Come and Get It by Kiley Reid - review by Lucy Thynne

Lucy Thynne

Mean Girls

Come and Get It

By

Bloomsbury 400pp £16.99 order from our bookshop
 

Come and Get It is the second novel by Kiley Reid, author of the zeitgeisty 2019 bestseller Such a Fun Age. Like her debut, the book portrays two sides of a transactional relationship: Millie is a young, black resident assistant at the University of Arkansas and Agatha is a visiting professor looking for book ideas. Luckily for Agatha, Millie’s ‘mean’ dorm-mates and their flippant attitudes towards money provide her with perfect material. She begins paying Millie $40 a week so that she can sit and listen to them through Millie’s bedroom wall – a dynamic that becomes yet more complicated when the two women’s relationship turns sexual. As the book jacket announces, this is a tale of ‘desire’ and ‘consumption’, but it’s also about women treating each other badly and how the blind spots of various privileges can form one gaping hole of selfishness. 

While Such a Fun Age excelled in its pacing, Come and Get It spends longer delving into characters’ backstories. The novel has a main cast of eight, and it’s often tricky for the reader to devote appropriate care to each of them. Reid is brilliant at satirising the bigoted students

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