This is the kind of novel whose excellence sneaks up on you The beginning is kind of rocky and I wasn t sure where the book was going but then it gets great and unputdownable and I held my breath reading as fast as I could to see what would happen to Queenie This is an amazing novel about what it means to be a black girl whose world is falling apart and needs to find the strength to put it back together There is so much ground covered here from dealing with anxiety and self loathing to complicated families and learning to let go of things and people that won t serve you well And Queenie is the kind of narrator you cannot help but root for even as she makes infuriating choices Wonderful, wonderful novel full of charm and wit and warmth and energy Check it out. NAMED ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF BY WOMAN S DAY, NEWSDAY, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, BUSTLE, AND BOOK RIOT B Rilliant, Timely, Funny, Heartbreaking Jojo Moyes, New York Times Bestselling Author OfMe Before You Bridget Jones S DiarymeetsAmericanah In This Disarmingly Honest, Boldly Political, And Truly Inclusive Novel That Will Speak To Anyone Who Has Gone Looking For Love And Found Something Very Different In Its PlaceQueenie Jenkins Is A Twenty Five Year Old Jamaican British Woman Living In London, Straddling Two Cultures And Slotting Neatly Into Neither She Works At A National Newspaper, Where She S Constantly Forced To Compare Herself To Her White Middle Class Peers After A Messy Break Up From Her Long Term White Boyfriend, Queenie Seeks Comfort In All The Wrong Places Including Several Hazardous Men Who Do A Good Job Of Occupying Brain Space And A Bad Job Of Affirming Self Worth As Queenie Careens From One Questionable Decision To Another, She Finds Herself Wondering, What Are You Doing Why Are You Doing It Who Do You Want To Be All Of The Questions Today S Woman Must Face In A World Trying To Answer Them For Her With Fresh And Honest Jojo Moyes Prose, Queenie Is A Remarkably Relatable Exploration Of What It Means To Be A Modern Woman Searching For Meaning In Today S World I don t think I ve been this disappointed in a book in quite some time.I m disgusted.Queenie with all of its rave reviews never hints at the alarming and problematic content.Queenie is a twenty something year old Jamaican woman who is just about at her wit s end She s messing up at work, and her boyfriend of two to three years just dumped her Her white boyfriend of two or three years this is significant.I want to be as clear as possible, but I don t want to be completely spoiler y However, some things I will bring up have to be mentioned to back up my distaste for this novel.I have so many issues with this book, that we don t have enough time to cover them all, but I ll discuss the most glaring ones.While I was proud that this novel featured what appeared to be a plus sized Jamaican woman, she did nothing to deserve my pride.Queenie is a hot mess While the author places the blame on her mental state, it felt like a lackluster excuse Queenie mourns the loss of her Caucasian boyfriend for about 60 70% of the book, and we get to see it through text begging and whining on Queenie s behalf While she struggles to maneuver the breakup we re provided with flashbacks to mostly less than flattering moments between Queenie, her boyfriend and sometimes his parents.One of the most startling situations come in the form of a game of clue While playing clue with her boyfriend and his uncle, the uncle blurts out, There s a nigger in the closet Queenie was offended and rightfully so She looks to her then boyfriend, Tom to defend her which resulted in an argument between the pair Their relationship was a mess Yes, we get to see the good parts, but it s glaringly obvious that they didn t need to be together.I won t dwell on that I m concerned about the after The after that included multiple white sex partners who praised her for her black features and treated her as an exotic place to rest their loins Even frustrating was that she didn t use protection With Any Of Them This resulted in her having to visit the racist sex clinic far too many times She not only faced the prospect of contracting some sexually transmitted disease but also the ridicule of white doctors who felt her behavior expectant of a young black woman It was disgusting not unrealistic, but disgusting.What was most bothersome is Queenie s incessant and unstoppable need to work her way through white men sexually, who showed her zero respect They talked down on her, worked their way through her and discarded her like trash.The author blamed this on her upbringing and her anxiety riddled mind While that s not unbelievable, I truly wished she would have gone about it differently Queenie is also a budding journalist She s been interning at the Daily Read for a few years and has had no significant or meaningful work The author sort of implies it s because she s looked over because she s black and while that s a part of it it s mostly because she sucks at her job.Throughout the book you see Queenie fighting to get through her day struggling with the devastation of a broken heart and her anxiety as explained in the latter half of the book.She fights to write about black people at the paper only to face dismissal by her editor, who is white That whole part of the book was hardly convincing and felt as if it were added on at the last minute.Queenie seemed faux angry about black issues and I could have done without that entire idea altogether She seemed angry and riled up out of obligation But, let s not dwell on that She has a group of best friends that do their best and their worst to help her cope through her breakup and deal with whatever s been lurking in the background.She has two white best friends, and one Ugandan dark skinned best friend, that says