The thing that first grabbed my attention with this book was, honestly, the cover. It is stunning! It’s definitely something that would catch your eye on the bookstore shelf. Then I read the excerpt that was provided on the Bookish First website. I was blown away! You would think that, given the narrator of the novel, that this would be a book geared toward a very narrow and audience. But you would be wrong. This book is so incredibly relatable. The main character faces a slew of issues that I think every millennial has dealt with. In the first chapter of the book, the protagonist, Queenie, goes to the gynecologist for an issue with her IUD. It turns out that she was pregnant and has had a miscarriage. This was what really drew me into Queenie’s world and made her relatable to me. I gave birth to my own IUD baby about four months ago. Despite our major differences, this was something Queenie and I had in common.
Bad relationships, getting over heartbreak, casual sex, struggles at work and finding a career, crappy housing with incredibly high rents, Queenie faces all of this and more in the first half of the book. The second half of the book delves into even more issues, like social injustice, the Black Lives Matter movement, and mental health issues like the anxiety that Queenie herself faces. Every single millennial that I know has dealt with at least one of these issues, many of them have dealt with them all. Regardless of background or race, this is a book that every millennial should read.
One of the things that I’ve read online is that they some readers take issue with Queenie’s casual, often abusive relationships and her long-term relationship with a white man. They say that she is constantly being taken advantage of by white men. I completely disagree with this for two reasons. The first reason Is that a number of her sexual partners are not white. Her first casual encounter is with a Pakistani man, not a white man. I also feel that her anxiety and insecurity that she deals with in the second half of the novel really contribute to her choosing poor partners. Second, without giving too much away, from what we learn about Queenie’s mother and her own relationships, it comes as no surprise that Queenie lets men take advantage of her.
The bigger issue, I find, is that this book is compared to novels like Bridget Jones's Diary. This not at all the light-hearted, chick-flick novel that Bridget Jones is. Queenie deals with much more serious issues and is often much more hard to handle. It is, in many ways, better. But it definitely not the book to read if you’re looking for a light read.
Overall, it is an amazing book that I would recommend to any millennial, or anyone looking to read more about the problems our generation is facing.