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Publisher's Summary

A Best Book of the Year:

  • The Washington Post
  • NPR
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Slate
  • Parade
  • Elle
  • Real Simple
  • InStyle
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Vox
  • Kirkus Reviews
  • Library Journal
  • BookPage  

Longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize

An instant New York Times best seller

A Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Pick

"The most provocative page-turner of the year." (Entertainment Weekly)

"I urge you to read Such a Fun Age." (NPR)

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a bighearted 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 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.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix's desire to help. At 25, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix's past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family", and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.

©2019 Kiley Reid (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"Reid constructs a plot so beautifully intricate and real and fascinating that readers will forget it’s also full of tough questions about race, class and identity.... With this entertaining novel, Reid subverts our notions of what it means to write about race and class in America, not to mention what it means to write about love. In short, it’s a great way to kick off 2020." (Washington Post)

"A complex, layered page-turner... This is a book that will read, I suspect, quite differently to various audiences - funny to some, deeply uncomfortable and shamefully recognizable to others - but whatever the experience, I urge you to read Such a Fun Age. Let its empathetic approach to even the ickiest characters stir you, allow yourself to share Emira’s millennial anxieties about adulting, take joy in the innocence of Briar’s still-unmarred personhood, and rejoice that Kiley Reid is only just getting started." (NPR)

"Kiley Reid has written the most provocative page-turner of the year.... [Such a Fun Age] nestl[es] a nuanced take on racial biases and class divides into a page-turning saga of betrayals, twists, and perfectly awkward relationships.... The novel feels bound for book-club glory, due to its sheer readability. The dialogue crackles with naturalistic flair. The plotting is breezy and surprising. Plus, while Reid’s feel for both the funny and the political is undeniable, she imbues her flawed heroes with real heart." (Entertainment Weekly)

What listeners say about Such a Fun Age

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Yikes

This book was bad. Why is it so popular?

Stereotypical black people. Stereotypical white people. Mediocre writing. Flat characters. Storyline that goes nowhere. ????? Just a no. Skip this book. I am shocked it has been so popular. I wonder who was paid off.

2 people found this helpful

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  • MCK
  • 2020-04-25

Adored this book!

Perfect. Both the storytelling and narration left nothing to be desired. I could not have loved this book more! Complex issues, but engaging and funny and easy to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Annoying narration

I disliked the voice and performance of narrator so much that I could not get through this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Totally enjoyable!

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and pretty much had to listen until it was over. The audible equivalent of “I couldn’t put it down”
The characters were so interesting- it took me awhile to decide if I liked them or not, except for Amira- who was totally likeable from the beginning. Highly recommend this one and can’t wait for more stories from this author!

1 person found this helpful

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pleasantly surprised by the amount of depth

when I first started it, I didn't think much. by the end of the book I found myself pondering many facets of life and the underlying nuances.

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I learned, I liked, and I was a bit disappointed

First, I think it's a worth a read. The topic is important and there is some thoughtful content here that lead to interesting conversations with friends about racism vs race awareness (which is not necessarily a good thing) vs race fetishism that I never considered before. However, I often found the characters full of stereotypes and I wanted to see Emira empowered in a way that would be more inspiring for young black women of her generation. It had a great curious start but could have had a stronger ending.

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not great

I found this book to be somewhat juvenile in approach, especially for such a timely subject.

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Character

My favourite character was little Briar! Loved the voice used and her parts in the story. Such innocence surrounded by complications in our world.

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reality

lol this book is basically about two white folks arguing over who is more racist and the Black woman who gets caught in their drama

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??

Honestly, I kept wanting this story to be good.. something it never became... Somewhat Disappointing

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  • SouthernChaos
  • 2020-01-14

No

Not one single person in this book is likable. No one. I finished, but it I kept waiting for so much more.

64 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel A.
  • 2020-01-17

promising start but nothing else

the most interesting part of this book is outlined in the synopsis. after that.. nothing. the characters are boring and their interactions are superficial. Emira spent the book drifting aimlessly. Alix's business backstory was badass but in the present she'd transformed into a useless puddle of indecision. every time kelley spoke, my eyes rolled into my brain. the high drama of the interaction that kicks the book off peters out into nothing as you spend the next 8 hours listening to conversations and interactions that are pointless, pretentious, or cringeworthy and ultimately lead nowhere. Briar's toddler outbursts were the only bits of dialogue that were enjoyable. the narrator, however, was great - she gave the main characters very distinctive voices.

