Cover Image: Come and Get It

Come and Get It

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Member Reviews

Come and Get It is novel set on a university campus about a resident assistant and what happens when she allows a visiting professor to listen in to students' conversations. Millie is an RA for her senior year at the University of Arkansas and is desperate to make money and do things right. When a professor, Agatha Paul, asks to speak to students, Millie arranges it, but soon this becomes a regular thing, and Millie is distracted from the students she oversees, including three roommates and their strange dynamic.

From the description of this book, I expected it to be more about a weird plot with Millie having to do a bizarre side hustle, but actually the book was a lot less weird than I feel the blurb made out, and was actually just a tale of college students and money, race, and inappropriate behaviour. The novel is told from multiple perspectives, focusing in on characters and backstories so you know a lot about the main characters, and not really being very plot-focused (the ending has more of a plot, but even then, it's more like some things suddenly happening). It's the sort of book that some people will enjoy and others will complain that nothing really happened.

The characters are an interesting, messy bunch, which is essentially the point of the book. Millie, Agatha, and Kennedy (one of the student roommates) are particularly vivid, all coming with very different perspectives, but all essentially trying to pave over the past into the future they want, or trying to find that future. Kennedy's story is perhaps the most weird and makes for a great narrative, to the extent that it could've almost been a separate book, though explaining it would probably give away too much. Millie is a character who things she has things worked out (at the age of twenty-four), but actually is much less diligent than she wants to be, and is learning about desire and how people see her. Agatha seems like a bit of a lesbian professor stereotype, but then she's also stealing students' words to write Teen Vogue articles, which is a hilarious plot point.

The book is full of little conflicts and an exploration of the ways in which money, class, race, and sexuality impact people, but in a package that is mostly about some college students' drama. It's fun and a bit weird, though maybe not as weird as I wanted.
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This was a fantastic follow up to Kiley Reid's Such a Fun Age! A warning that it is very very character driven, but the setting and their characteristics made me be hooked from start to finish.
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2.5 stars

I was so excited to get this advance copy. I loved Such A Fun Age so I was really looking forward to this latest book. But maybe it's a case of "the difficult second album".

The story is billed as "tension-filled ... about money, indiscretion and bad behaviour". For me there was this but it took up less than ten percent of the entire novel. The lead up to any sort of action was a disjointed, rambling wander through college life seen through the eyes of Millie, a Resident Assistant and her interactions with three of the residents, a visiting professor going through her own emotional upheaval and her two fellow RA's.

It felt as though the novel didn't quite know which road to take a lot of the time. Was it a book about relationships or about growing up or about love or about boundaries or about students being revolting to each other.

The characters are universally horrible. Even Millie, who I guess you're supposed to like, is fundamentally dishonest. I found all of them cringey to some extent. There were so many blurred boundaries and meanness that it became the norm and anyone who was nice was seen as odd.

Also, if you're not conversant with the US college system then keep Google on. For a book written in my mother tongue I confess to spending way more time than I expected looking phrases and words up. (Of course thar may also be an age thing).

In conclusion (because otherwise I'll start rambling myself) I just felt that there was 90 percent of directionless prose with an interesting 10 percent. Very disappointed.

Thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for the advance review copy.
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File this under “not for everyone but definitely for me.”

There’s going to be a lot of buzz around this after the success of Such a Fun Age and I can see people being disappointed but I loved it.

I couldn’t put this one down, I loved the characters and the way Kiley Reid sets a scene is unrivalled. She perfectly captures college life and the intricacies of tight-knit female friendships.

The last quarter of everything coming together let it down a tiny bit but this is still one of my books of the year.
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Come and Get It is an interesting exploration of money and morality, satire and shame, set in a student residence at the University of Arkansas.

Reid has mastered the art of the uncomfortable novel: like Such a Fun Age, this is at times almost painful to read. Many of the characters are thoroughly unlikeable, and the narrative often takes you off on tangents exploring their backstories. And yet, it's still a compelling read. It's astute, funny and sensitive, and some of the emotional beats hit hard.

