Book Review: Come and Get It by Kiley Reid

Kiley Reid’s Come and Get It introduces readers to a campus dorm where a diverse cast of characters are just trying to get by. Despite many different viewpoints, Reid creates her characters so distinctly that it’s easy to tell them apart, resulting in an honest and provoking story. Learn more about the book and why I gave it three out of five stars.

It’s 2017 at the University of Arkansas. Millie Cousins, a senior resident assistant, wants to graduate, get a job, and buy a house. So when Agatha Paul, a visiting professor and writer, offers Millie an easy yet unusual opportunity, she jumps at the chance. But Millie’s starry-eyed hustle becomes jeopardised by odd new friends, vengeful dorm pranks and illicit intrigue. []

Come and Get It isn’t afraid to get into the nitty-gritty of everyday life, from roommate squabbles over dirty dishes to more complex issues like race and sexuality. Reid’s portrayal of these challenges is brutally honest, making it easy for readers to identify with one or more of her characters.

But here’s the twist: Come and Get It is more about the characters than the plot. I might have enjoyed it even more if I had known that beforehand. The characters are compelling, but the plot’s purpose isn’t made clear until the very end. And even when I finished, I wondered if the conclusion was intended to justify the rest of the story or end it.

On a positive note, Kiley Reid’s writing style is a standout feature of the book. Her characters are refreshingly genuine, almost as if you’re reading about individuals you could know in real life. Come and Get It is my first taste of Reid’s work, and I’m eager to read more.

Come and Get It provides a deep dive into ordinary people’s messy and everyday lives. While the plot might leave you hanging, Reid’s unique storytelling and honest character portrayals make it worthwhile.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

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