things like bruh, and fam repeatedly.Though, her black friend had the most sense I won t get into the fact that her character was very stereotyped I want to wrap this thing up.I thought by the time we got to the healing portion of the book that all of what I had to endure would have been worth it It wasn t.I m still wholly disappointed.As someone who has struggled with anxiety, not clinically diagnosed, but self diagnosed I can totally understand not recognizing the anxiety for what it is.I can also understand how someone might deal with their anxiety in whatever way, they feel comfortable Queenie dealt with everything by having a lot of sex If I felt convinced by it I d be able to excuse it I can t seem to get over her being used and abused by white men so steadily, easily and repeatedly.When her friend suggests she date black men which doesn t fix the root problem Queenie has an almost physical reaction to the idea She mentions something about being afraid or uncomfortable with black men and then it was my turn to recoil The author does not allow the character to explain this, and she definitely needed to You don t drop a bomb like that and leave the room.I really wish I thought to highlight that portion.Even after everything she still chose another white man with whom she wound up arguing about black lives matter with, on the way to sleep with him.It was a mess.While I believe black readers will relate to Queenie s black struggles, the rest is just frustrating and offensive Queenie digs into deep issues discussing micro aggressions in the workplace, the treatment and mistreatment of the black body by doctors and the overall fear of mental work by psychologists and psychiatrists by the black family.I thought it was relatable, no doubt about it, but it wasn t enough It wasn t enough to convince me that Queenie was the character we needed It didn t convince me that black lives mattered.It amplified mental health issues in the black community and how it s dealt with, but it was all surface not digging deep enough to have any kind of real effect.This book was disappointing and unenjoyable, at least it was for me I don t recommend it But to each his own. Rating 4.75I loved this book Such an unexpected gem of a read I went into this one blind I knew nothing about it, I read no reviews I frequently check out my library for new audio books I saw this bold orange cover of a book called Queenie It drew me in I listened to a sample of the audio A heavy accent by the narrator It drew me in I grabbed a copy of the audio and jumped right in.Queenie is a hot mess She s a 26 year old Jamaican woman, living in London, and just completely a mess We meet her as she is taking a break from her live in boyfriend, which HE wants, not her He asks her to move out and by this point, she s already on a downward spiral She can t face reality She s out of control She puts herself in a few dangerous situations I think She s got no money, living in a nasty flat with a few flatmates, she s not there for her job, she lets the WORST men abuse her, she has issues with how people see her as a black woman She doesn t feel she s worth it, she really has had a hard life It s an absolute train wreck but you can t help but watch When she hits the lowest of lows, she must bring herself back up And so you watch her bring herself out of the pit and show her strength.To be honest, I almost stopped with this one Initially, it was a bit sexually graphic for me Just not what I tend to read I actually started another book, but then I did read a few reviews One said stick with it Thanks Esil So I pushed on and I m so glad I did The book gets off to a bit of a rocky start But it immediately just jumps in to a life already out of control All I can say is stick with it When someone has issues, and is mentally struggling, it s never a pretty sight But you must see everything in it s entirety to see where Queenie is at I m so glad I stuck with this one It made me cringe, made me glad I m married oh the horrors of dating apps , made me laugh, but made me root for Queenie Even though, a few times, I wanted to shake her.you knew she would just make the worst decisions.I also must say, publishers DON T COMPARE THIS TO BRIDGET JONES This is so not like Bridgette Jones, other than a young girl living in London and dating Queenie is so much If you think you are going to find a Bridgette Jones here, skip this one Romantic comedy this is NOT Anyway, I loved this book and just loved the audio narration The narrator did a fabulous job A highlight of a read for 2019 for me I ll remember this one for some time So why not 5 stars I m stingy with 5 stars But I had to knock it a bit for being quite sexually graphic yes, made it hard to listen to the audio when husband is around saying what ARE you listening to and the reading of emails and text back and forth initially drove me bonkers So far, this is my top read of the year And I ll just say, give this one a shot and just stick with it It s such a reward in the end. 4.5 Stars He paused and lifted his glasses to wipe his wet eyes You re full of fight Queenie Full of Fight He turned away and ambled back down the garden path, leaving me standing there unable to process anything he d said. This is marketed as Bridget Jones but I want to tell you that this is so much than that and I mean much and much important that that.Queenie is a twenty something who is living in London She is Jamaican and it trying to fit in to both Jamaican and British culture She was with her boyfriend, Tom, for awhile and they are currently going through a break period where they both try to take some time apart Queenie realizes what she has lost but is also seeking worth from outside sources.Queenie ends up hooking up with multiple people, going through fights with friends, navigating her family and just navigating her life