGalley for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. 

When I first started reading Queenie, I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but boy did she grow on me. This novel follows her during a major downward spiral, (mostly) of her her own making. While there are some factors adding to it, such as childhood trauma and racism, for the most part, Queenie is the story of Queenie making a lot of Really Bad Decisions resulting from a mental health crisis.

I think the concept of agency is a big part of what made this a really interesting novel. Very little happens to Queenie that isn't a result of the choices she makes, but to what extent have her circumstances made those choices for her? The triggering event of the downward spiral is the dissolution of a long term relationship coming on the tail of a miscarriage. Her childhood has not set her up well to cope with these stressors; Queenie's neglectful mother is alluded to early in the story, the full extent of this becoming apparent only towards the end. Her sense of self worth at an all-time low, her performance at work begins to suffer and she goes on a spree of casual sex with various partners, none of whom are particularly concerned about anyone's pleasure but their own. Each poor decision kicks her mental health down a notch, leaving her less and less equipped to turn things around.

Structurally, this book mostly takes place in Queenie's present life, occasionally flashing back to her relationship with her ex boyfriend, Tom. There are also lots of passages made up of email or text message exchanges. I know these are kind of a pet peeve for some readers, but I thought it worked well in this particular novel. Queenie sets up a group text with some of her friends, some of whom do not know each other, hoping to compile all of her emotional support into one place. Watching her vastly different friends interact with one another as strangers was one of the highlights of the novel for me.

Queenie also gets political, which is another thing that can be really hit or miss when it comes to fiction, but Candice Carty-Williams ingrained it into Queenie's life and personality really effectively, and it doesn't feel forced into the story. The Black Lives Matter movement becomes important to the story, not because the author wants to make use of something culturally relevant, but because Queenie is a young black woman who works in journalism and encounters racism within her own life.

It's easy at times in this book to become frustrated with Queenie, as we are joining her in the midst of a breakdown. After a while, though, it because apparent that Queenie and her story are well worth a little patience.
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I really liked the premise of this book and overall, the style was engaging and interesting--but this was not a book for me. I didn't finish reading this book, but I love that we have it in the world, and i'm looking forward to people finding and falling in love with Queenie, as a character and as a book.
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Poignant, funny, timely. I was cheering for Queenie the whole time. Especially when she was getting in her own way. I loved the inclusion of her very supportive family. Though they didn't completely understand her, they gave her the love and safety net she needed. I'd love to see what Queenie does next.
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Queenie was a tough read. TW: sexual violence. The friendships in this book make it worth it - but it requires navigating a whole lot of reading about awful men. It takes a long time, but this book excels in character development and in creating a cast of fully realized characters. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC!
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Who wouldn’t love adorable, reckless 20-something Queenie Jenkins?  She scrabbles to figure out work, love, sex, and roommates, all while the world comes at her too quickly and the past holds her down.

Anyone who’s struggled to know who they are, what they want from their spins around the sun, and how to find and keep hold of love can relate. Meaning: all of us.

Though it’s also possible to find Queenie entirely irritating at the same time. But readers, we’re capable of such complex reasoning, aren’t we? Able to hold both things at once, equally?

Because this book shines in how it addresses the stigma surrounding mental health. As an adult Queenie still suffers for the abuse she and her mother have endured at the hands of her stepfather. This carries forward into her life in a number of ways, and after a breakup with longtime beau Tom, Queenie falters and needs help. Compounding her troubles, she’s put on leave at work because of sexual harassment allegations.

In the midst of crisis, Queenie moves back in with her grandparents. At first, her old-fashioned Jamaican British family balks at the idea of Queenie seeking behavioral health counseling. When her grandfather offers a show of support – he doesn’t want her to suffer the way her mother has - she’s able to get the help she needs and begins to find her way.

That Candice Carty-Williams also weaves into the story Queenie’s responses to what it’s like to be the only black woman in a room - how her coworkers and lovers alike fetishize her, touch her hair, clumsily try to show her how woke they are -  also adds to the story’s complexity. 

Ultimately, if you can overlook your frustration at the ways that, in her immaturity, Queenie - and by extension, we - fumble through our early adult years, you’ll find that this book is a worthy read. I certainly did.

Thank you to NetGalley for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Solid four stars. I really enjoyed this. Lots of things happening in this book that aren't a part of my life, but that's what makes the adventure of reading so worthwhile. Stepping out of your space and into the space of someone else.

I thought the main character and her family dynamics were really well explored, and I liked that there was growth all around, rather than just one person doing all the changing to make things move forward. 

This is a easy read, but I wouldn't call it a light read. There are some real issues in this book that are tackled by the characters. 

Would definitely recommend.
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Queenie the book was good, Queenie the character I loved, even when she didn’t love herself. I also loved the Corgis minus Cassandra and the grandparents. 

Thanks to Netgalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was hoping hard to get this one and it didn’t disappoint.
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I honestly didn't think I was going to like this book so much when I started it. Queenie is a Jamaican British 25-year-old who's in the process of being dumped by her white boyfriend as the novel opens. It's clear she brought this on herself as she's needy, pushy, and also stand-offish in the relationship. Thinking it's only a "break" she comforts herself by having random sexual encounters with men who simply want to use her and hurt her physically. She slacks off at work and moves in with her grandparents who are hard on her as well. But...then we discover the reasons behind Queenie's low self-esteem and with the support of her friends and a good therapist, it's clear she was doomed from the start because of her circumstances. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, she is determined to begin anew and gains confidence in a new start. And ultimately I loved the novel as it was raw, often graphic, but ultimately shows that perseverance can change one who genuinely wants to grow and learn!
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Queenie was an excellent read -- I found the characters to be well-developed and it was refreshing to see characters learning from their mistakes and moving forward. The family dynamics were great, and the coverage of mental health, therapy, and the stigma surrounding these issues was extremely well done.
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Queenie is a young woman on a downward spiral that has its roots before the book opens.  A problematic relationship with her Jamaican mother, a boyfriend who is more determined to break up with her than she realizes, and short attention span result in a neediness that sends her on a path to self-destruction and breakdown.  She knows that her sexual encounters and inability to perform at work are harmful but seems unable to stop the pattern.  Luckily there are friends, family, and colleagues in her life who pass her a lifeline.  This is an engaging novel describing contemporary issues that Millennials face in the work place, at home, and socially, heightened when immigration and race are factors.
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I'm not going to rate this down because I think this is a classic case of me-not-you; I think this is actually really funny but I am just not in a place right now where I want to read about a breakup. The slight jumps in time from before the main character and her boyfriend were fighting, to after their breakup, was also a bit confusing since there wasn't much to announce the jumps.
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A classic!  I loved this book from the very beginning.  Phenomenal cover art as well.  This is a great book.
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