Such a Fun Age

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

This is a packet, fun, rollicking and controversial tale. I simulationeously feel like I know these characters, I have people like them in my life, and like I've never read anything like it. It is so funny and witty and gives narrative voice to those who don't usually get it. I loved it and I am so glad to see that's it's done so well.
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely loved this book. Couldn't stop thinking about it when I wasn't reading it and have thought about it a lot ever since. Great characters, tone, plot, subject matter. Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store's security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, 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 things right. 

(May be some spoilers sorry!) Ok, I might have gone into this book with slightly too high expectations. It’s very hyped and honestly it didn’t live up to hype for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great book that explored what the meaning of “family” truly is, but I just felt like there were a few too many things happening. There is the whole incident at the store, then there is Alix and Emira’s boyfriends history, Peter’s (Alix’s husband) weird comments on his TV show. There just seemed to be a lot happened that didn’t all connect easily. 

It was a good book, but not good to the extent that the hype has been putting it up to. For me anyway! I know a lot of people have loved it!
Was this review helpful?
It is always surprising to me to find a book that feels incredibly fresh and unique. As a prolific reader, it is hard not to compare books to each other. Some will have similar love interests, some with similar storylines, other ones with similar settings. Such a Fun Age has a lot of these elements but done in such refreshing way that I found myself totally immersed in this story.

It is the story of Emira and Alix: two women with two very different life trajectories. Alix is a successful social media star who is struggling with an incident in her past that has made her overly conscious in the present. Emira is a young woman who is a bit lost. Like a lot of 20-somethings, Emira doesn’t have a clue what she wants. Alix tries to help her whether Emira wants this help or not.

Overall, Such a Fun Age is a book about power and racism. I often felt that Emira, who was one of the two protagonists seemed like an extra in her own life. She passively reacted to things – this was the stylistic choice of Reid – but it often led me to feel frustrated with her. Equally, Alix was so controlling and superior that I felt smothered by her. Furthermore, the villain of the piece kept changing. As a reader, I was kept on my toes throughout and constantly changed my allegiance.  

I really enjoyed reading Such a Fun Age. It was an interesting look at privileged society and the racism contained within that world.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid is available now.

For more information regarding Kiley Reid (@kileyreid) please visit

For more information regarding Bloomsbury Books (@BloomsburyBooks) please visit
Was this review helpful?
Such a Fun Age is Kiley Reid’s debut novel. The story follows Emira and Alix. Emira babysits Alix’s little girl Briar. One night when Emira is babysitting Briar, on a trip to a local grocery shop she is accused of stealing the little girl. 

I picked this up as part of my new year’s resolution to try and read as many of @reesesbookclub picks as I can. I was given an ARC of this from @bloomsburypublishing via @netgalley.

Emira appears to struggle with finding her way in life, who she should be and what she should do. In contrast Alix appears to have achieved everything she dreamt of. The story is very character focused centring around Emira, Alix and their relationship following the incident in the grocery store. 

Everything at the end seemed to happen very quickly and although this added to the sense of everything finally coming to a head I felt like more time could have been spent fully playing it out, along with the aftermath. 