While it perhaps won't have the same mass-market appeal as Reid's debut, her sophomore effort is one for fans of complex characters and thought-provoking uncomfortable moments.
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*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance reader copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review*.
Come and Get It is Kiley Reid’s second novel, it is a literary fiction novel following multiple POV’s. Agatha Paul is a writer and professor, she visits the University of Arkansas to interview some students for something she’s writing. Agatha meets Millie at the university and Millie is an RA at the university. Millie gets pranked by her dorm students and struggles to connect with them. This was an interesting novel that I’m going to give 4 stars. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before in a sense that it feels very unique but almost plotless. It covers topics such as racism in an interesting way and there is some LGBTQ+ representation. The writing of this was good and the story was easy to follow. Although I will say that I don’t really think this book is being pitched correctly because it was a lot different to what I was expecting. I can see a lot of people loving this and whilst I did have a good time I think the different POV’s just threw me off.
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Thank you for the digital review copy, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ).

What an enjoyable reading experience this was.
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In 2017, Millie Cousins works as a resident assistant at the University of Arkansas's Belgrade Dormitory. She wants to raise as much money as she can to buy a house, and she works hard and is ambitious. She seizes the opportunity when visiting professor and author Agatha Paul extends a unique proposition to her. But will her desire to earn a few more dollars backfire? At first glance, everything appears to be in order, but Tyler, Peyton, Casey, and Kennedy's actions could put everything in danger. Okay, so let's begin with the excellent aspects of this book.  To begin with, Kiley Reid is incredibly observant and insightful when it comes to character development; all of the characters—aside from Millie—are well-developed but not always endearing. Even if she makes mistakes, she is a motivated individual with noble intentions and lofty aspirations. Although it's difficult not to get irritated at the lines that Agatha crosses, her performance is as strong. Though I feel bad for Kennedy because she's so insecure, the pupils are masterfully drawn and you can see them for what they really are—not at bit pleasant. Just as they are between Millie and Agatha and Millie and the students, the unequal interactions between them are likewise excellent. I'm relieved that college life is over, especially at Belgrade Dormitory, where everything is done nicely! The conversation seems real, and words can have so many facets that even seemingly harmless utterances have far more nuance. The book touches on a number of fascinating subjects, including class, racism, sexuality, and LGBTQIA concerns. Nevertheless, in spite of all of the foregoing, this character-driven book moves rather slowly. The story is primarily about the characters interacting with one another, and some of them are so unlikeable that it's difficult to care about them. Since the plot remains essentially unchanged, it gets harder and harder to maintain attention. In summary, other from a few student mishaps, not much happens until the very end when things really go wrong. It seems really YA to me, which is understandable given the emphasis on students.
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This is a strange book. Maybe, it started off as a film script or maybe it started off as several film scripts? Whatever the origins, it’s an odd read.

The central character is Millie Cousins who, in order to support her graduation, takes a job as a Residential Assistant in a girls dormitory at a university in Arkansas. She doesn’t seem well-equipped for the post and often seems to be just getting by without any proper training or understanding of the role.

Among the girls she has responsibility for are Peyton, Kennedy and Tyler who are sassy, smart and nasty in varying degrees. Then there is Agatha, a much older visiting professor who appears to be ripping off the life stories of the nasty girls in her spare time to support her own research.

Agatha has a long back story (like most of the other characters) described in painstaking detail. Kiley Reid adds detail and back stories about all of the characters – including what people have in their rooms, what they eat and how they dress but, at times, it seems like a diversion from the plot.

Anyway, Agatha and Millie are clearly going to have a relationship and it is clearly going to end in disaster and, yes, there is a train wreck at the end but in some ways it’s hard to care what happens.

The style of the book, perhaps a strength for some readers, involves a lot of trivial conversation – either bitchy interchanges or people talking without saying that they really mean. And, if you can connect with that and the low-level fraternity house environment, enjoy the adolescent incidents in the dorm, empathise with Millie and stop thinking how unprofessional Agatha is, then you might enjoy it.
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Come and Get It, the much anticipated sophomore novel from author Kiley Reid, was a colossal disappointment. I held off reviewing this book for a few days in the hope that I might be able to reflect on it more positively than in the immediate aftermath, but unfortunately not. 

My disappointment is probably amplified because of my love for Reid's debut novel Such a Fun Age, it was one of my favourite books of 2020 - an incisive take on race, white privilege and classism that struck a chord with many readers. Come and Get It, set in the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, attempts to do the same thing with the subject of money and class but fails to hit the same high notes, meandering to a largely plotless conclusion and bloated with repetitive, inane dialogue and characters that were mostly bland and uninteresting. 

