Review: Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Blurb: Meet Queenie. Journalist. Catastrophist. Expressive. Aggressive. Loved. Lonely. Enough?
A darkly comic and bitingly subversive take of life, love, race and family, Queenie will have you nodding in recognition, crying in solidarity and rooting for this unforgettable character every step of the way.

Title: Queenie

Author: Candice Carty-Williams

Publisher: Trapeze, an imprint of Orion, owned by Hachette UK

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary


In the midst of a break up, Queenie Jenkins isn’t quite sure what to do with herself. Everything’s changing and it all leaves her a little out of her depth.

This was a book that I’d been excited to get my hands on for a while and when the paperback was released, I couldn’t say no! First of all, the mental health representation in this book was something that I really appreciated. There’s discussion of therapy, panic attacks and the general thoughts that can be associated with anxiety and depression but it’s all dealt with in a way that normalises the experience and offers an honest look at how it impacts your life. The characterisation of Queenie was another thing that I loved. She’s the most believable character that I’ve read for a while in the sense that her narrative is so honest. There’s no quick fix to a lot of what she goes through and instead we get to follow along on the rollercoaster of her life. From break ups and encounters with some awful men to the support of friends and dysfunctional families, all of it makes Queenie a main character that you just can’t help but want the best for. Because of this, the pacing of the book moves fluidly from one thing to the next, as does life, so you’re not constantly waiting for something to happen, nor is it so quick that you can’t keep up. I appreciated the ending of this book as well – as I said, there’s no quick fixes here so nothing feels rushed but we end with Queenie starting to get control of her life again which is such a hopeful message, especially if you’ve experienced any of the issues tackled in this book. If you’re after a real, honest portrayal of life with a positive outcome then I’d really recommend picking this up.

As for what I disliked, my main gripe was that I spent most of my reading time frustrated that Queenie continued to make such bad decisions when it came to men. I wanted so badly to reach into the book and shake her! But, it’s my guess that this was part of the author’s point, to make Queenie a character that you can’t help but want the best for which I definitely did. This didn’t necessarily take away from my enjoyment of the book overall but did mean that I put it down at a few points to take a break. I’d also add that there’s some mention of considerably rough sexual intercourse in the book which might be something to watch out for if you dislike reading about that sort of thing.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book if you’re after some mental health rep and a main character that you can’t help but root for.

Rating: 4/5

Recommend?: Yes

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to know!

You can always find me over on Instagram and Twitter if you’d like to discuss this book (or any others that I’ve featured) in more detail 😌

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