Kiley shines a light on some pretty big and important societal topics in this book - discrimination, racism, equality. It gives a fresh and raw perspective through Emira’s story.
Was this review helpful?
Oh my god, I loved this. It's so honest and funny, and I genuinely gasped out loud and physically cringed at various moments. Can't wait to see more from this author!
Was this review helpful?
Now I’m probably a) going to be very unpopular and b) in the minority when I say that I didn’t really enjoy this book.
For me I found the writing a little jumpy and plot a little be too busy.
Perhaps I need to try and re-read this at a later date.
Thank you to both NetGalley and Bloomsbury for gifting me a eARC of this book in exchange for my honest unbiased review
Was this review helpful?
I can see why my publishing friends have been raving about #SuchAFunAge. What a voice! Fresh, effortless and completely engrossing. There were so many points made, and I thought this would be a very sharp book. Instead, it's wonderfully subtle, even tender. Loved all the layers of this book. Definitely one for all book clubs.
Was this review helpful?
Tightly written exploration of the tension between 'staff' and the family with an overlay of American race relations.  Alix is a feminist blogger who is struggling with parenthood and an idea of where her career is going.  Her nanny Emira is broke but enjoys the job as her nanny, until she feels she is being used in a PR move to give Alix credibility.  Very readable.
Was this review helpful?
One of the most buzzed about debuts of 2020, Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age introduces thirty-something mother-of-two Alix, a successful blogger, along with twenty-five year old Emira, who works as Alix’s childminder. The story begins when Alix, experiencing a late night disturbance at home, calls on Emira to remove her three-year-old daughter Briar from a potentially dangerous situation, by way of taking her on a late-night outing to a nearby upscale grocery store. Once there, Emira attracts unwanted attention from a security guard who, upon seeing a black woman out late at night with a white child, jumps to the conclusion that Emira has kidnapped Briar. A heated conversation ensues, the whole scene is filmed by a late-night shopper, and by the time Briar’s dad races to the store to rectify the situation, Emira just wants to go home and forget about the whole thing. But Alix. Alix can’t forget about what happened. She’s offended, no outraged, on Emira’s behalf. She’s mortified too that her actions put Emira in such a potentially dangerous situation. Alix resolves to make things right.

A book that focuses of themes of race, class and privilege could make for a pretty weighty read, but thanks Reid’s easy breezy style, Such a Fun Age is a page-turner that downplays its unsettling inciting incident to instead focus on the relationship between Alix and Emira, two very different women, with almost nothing in common, who just happen to spend most of their days together.  While Emira loves spending time with Briar, with whom she shares an unbreakable bond, this twenty-something woman who loves to party with her friends, and has recently hooked up with the late-night-shopper who filmed the ‘grocery store incident,’ has no real interest in getting to know Alix. Simply put, all Emira wants from her relationship with Alix is the paycheck Alix hands her at the end of the working week. Alix, on the other hand, wants to get to know Emira. And while Alix knows she must be careful so as not to overstep, she’s determined to help Emira out – to improve the younger woman’s lot in life. The problem is: Emira never asked for Alix’s help.

As annoying characters go I have to say that Alix is pretty high up on the scale: privileged, successful and presumptuous in the extreme, it never occurs to Alix that her behaviour – she checks Emira’s text messages on the regular as a means of gaining information and making conversation – is wholly inappropriate. However, when a piece of Alix’s illicitly gained information leads to Emira accepting an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner, Alix gets more than she bargained for when a face from her past – one who knew Alex before she was Alix – shows up at her door. From that point on, Alix is more determined than ever to ‘Save Emira’ even when Emira makes it pretty clear that she doesn’t need saving. It also becomes pretty clear, as we learn more about Alix’s past - and her present - that Alix is not in a position to save anyone. Maybe, like most of us, she should just focus bettering herself. Problem is, Alix thinks she’s pretty much perfect. It’s everyone else that’s the problem.

A sharply observed, self-assured debut, Such a Fun Age is a compelling character study and social commentary that sparkles with wit, charm and a whole lot of sass.
Was this review helpful?
Such a cool book!

I picked up Such A Fun Age to read on my holidays and I was instantly hooked. It is funny, clever, and very original. I will definitely be looking out for more from Keily Reid in the future. 

Very highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it is not normally the kind of book I read.

It touches on many different issues that arise in relationships and the workplace that make it relatable but also make the characters unlikeable at some points which makes for a thought provoking read.

Read if you like a book to make you think. A well written debut.
Was this review helpful?
This story starts when Emira, a young black women, is accused of kidnapping Briar, the white two year old she babysits, when she is called to help out late one evening when there is a problem at Briars home - and for the main the story is of how Emira and her employer Alix deal with the aftermath of this & the video that was taken.