The novel focuses on a few female characters - Agatha Paul, a visiting professor and writer who is conducting some research on weddings (a bizarre and implausible premise when you read it tbh), Millie, an RA (resident assistant) in Belgrade dorm who is hoping to graduate, find a job and buy a house, and a group of students, Casey, Tyler, Kennedy, Peyton and Jenna, some of whom play a bigger role than others. The book is mostly the ins and outs of dorm life, down to the mundanity of dish-washing. 

The book has one redeeming chapter - the one where we get Kennedy's backstory and the reason she is the way she is (a consumerist loner with poor hygiene). The writing is sharp and striking here, and it is hard not to feel sorry for Kennedy. It struck me that the chapter in question would have made a good short story, and perhaps began life as a short story that a novel was built around (pure speculation on my part)? I wish the book had been more cohesive, more interesting, better edited and plotted. I will absolutely read what Kiley Reid writes next - this isn't the review I had hoped to write. 1.5/5 stars

*Many thanks to @bloomsburypublishing for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. Come and Get It will be published in January 2024. As always, this is an honest review.
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It’s 2017, and Millie Cousins is a resident assistant at Belgrade Dormitory at the University of Arkansas. She’s a hard worker and ambitious, wanting to raise as much money as she can in order to buy a house. So when visiting Professor and author, Agatha Paul makes her an unusual offer, she jumps at the chance. However, will her willingness to make a few extra bucks backfire? Initially all seems okay, but the behaviour of four students, Tyler, Peyton, Casey and Kennedy could jeopardise all.

OK, let’s start with what is done very well in this novel.  First of all, Kiley Reid is very incisive and perceptive on character development as all are well crafted, though not necessarily likeable apart from Millie. Despite the fact that she does not get things right, she’s driven, has admirable goals and her intentions are good. Agatha’s portrayal is also good though it’s hard not to feel annoyed at the boundaries that she oversteps. The students are crafted with clarity and in a few deft strokes you see them for  exactly what they are which is  not at all likeable though I feel for Kennedy as she’s so insecure.  The unequal dynamics between them are also very good as they are between Millie and the students and Millie and Agatha. College life, especially in Belgrade Dormitory, is also done well and makes me glad that’s all behind me! The dialogue feels authentic and there are often so many layers in sentences that statements that on the surface seem innocuous have way more depth to them. The novel covers some interesting themes such as racism, sexuality, LGBTQIA issues and class. Right from the start the differences in socioeconomic groups is very apparent and some things the students claim are jokes so aren’t. 

However, despite the above this character driven novel is very slow, there’s not a great deal in terms of plot as it’s principally about the characters interacting and as some of them are so unlikeable it’s hard to care very much about them. The storyline is pretty much the same throughout so it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the interest going. The bottom line is that not a lot happens apart from some student jinx until the end where things do go pear shaped. It feels very YA to me which I guess is inevitable when the focus is on students. 

Overall, it’s a mixed bag read for me. 

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Bloomsbury for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.
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Having really enjoyed ‘Such a Fun Age’ I was excited to read Kiley Reid’s new novel. Whilst I persevered to the end I’m sorry to say that the story was nowhere near as engaging as her previous work. I kept wondering in fact when the story would actually get going. I didn’t particularly like the characters, especially Agatha who really abused her position and felt that this aspect should have been explored further. I also the didn’t find the writing to be as good this time.
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Kiley Reid’s second novel takes us onto a university campus to explore the nuances of money, class and race as experienced through the lives of a group of students and a visiting professor. She looks especially at money and how it unites and/or separates people.The story is small in scale but reflects back on to a wider context. Full of closely observed moments, miscommunications, friendships and loneliness, this is a thought provoking and entertaining read.
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A mixed one for me. I enjoyed this book without really knowing what I was reading. It was well- written with great dialogue, but none of the characters really gelled with me (and I think the idea of an ‘RA’ is quite American - I’m based in the UK, so the role didn’t exactly translate). I might have preferred the book from just one perspective, as perhaps I just wanted to know each character a little deeper….Perhaps I need to read Reid’s debut to appreciate this more.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for this arc.
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When Agatha starts interviewing three undergraduate students about their opinions on weddings, as research for a new book, she quickly realises that a) she isn't interested enough in weddings to make them the focus of her next book, and b) there is a much more interesting project in the way these women are talking about money. But as Agatha becomes more involved in the lives of these three students, through their resident assistant (a sort of live-in student helper) Millie, she finds herself mixing her personal life with her professional, and making some questionable decisions in pursuit of her work and her own happiness.

