Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, this was a light read, indeed. The pages flew by and I felt entertained but, sadly, on a very, very shallow level despite the topics of racism, privilege and “class” differences. After a rushed ending, it feels like the author simply bit off too much for her debut novel.

Emira, our black protagonist, came across as devoid of any ambition, drifting mostly with the flow. She works for white influencer Alix Chamberlain and her husband, Peter. Yes, she loves her charge, young Briar – Alix’ and Peter’s first child – but even with Briar, Emira mostly remains strangely indifferent.

Alix’ and Emira’s girlfriends are also rather nebulous figures who seem to merely exist as inconsequential side-kicks of the respective protagonist. They could have taken clearer roles in this novel but as it is, they remain “filling” material and mostly merely reflect their friend.

The self-deceiving schemer Alix is written to be annoyingly over-the-top: While her actions still remain this side of plausibility, her motivations and justifications are way beyond – her “ruined” senior year is sixteen years in the past.

In Alix’ self-perception she would long have risen above Kelley Copeland: a career, a merry band of adoring and cheering girlfriends at her beck and call, a very white husband, two children (one of whom she likes…) – in Alix’ bubble that would allow her to just write a Kelley Copeland gracefully off.

All in all, “Such a Fun Age” was an amusing read but it’s leaving a rather bland taste because from all the ambitious topics nothing is truly looked into and, thus, the real issues remain unresolved.

Three out of five stars.

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