However, there is more to the story than that - Emira is a clever woman with a degree, but unlike her friends who are establishing their careers, she is struggling to find what she wants to do in life and as her 26th birthday approaches the need to get a "proper" job is becoming more important and she does actually really enjoy looking after Briar. 

Emira's story shows that sometimes you can & should do what makes you happy.

I was given a copy of Such a Fun Age by NetGalley and the publishers in return for an unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
The story starts with Emma, the black childminder taking her white young  charge to a late night supermarket and becoming embroiled in an altercation with the security guard who accuses her of kidnapping little Briar.
A familiar desire of a white person trying to be seen doing the right thing. Whilst suggesting she wants Emma to be all inclusive within the family  but at the same time Alex  shows Emma she  is still their employee..
Emma is wary of Alex’s gestures towards her and really does not wish to be courted by her employer.
Alex is uptight and possessive and wants full control all the time. . An example clear from the start is in her relationship with Kelly. Also later on  secretly checking constantly on Emma’s phone - even before her knowledge of the connection with Kelly.
Alex also worries how people perceive her.
With great wealth Alex always strove to get whatever she could without paying for it.
The book was a perceptive and clever portrayal of overstepped boundaries.
Great characterisation from the off and going immediately at pace and keeping your interest throughout 
This Story is thought provoking  and allows you to consider both sides of race, class and wealth.
Was this review helpful?
The only reason I chose this book to read was because it was picked by Reese Witherspoon's book club. It was an ok read but came to the end thinking there really wasnt much to the story. None of the characters were particularly likeable and felt the story just fizzled out.
Was this review helpful?
I spent the first few chapters of this book not too sure where it was going and whether it was worth carrying on, but it really was! 

A great story around diversity, and human interpretation of demonstrating diversity.
Was this review helpful?
DNF at 54%. This book starts out strong, with a killer of an opening scene. I was hooked! Sadly, from there, the author lost me a little. The characters were not developed strongly enough IMO, to the point where I had to keep referring back to the back of the book to figure out if this character was the same as the one that appeared earlier. This led me to lose interest and having read some reviews from people who felt the same, I decided to set this book aside. There is a lot of hype around this book so I know lots of people don't agree with me here.
Was this review helpful?
I liked the idea of the storyline - a black babysitter is suspected of abducting her white charge - but am not sure I understand the reactions of the people concerned. I liked her and her relationship with the little girl but couldn't warm to the other characters.
Thanks to Netgalley for a digital copy of this book
Was this review helpful?
The hype surrounding this book was real, I was a bit apprehensive to read it in case it didn't live up to it. But it didn't disappoint!

Go buy this book and read it!

5 stars
Was this review helpful?
Such a Fun Age is a pretty sharp social satire about race, privilege and the funhouse mirror distortions of social media. It opens with a young black woman, Emira, being suspected of abducting the white toddler in her care at a grocery store. I expected this incident would be more explosive, but it just sort of happens and then everyone moves on with their lives for a while as Emira doesn't want to cause a fuss. 

But it acts as a catalyst, because Emira starts dating a white guy, Kelley, who happened to be there, filming the confrontation on his phone. And it turns out Kelley knows Alix, Emira’s wealthy white boss, from high school. So her boss and her boyfriend have a history, and this is the central conflict of the book for the most part—the two of them vying for Emira’s attention and each attempting to pit her against the other, while she’s more concerned with getting a job that provides healthcare. Amid the crazy, Emira’s pragmatism and lowkey vibe make her an endearing character.

The writing is very descriptive, and I don’t mean flowery. Everything is described—what the characters look like, what they wear, their gestures and facial expressions, the furnishings in any room. There’s a lot of dialogue, and not much introspection. The characters of Alix and Kelley are both flawed, and ultimately unlikeable, but I do enjoy that in a book - plus Emira was a really well developed character and her relationship with Briar was a lovely touch too. The overall effect is like a gossipy TV show rendered in words, one that’s entertaining but also has a lot of smart things to say.
Was this review helpful?