Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press + Simon & Schuster Audio
Release Date: March 19, 2019
Genre: Adult Fiction / Contemporary
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.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams is a debut novel that I had sitting on my shelf for much too long, so I jumped at the chance to do a buddy read for it. I am so happy I did; Queenie is witty and fun, but it is also very deep and deals with a lot of very important subjects.
I really enjoyed Carty-Williams’ writing style and I thought this was a very impressive novel that didn’t even feel like a debut. It is well thought out and has characters that are all very unique and feel very much alive. I love that Queenie seems very realistic, and I think what she goes through will resonate with a lot of women. For some reason, the publisher thought it was a good idea to market this book compared to Bridget Jones’s Diary, but I didn’t agree with that assessment. This book is DEEP, and just because Queenie lives in London, does not mean she is like Bridget Jones. It’s definitely fun and funny at times, but it goes above and beyond anything you’ll find in that book.
I own a copy of the book (who can resist that stunning cover?), but I decided to listen to the audiobook, and it was a huge win for me. The narrator is Shvorne Marks and she did a truly amazing job voicing the characters in this book. Even though the viewpoint is all from Queenie’s perspective, I liked what she did with her voice for the other characters as well, and she made a very memorable Queenie.
The only issue I had with Queenie was that I was just so frustrated with her character at times. She engages in some very self-destructive behavior for a lot of the book and it was hard to handle. I wanted to take her and give her a good shake to try to get her to stop sleeping with so many guys and being so irresponsible. However, this also makes her the realistic character she is so I can’t really fault her for that.
If you are looking for a hard-hitting novel that will completely suck you in, I highly recommend giving Queenie a chance. I listened to it in just a couple of days because I didn’t want to stop, and it would make for a great discussion for a book club. I can’t wait to discuss it with the group I’m reading it with!
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5