‘Queenie’ by Candice Carty-Williams – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

‘Inspirational, funny and wise’ – Kit de Waal, author of MY NAME IS LEON.

Queenie Jenkins can’t cut a break.

Well, apart from one from her long term boyfriend, Tom. That’s definitely just a break though. Definitely not a break up.

Stuck between a boss who doesn’t seem to see her, a family who don’t seem to listen (if it’s not Jesus or water rates, they’re not interested), and trying to fit in two worlds that don’t really understand her, it’s no wonder she’s struggling.

She was named to be queen of everything. So why is she finding it so hard to rule her own life?

A darkly comic and bitingly subversive take on modern life, QUEENIE will have you nodding in recognition, crying in solidarity, and rooting for this unforgettable character every step of the way.

Perfect for fans of Dolly Alderton, Bryony Gordon and Dawn O’Porter, and anyone who loved FLEABAG and DEAR WHITE PEOPLE.

My Review

So this book basically ripped my heart out and served it to me on a platter. Oh the feels…
Authentic, visceral, honest, painful, hilarious…
Simply genius.

And I think what was so brilliant about this book is that Queenie is possibly one of the most relatable contemporary characters that you could ever hope to read about. She feels real. I think that’s what I love the most. She is far from being a perfect human being because she makes seriously dodgy decisions that are pretty shady and at times is borderline narcissistic even… But she is so amazingly likeable in spite of all of this. Not that likability should matter but I just think that writing a flawed character that people can see both the best and worst of themselves in and yet is someone that as a reader you wish you were best friends with is a skill that needs to be praised…. Candice Carty-Williams YOU ROCK SOCKS!!!!!!!!!!!

The storyline follows her as she deals with a break from her boyfriend Tom and struggles at work. And in following both her work and personal life we see how deeply the two are interlinked and how Queenie is affected by past relationships both romantic and business. She has a very unhealthy attitude to sex that stems from self-esteem issues and it’s primarily through her interactions with men that we as readers begin to understand her self-loathing.

I think there’s a lot in this book that anyone who is dating in their 20s, 30s and even beyond can identify with due to how this book confronts our most intimate and hidden of insecurities.

The book is both incredibly hilarious and deeply poignant and is one that I would particularly recommend to book clubs as there is so much in this book that would make for great discussion… be it from the topic of why we need women’s fiction to give a platform on which to raise women’s issues to issues of racism and the societal attitudes towards young black women especially and how they are frequently reduced to a sexualised image.

Highly recommended.

Author Biography

Candice Carty-Williams is a marketer, author and journalist based in London.

Born in 1989, the result of an affair between a Jamaican cab driver and a Jamaican-Indian dyslexic receptionist, Candice worked in the media before moving into publishing aged 23.

In 2016, Candice created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize, is a Penguin Books Write Now mentor, and she also contributes regularly to Refinery29, BEAT Magazine, the Guardian and i-D. QUEENIE is her first novel.

For more reviews and book related chat check out my blog

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23 thoughts on “‘Queenie’ by Candice Carty-Williams – Book Review

  1. Fab review, Emer! I have heard so many amazing things about this book and I’m so glad to hear that you loved it just as much. I do love when a character who does unlikable or unpopular things can still be a likeable character overall because of how relatable they are. It’s a tricky/thin rope to walk (imho) especially for those who really need a good character to enjoy the story, but it sounds like Carty-Williams did a wonderful job of it. SO excited to read this 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Difficult characters are my fav to read about. I just love it when a writer really makes the effort to show us the warts and all side of a character and then uses incredible writing to draw us in to the story and that is 100% Queenie to me… Ifemelu in Americanah by Adichie is another example of this I think.

      Like

  2. AHHHHH!! I have been wanting to read this for a while now! WHO CAN RESIST THAT HOT PINK COVERRR?! GURLLL! You be reading all the books on my tbr!! NO FAIR! NO FAIR! 😭😭😭😭🤣🤣🤣

    Seriously though! AMAZING REVIEWW, Emer! 😘💎😘💕💕❤️❤️🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟💕💕💕💕🌟🌟🌟🌟

    Liked by 1 person

      1. ORANGE AND BLUEEE?!?? KILL ME WITH ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL COMBINATIONS WHY DONT YOU? 😭😭😍😍😍😍😍

        AHHH! I am soooo gonna make it a priority to read it ASAP! YOU JUST WAIT AND WATCH MISSY! (Just dont get annoyed if I make you wait JUST A TEEENYYY TINNYYY BIT LONGGERR OKEIEEEE?!? 🥺🥺🥺🥺)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘You rock socks’ made me laugh 😛 I love it! You’ve written this review so beautifully, Emer. I’m glad that you enjoyed this book so much. I love characters that are imperfect and flawed and yet still so relatable. I’m definitely giving this one a read in the future!! Jen

    Liked by 1 person

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