35 people found this helpful

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  • april
  • 2020-01-14

Teen Scream?

Was there a plot or just aimless anecdotes? Desperately seeking a plot, a refund, maybe a clue. Clearly a ramble into the young adult or early childhood section.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Ok
  • 2020-01-11

Empty

The storyline was lacking anything worthwhile to listen. There is no redeeming purpose of the whole book.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-01-04

Wow

I’ll admit it. I’m a mood reader. I’m also easily influenced and find myself often tracking down a book I’ve seen heavily discussed on social media. I always want to see if the hype is really all it’s cracked up to be. I had seen this book being discussed on social media but decided I definitely had to get it when it was chosen for Reese’s January book of the month pick. I usually listen to audiobooks slowly, while I get ready for work, on my commute, while working out, cooking dinner etc.
It often takes me a week or so to finish a 10-12 hour audio book. I started this book January 2nd around 1 o’clock and finished on January 3rd around 10 pm.
I could NOT stop listening.
The narrator is probably the best I’ve listened to since becoming an audible member over a year ago. I loved her voices for the characters, her inflection made the story even better.
The writing was so light and airy and flowed so well.
I honestly kept guessing throughout the story about what would happen. Not only is this an entertaining read but it addresses so many social issues without being preachy or cramming one’s beliefs down the reader’s throat.
I’m honestly sad I’m finished with it. Book hangover for sure. If this is the author’s debut novel I can’t wait to get my hands on her next. WOW!

59 people found this helpful

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  • Jannah
  • 2020-01-08

Entertaining and Accurate

As a young African-American woman I can definitely attest that this book accurately depicts the delicate and very complex relationships between black women and their white women employers. So many familiar moments and Déjà vu in this story. Also, touched on .. interracial relationships and those uncomfortable nuisances that can serve as reminders that sometimes there’s a thin line between “wokeness” and ignorance.

37 people found this helpful

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  • Mike
  • 2020-02-02

Pointless

I’m 4 hrs into and still don’t see a point to the story. It so far has not been as provocative as the synopsis promised. There is too much mindless dialogue and the only positive thing about the book is the narrator. I don’t think I can finish listening to the book. I might keep it on the back burner for when I’m out of credits.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Lisa K.
  • 2020-01-03

Brilliant!!

Kiley Reid captures the good, the bad and the very essence of what we humans do ... it’s all so complex, yet so simple.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Ashleigh Marie Brown
  • 2020-01-05

Worth the Pre-Order

I pre-ordered the kindle and audible version of this book and I’m glad I did. It’s a well- weaved story that I want my book club and friends to all read, as I could barely get through five pages at a time without identifying another source of conversation. This is a story filled with ideas and commentary which deserve discussion, really actually necessitate discussion. I found the protagonist really dull through most of the book, but having reached the end, I think I see the utility of that.

The narrator for the Audible version has a beautiful voice but she (and the producer) could have done a lot more to differentiate the voices of the black characters. They ALL-despite being from geographically and socially diverse backgrounds—
spoke like a Hollywood casting director said “be more Black”, which was confusing, then annoying, then offensive.

Worthy read, though.

12 people found this helpful

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  • KelleyA
  • 2020-02-21

Don't bother with this book. Not good!

I loved the summary of this story when I read it, deciding whether or not to buy it. However, outside the first few chapters, the story was nothing like the summary. I felt Reid's characters were completely overdone stereotypes.

I couldn't tell if Briar was on the spectrum & only Emira could handle/knowledge this. Was this an underlying theme of the book? Or if the author was just trying to write what she thought a toddler would sound like. Confusing.

Then there is Emira and Alix. These two characters are shallow and don't engage you at all. I was so disappointed.

I hope I have saved you hours and time for a better read.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Xavier Nicaise
  • 2020-12-06

I'd like to have more of this!

Very nice story, very nicely read!
Just one slight minus point: it's American English but after you're used to it it's really nice!

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  • Monika Nogaj
  • 2020-07-18

Disappointing

Very well read by Nicole Lewis. A pleasure to listen to her as she brings the various characters to life.
The story is however very disappointing, full of cliches about what the book actually wants to denounce.