The Nitty Gritty: Such a Fun Age

*African-American category 2021 Bookish Reading Challenge

Oh my. I just. I can’t even.

First: You need to read Such a Fun Age ASAP.

Second: This book launched me into some sort of existential crisis. As a white woman, I just kept thinking: Oh my God. NO. Do I do that? I don’t do that. Do I?! Surely I’m not that clueless/pathetic/grasping/entitled. But OH MY GOD. What if I AM?!?

This book is about race. And identity. And self-knowledge. And being right. And being yourself. And love.

Such a Fun Age is compulsively readable (I blew through it in 2 days). Kiley Reid creates such believable characters, letting us (mostly) in on the motivations, fears, and hang-ups they experience. Also: she manages to skewer white affluent folks who mean well without ever being.. well… mean.

Reid artfully nudges readers toward the realization there is a real, tangible difference between wanting to “help” someone (read: make them over into your image, while ensuring they are deeply indebted to you for your care) and wanting to actually be in community with someone, which requires really seeing them–all of them–for precisely the unique set of skills and experiences they bring to the table.

This book is funny and cringeworthy and touching. Really, I cringed a lot. But it certainly made me think.

If I gave stars, it would be a 5/5 for sure!