Thanks to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of the book.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Queenie Jenkins is a 25-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 truly don’t know what to say about this book in order to do it justice. It’s been getting a lot of hype, and it’s well-deserved. It blew me out of the water. I don’t agree with the comparison to Bridget Jones’ Diary, because that implies a levity to this story that is deceiving. Yes, there are plenty of humorous parts to Queenie’s story, but it’s so much deeper and more intense than that applies. The comparison doesn’t give Queenie the credit it deserves.
Queenie is on a very self-destructive path, and I know this is going to irritate some readers. She makes very poor life choices that could potentially put her life in danger, but it’s part of her path. Her life experiences thus far have shaped her into the person we meet in the beginning of the book, and while it’s devastating to watch Queenie put herself in these situations, it’s not unrealistic. I found myself able to relate to so many little parts of her thought processes, and even some of her actions. It took me back to that time in my life when I was so desperately trying to figure out my identity and the path I wanted to walk in life. I think it’ll resonate with a lot of readers.
Another part of the book that spoke so loudly to me was the racism. As a white woman, I’ve been making a conscious effort to be more aware of racism around me, and my inherent racism that I’ve been blind to. Watching these scenes play out in Queenie’s world, and hearing her thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement helped me to continue to learn and open my eyes more, and I so hope it reaches others, too. Maybe this sounds preachy, but we can’t continue to grow and make positive strides if we don’t make ourselves aware of ingrained in each of us racism is.
I don’t think my words will ever be able to adequately express my love for this book, so I hope you take my fumbling lack of eloquence as the praise I mean for it to be and grab yourself a copy of Queenie ASAP.
Highly recommend. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Book stats: Hardcover, 336 pages, Gallery/Scout Press, March 9, 2019