is general She goes through situations based on her race and ethnicity She is gets comments thrown at her, that are inappropriate She is treated a certain way and she has to fight to stand up for what she believes it even when everyone else is knocking her down Queenie truly goes through a growth journey in this book In the end, she ends up asking herself Who do you want to me in today s world I read this book fairly quickly because it sucked me in I knew within 30 pages that I was going to love this book and it just kept getting better I almost felt like I was Queenie s friends and I was going through life with her I experienced happiness when she did and heartbreak when she did There were times I wanted to shake Queenie and say what are you doing And other times I just wanted to give her a hug and tell her it ll all be OK and I m proud of you.This book really gave me perspective There are a lot of situations that Queenie experiences in the book that I will never experience I think it s important to put myself in someone else s shoes and have a better understanding of the types of things they go through and situations they are put through At the same time though, there were a few situations I felt that I could relate to Queenie just as a woman in the modern world as well as someone with anxiety depression.I highly recommend this book and think everyone should pick it up The cover alone sold me on this one it s GORGEOUS Thank you to Gallery Scout Press for my ARC of this book. Why I love itby Jojo MoyesI have to confess I have a prior interest in Queenie s author, Candice Carty Williams A few years ago, I created a competition offering up my cottage to an aspiring writer in need of time and space to complete their project Candice was the first winner, chosen from than 600 applicants She had never driven outside London before, and it took her six hours to make a two hour journey the kind of thing that would happen to her character, Queenie , but when she arrived she declined a cup of tea and went straight to work she was that determined to make the most out of the opportunity.Fast forward two and a half years Queenie is one of the most anticipated books of the year It grabbed me from the opening chapter because it did something that happens far too seldom it took me into a world I didn t know that of a 25 year old black woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither Queenie is fresh and flawed and she made me wince and made me laugh and made me think.Candice is a unique writer Even that 500 word contest entry told me there was something special about her After re reading the finished work I knew I had been right I m excited to see Queenie meet a wider audience, and to see Candice s star really shine We need voices like hers.Read at This book explores individual and collective trauma in all its eye opening forms Queenie is such a well developed and layered character, and when you follow her through this book be very aware of judgments that may arise You may be frustrated by her choices but allow yourself to learn, understand, and be kindyes, even toward a fictional character because she represents another Awareness and hope are beautiful gifts.My favorite quoteYou aren t as alone as you think free review copy I inhaled this in one afternoon Two things you need to know.1 don t go into it expecting it to meet that Bridget Jones description because it is WAY deeper and at times very emotionally dark That comparison is deceptive and sets readers up for confusion..2 you ll either LOVE Queenie, or get frustrated with Queenie but if you are in the latter group, maybe quick check yourself and make sure it s not age or privilege making you feel that way.I may write later or I may not, but for now I want it on record that we need books like this one in the contemporary fiction market I learned so much from Queenie A tiresome novel that made me cranky Everything about Queenie screams middle school angst Queenie and her crew think and act like 12 year olds trapped in 25 year old bodies Take away some of the sex, replace their jobs with 7th grade classes and you have the tedious dramas of adolescence I liked the clever use of texts That s about it. Whoever is trying to sell this book as a Bridget Jones alike is misleading people If you watch as much British TV, as I do, you would get a better idea if you imagine Queenie as a cross between Fleabag and Chewing Gum I wouldn t want you to open this book and expect a lighthearted dating comedy with a ditzy heroine who finds love in the end What you will find is a woman dealing with her past trauma and her recent breakup by engaging in terrible sex with terrible men, which eventually leads her to a mental breakdown Does this sound like a Bridget Jones type of fun I didn t think so.Queenie is both easy to read its writing style is very accessible and also hard to read Queenie puts herself in just horrendous situations There is some humor, and good British humor that appeals to me on many levels, and only that humor saves this novel from being a complete pit of misery.Read this for observations about racism, abuse and mental illness stigma The thing that stuck with me the most is Queenie s experience of men who view her as nothing but a sex object, something to enact their sex fantasies upon Their unwillingness to connect with her and see her as a person is soul crushing.
Candice Carty Williams was born in 1989, the result of an affair between a Jamaican cab driver who barely speaks and a Jamaican Indian dyslexic receptionist who speaks than anyone else in the world She studied Media at Sussex because her sixth form teachers said that she wasn t clever enough to do English, but she showed them all by first working at the Guardian Guide and then moving into pu
- 352 pages
- Candice Carty-Williams
- 14 June 2018 Candice Carty-Williams