Tag Archives: Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club

Review: Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age
By Kiley Reid
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780525541905, December 2019, 320pp.

The Short of It:

A slow build but once I got into it it was like a time bomb ready to go off.

The Rest of It:

For once, I read a buzzy book when everyone else was reading it too. Such a Fun Age is making the rounds and getting a lot of praise. It was selected for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club and although I’ve not read all of her selections, the ones I have read have been really good. This was no exception.

Emira is at a club celebrating with her friends when her boss calls her to ask if she can possibly watch her daughter due to an emergency. One, it’s late. Two, she’s dressed for the club. Three, she’s been drinking. Although she explains this to her boss, the desperation on the other line wins out.

Minutes later, Emira finds herself with three-year-old Briar in an upscale supermarket checking out the nuts, dancing in the aisle, doing whatever it takes to keep the kid occupied while her mother, Alix, tends to her emergency. Just minutes into their visit, they begin to draw the attention of other shoppers. Emira, a young black woman, and Briar, a young white child, wandering the aisles so late at night seems out of place. So much so, that a security guard begins to question her. Emira explains that she is Briar’s babysitter, which is the truth but she knows how it looks. Things escalate. That is where the story begins.

This is one of those slow-build books. Conflict is everywhere but you know something big is coming and as the story plays out, the one word that comes to mind is EXPLOSIVE. This is a book about race but also fetishsizing race, which I thought was interesting.

Two things stood out for me. One, the story is a little gritty. Not overworked or polished which I liked very much. The author did a good job of portraying each character’s POV. None of these characters are perfect and you won’t find yourself siding with any of them. They all play a role in how the rabbit falls down the hole.  Two, the portrayal of Briar, the young child seemed a little off. She’s critical to the story but her observations were often not believable to me and they took me out of the narrative at times.

However, there is a lot to think about here and you will find yourself eagerly flipping those pages towards the end because it’s like a train wreck and you can’t possibly look away. I wouldn’t say it was a perfect story but I don’t think it was meant to be.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six
By Taylor Jenkins Reid
Ballantine Books, 9781524798628, March 2019, 368pp.

The Short of It:

An accurate depiction of what fame can do to a person, to a band, to a family.

The Rest of It:

Daisy Jones & The Six has been everywhere. It was chosen for Reese Witherspoon’s book club Hello Sunshine and so many of my reader friends have read it…or tried to. Not everyone has loved it, which is the way it goes when a book hits the scene with so much hype.

I, however, loved it. I’ve not felt like this about a book in a long time.

The story is about the beginnings of a fictional rock band called The Six during the late 60’s, well into the 70’s. Headed up by Billy Dunne, a writer and singer with talent coming out of his pores, The Six clearly has a sound that the record industry immediately notices.

At the same time, Daisy Jones is this barefoot wisp of a thing. Young and strung-out on drugs, but possesses a voice and presence that is hard to ignore. Under the same record label as The Six, it’s only a matter of time before their manager tries to put the two of them together and their chemistry if off-the-charts. The crowd loves them.

What happens when you put two, larger-than-life people together and ask them to share the stage? What happens to the rest of the band? What happens to Billy’s relationship with his wife and kids? What happens to Daisy as she slowly sinks ever deeper into a cloud of drugs, desperately wanting what other people have?

Wow. Wow. Wow. The story started off slow but once I got into it, I could not turn the pages fast enough. Throughout the story there is this sense of doom that I could not shake. I had to know what it was.

The format did not bother me. It’s written like a script so it’s not surprising that it’s slated to be a TV series soon. Reid mentioned that Fleetwood Mac might have been the inspiration behind the book. I can totally see it. What I cannot stress enough is how the story made me feel. It contains that classic mix of love and pain and recklessness and danger. Anyone who has experienced complicated love or love that makes you question everything you know to be true will get totally caught-up in this story. You don’t even have to love rock and roll to get it.

This is a book you must experience for yourself. Read it. Feel it. That’s all I can say about it. Readers have said the audio book is fabulous so if you don’t like the script format perhaps that’s the way to go.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.