I was lucky enough to attend the Queenie event in Manchester a little while ago, which i absolutely adored, so i knew i wanted to get to Queenie as soon as possible to really maximise my time at the event. I started it just before and read enough to get some really good conversations going at the event. You can read about it HERE.
Queenie is the story of twenty-five year old Queenie, who is going through a rough time of it with her relationships. The book starts with her breaking up with her long term boyfriend, and goes through her online dating and the dates that come from it. It also discusses a lot of the Black Lives Matter movement and mental health.
First of all, i cannot appreciate this book more for having a protagonist that is in her mid-twenties. As i’m twenty-four, this book came to me at a time when i felt like i really needed it. Queenie explores the idea of beginning life and starting again. I feel like it’s incredibly relatable for people in their twenties and i really appreciate this bridge between YA and adult novels where all the characters seem to have their lives together in their forties.
Candice’s writing is incredibly fun too. Her quirky writing style makes you keep turning the page, and quickly. I absolutely love the humour in the book. Admittedly it’s quite crude and might be a little much for some people, but it makes the story so realistic and wonderful. There are a lot of discussions between Queenie and her friends that felt incredibly realistic to ones that i’ve had between me and my own friends, no matter how intimate they may be!
I also really love the characters in Queenie, they literally jumped off the page and felt like they were in my life. Queenie’s family are wonderful and no matter how overbearing they might be, i did have a moment of wanting her grandparents in my life desperately. I’ve not read a book in a while which had the most vibrant and different set of characters, and it was truly a wonderful read.
There are some heavy topics of racism, consent and mental health in Queenie, and i was a little wary to begin with, especially with the mental health aspects being added. But i truly loved how these were dealt with and how Candice wrote all these aspects. Nothing was left as a cliff hanger at the end, nothing was just left and everything was discussed and dealt with. I really appreciated the representation of panic attacks and their on set towards the end of the book. That also felt incredibly realistic and it was interesting for me to see how different people deal with mental health and address it.
There is nothing that i disliked about Queenie, and it takes a lot for me to enjoy every aspect, but it truly kept me wanting to stay in the world that Candice had created. I loved the atmosphere and the realistic aspects of just living as a twenty-five year old, with the added issues of being a black person in London. It was absolutely stunning and taught me so much while being so relatable.
I want everyone to pick up a copy of Queenie and see what all the fuss is about. On top of that, Candice is one of the most lovely people i’ve had the honour of meeting and it would be wonderful if this book is supported! She’s managed to create a wonderful bridge between YA and adult books that is absolutely perfect for anyone in their twenties.