2020 Booker Prize Longlist: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

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2020 Booker Prize Longlist: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

jul 28, 2020, 9:58 pm

This thread is for discussion of Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid; no unhidden spoilers, please.

jul 31, 2020, 5:58 am

An easy read, almost chicklit, but without the fluffiness because racism is everywhere in this book, with a lot of different truths about it. It’s hard to take sides and it made me wonder how I’d behave in the circumstances. So in the end the plot is just a tool to make you think about racial issues and character development in millennial times. Clever.

jul 31, 2020, 6:37 am

>2 Simone2: I felt the same way about this book -- I was expecting a fluffy story and was surprised how much it made me think.

Redigeret: aug 30, 2020, 2:54 pm

Yeah, I'm pretty surprised this made the Booker long list. It's fine...but it's merely fine. This novel touches on a number of important racial topics and I wonder if it's purposely marketed as chick lit: it's strategic, right, to get a certain swathe of white lady book clubs that never talk about race to actually think about race for a minute. But for the Booker, I don't know, it feels like it isn't quite enough. It pales in comparison to Real Life which I also just read.

The book's plot also hinges on a pretty serious coincidence that I found hard to accept in a city as large as Philadelphia...so I had some suspension of disbelief problems.

*Edit to fix typo

aug 30, 2020, 7:23 pm

>4 sparemethecensor: The book's plot also hinges on a pretty serious coincidence

Would you mind sharing more specifics about this, behind a spoiler tag? I've read the book but need my memory refreshed.

aug 30, 2020, 8:05 pm

Emira's boyfriend, Kelley, happens to be Alix's high school boyfriend who knows her backstory.

They are both from Allentown...
But both moved to Philadelphia...
Then live in the same neighborhood...
Then he meets Emira in a grocery store...
Then Emira's flight is cancelled...
So Kelley goes to Alix's house for Thanksgiving.

Philadelphia has, what, 5 million people in it? The plot hinges on Emira dating Alix's old boyfriend, and I dunno, the Thanksgiving meetup for Kelley and Alix just felt like such an eye-rolly coincidence to me. I felt like there could be a better way to have the Kelley-Alix meeting happen.

aug 30, 2020, 8:51 pm

>6 sparemethecensor: Thanks for that. I agree some of the points you made add up to a lot of coincidences.

I live in Philadelphia, so I often found myself trying to spot actual "Philly things" in the book. For example, the grocery store reminded me of a certain Whole Foods that attracts customers from a wider radius than just the immediate neighborhood.

I didn't think it was all that unusual for two people from Allentown to end up living in Philly, or for them to be in the same Whole Foods. But I agree the Thanksgiving meetup was contrived.

aug 31, 2020, 4:16 pm

>7 lauralkeet: Good to know about Allentown and Philadelphia (and that Whole Foods)! I defer to your experience here.

aug 31, 2020, 6:58 pm

>8 sparemethecensor: LOL. I see you're in NYC. I've also talked to folks from Allentown-ish who considered The City their go-to place. I guess it just depends on how much "big city" you're looking for.