A Riveting Dive into Modern Social Dynamics

Welcome to our weekly segment, Read This Book, where we delve into literary gems that deserve a place on your reading list. Each week, you'll find compelling recommendations spanning various genres and eras. This week, we're spotlighting a book that's generating quite the buzz—with fiercely divided opinions. But one thing's clear: it's a must-read.

Today, we dive into Kiley Reid's latest novel, Come and Get It. This engaging novel is set in 2017 at the University of Arkansas and features a rich ensemble of characters who navigate complex social interactions and personal entanglements.

The Setting and Main Characters

Agatha Paul is a 37-year-old visiting professor and writer. She's currently working on a nonfiction book about weddings and traditions, but as she interviews college students, her focus shifts increasingly towards their lives and mindsets. Agatha's curiosity leads her into a labyrinth of social nuances that reveals more about herself than she ever anticipated.

Among the students, we meet characters like Tyler, a wealthy student who balances frivolous spending on luxuries like balayage hair treatments with practical life goals, such as saving money to buy a dog. Her roommate, Kennedy, transferred to the university seeking respite from a traumatic past event. Finding solace in material possessions, Kennedy's dorm overflows with her many purchases from Target.

The Entangled Lives of Students

An essential character intertwining these lives is Millie, a senior resident assistant who aids Agatha by providing access to a wide pool of students. Millie’s professional interest soon morphs into a personal obsession, leading her to daydream about Agatha continually.

These diverse characters have different upbringings and expectations, leading to a tension-filled narrative. The novel adeptly showcases the friction and misunderstandings that stem from contrasting worldviews and lived experiences.

An Unpredictable Journey

From the outset, it's clear that the trajectories of Agatha, Tyler, Kennedy, and Millie are destined for conflict. These character arcs are carefully crafted to leave readers guessing at every turn. The storytelling is immersive and unpredictable, much like Reid's previous hit, Such A Fun Age.

"The more mistakes everyone makes, and the more mortifying the situations became, the more invested I became in the build-up to the ultimate disaster."

Why You Should Read This Book

Just like with Such A Fun Age, Come and Get It has that magnetic pull that makes it impossible to put down. The characters' imperfections and the subsequent awkward social interactions they instigate keep you cringing and invested simultaneously. The book is more than a mere social commentary; it’s a riveting exploration of human psychology and societal dynamics.

To truly appreciate the richness of Come and Get It, I recommend reading the original article that inspired this review. You can find it here. For more in-depth perspectives, check out Kiley Reid's unique narrative style discussed in another relevant piece here.

Books and Beyond: Get Your Bookish Merch

For those who love to surround themselves with all things bookish, don't forget to check out the amazing selection of merch available at Liam and Lore. From book-themed tote bags to cozy reading socks, Liam and Lore have everything to make your reading experience even more enjoyable. Their curated collection reflects a deep love for literature, just like the intricate world Kiley Reid creates in Come and Get It.

Whether you're obsessed with character-driven stories or you enjoy delving into social narratives, Come and Get It is a novel you shouldn’t miss. Happy reading!

June 11, 2024 — Kristin James