Queenie: the relatable voice of a generation

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams is an incredibly relatable, humorous, at times cringey and deep read. It is a MUST-READ for women in their mid-twenties who feel like life just isn’t going their way. I feel like it put many things into perspective for me personally, as I related to so much of what Queenie was feeling and going through. It made me adjust my feelings and remember what’s really important and what’s worth fighting for. I love how real and raw this book is, painting a true depiction of what it’s really like for a lot of women following a break-up and how it can be okay not to pick yourself up immediately. It’s okay not to be okay, and Queenie figured this out the hard way.

The story
Queenie is on a ‘break’ from her boyriend, Tom.
Ted is a man from work who just can’t get enough of her.
Adi is a close friend who definitely has the wrong intentions.
Guy she met on a dating app who wants one thing and one thing only.
While Queenie is semi-single, waiting for Tom to want her back in his life, she will be a single pringle and mingle as much as she can. But at what cost? With her personal life starting to affect her work, the stakes are getting higher and higher, but Queenie just can’t stop allowing this line of men to enter and disrupt her life. Where will she go from here, and how will her life end up?

What I loved about this book…
Honestly, it is SO relatable. I have been going through some relationship issues lately, so reading this from that perspective was pretty damn brilliant. I felt that it almost predicted what could happen to me if my relationship were to actually end, and it definitely put things into perspective. I loved that, like me, Queenie doesn’t have a huge friendship group, but individual friends (the corgis) from various parts of her life who will pull together to help her out. But aside from how much I related to her, I feel that she is such a strong character. The ways that her past has affected her and yet she has managed to push through it all to have a good job and life in London is so inspiring. If anything, the events of this book are an inevitable blip which happens to many of us who feel we’ve defied the odds to get where we are.
I also loved how Carty-Williams handled the race elements. Queenie is an avid Black Lives Matter supporter, and is faced with adversity in many ways, but especially from the men in her life, whether they like her for her big bum, fetishise her or see her as ‘an experiment’. However, the worst of all, in my opinion, were Tom’s family. In the flashbacks to their dating life, we see why this couple could never have worked. They are openly racist about Queenie, and to her face, calling her the N-word, saying that she should be on the black team despite wearing a white dress in a game and his brothers taking an obvious and open dislike to her. This was so shocking to me, but offered a sobering reminder of the archaic views some people still hold. I also particularly liked the common ‘don’t touch my hair’ moments, as this will hopefully burn into white people’s brains who read this book not to touch black women’s hair, as they are not zoo animals.

Overall, this is SUCH a good book. My only niggle with it that made it a 4.5* and not a 5* was that I felt there were too many sexual descriptions, where I would have liked to have seen more interactions with her friends, especially Kayazke, who is the friend we all need. Her and Darcy’s back and forth in the group chat is absolutely brilliant though! I would recommend this book to all mid-twenties women who feel like they’re not quite doing something right. If parts of your life are falling apart and all you seem to be able to do is hurry along your self-destruction, this is the perfect book to remind you that you’re not alone and it’s okay to not get everything right. A must-read for people who loved Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, the Mates, Dates series, Girls in Love when they were younger, fans of Sex and the City, Lush by Gabrielle Fernie, and similar. I am very excited to read whatever Carty-Williams writes next!

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