The plot of Come and Get It is a little difficult to describe, but I think it is fair to call it a campus novel, set in 2017 at the University of Arkansas. The book alternates its focus between Agatha, Millie, and a student in Millie's halls of residence, Kennedy, and we find out about each of these women through flashbacks, as well as through following their day-to-day lives. I enjoy books set in universities and university towns, and we get a good mix of perspectives here, with Agatha who is a professor, Millie who is an older student and a resident assistant (RA), and several younger students including Kennedy and the three women whom Agatha interviews. I particularly liked the way Kiley Reid writes about that period between childhood and adulthood, which she does in several fresh and interesting ways.

I found Come and Get It a compulsive read, with each character's storyline appealing to me equally. I liked the way Reid toggles several different perspectives, not just in terms of age and authority, but also race, wealth, sexuality, and personality, making us see the story, and the characters, from different angles. Fans of Such a Fun Age won't be surprised at how well Reid writes about racial microaggressions in Come and Get It - one of several ways the plot and characterisation felt realistic and relevant. This one wasn't quite a five-star read for me, partly because I found the plot a little weak, although no less engaging or readable as a result. I also found a few aspects of the story a little unrealistic, although never in a way that impacted my enjoyment of the book. This is the second book by Kiley Reid that I've really enjoyed, and I look forward to seeing what she writes next.
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With her debut novel, Kiley Reid set our expectations high, and while her second novel features some of the same themes in terms of race and class (and this time around, also sexuality), it is best read without reference to her previous work.

This story, such as it is - because it feels more like watching a fly on the wall documentary or reality TV show about life as an RA - deals with two MCs. One is a  visiting professor, and the other an (you guessed it) RA. There is an extensive cast of academics, students and RAs, with detailed back stories being provided with respect to each one of them.

Not that much happens in terms of plot, to be honest, so this novel is best enjoyed by those who like slightly slow paced and heavily character-driven narratives.

It does provide an interesting insight into the lives of RAs, so for anyone who has performed this role at an institution of higher learning, or is interested in knowing more about the behind-the-scenes activities at universities when it comes to juggling lie monitoring, managing and mollycoddling of students, that will be an added draw. 

Overall, this book was not quite what I expected from Reid's second novel - and I am probably not alone in thinking thus - but it was not without its charms.
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As a huge fan of SUCH A FUN AGE, I was delighted to see Kiley Reid had a new book coming. The blurb sounded promising and I expected more of her incredible voice. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t quite live up to the debut.

There’s plenty to like. Detailed characters, interesting undercurrents, some complex issues. The problem was it’s such a slow burn that at certain points, it bordered on dull. On more than a few occasions I thought about picking it up to carry on and just couldn’t bear the tedium, especially around the midpoint of the novel.

The ending is good, but some of the events are far-fetched (*spoiler ahead*) for example, would a pizza cutter dropped in a struggle really cut so sharp and so deep in exactly the right spot that everyone thinks you tried to take your own life? Unlikely. Especially in student accommodation where it would be so blunt it would barely slice pizza.

I want to rate this higher, but it just didn’t hit the mark for me.
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I’m really struggling to figure out my thoughts on this one. A bit too long, more characters than were really needed, quite a lot of meandering, some fairly redundant side plots, but some moments of merit that gave me pause and compelled me to keep going.
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Having really enjoyed ‘Such a Fun Age’ I was delighted to be given a copy of Kiley Read’s second novel, ‘Come and Get It’.  Whilst she, once more, demonstrates a real understanding of messy relationships and female dynamics, this novel didn’t grab my attention with the force of her first.
Why not?  The moral dilemma that Agatha Paul, a visiting professor at the university at which the central character, Millie, is a student and residential assistant, is not really a dilemma at all.  What she is doing is unethical.  End of.  She makes poor decisions about her relationships and her career path as soon as she arrives at the university of Arkansas.  Added to this, very little happens.  I often enjoy novels where this is the case but, to my mind, any complicated emotional or psychological content was not explored in enough depth to overcome the lack of plot.
Reid is excellent at describing everyday details through which she builds authentic characters.  When Agatha’s relationship with her partner, Robin, is disintegrating, the author encapsulates the mood by observing that, ‘…when arguments combined Agatha’s sundry knowledge with Robin’s precarious funds, it was if they had no end.  Those disagreements lingered.  They moped and plodded around the house.’  In essence, every one of Reid’s many characters is interesting, or potentially interesting.  However, it might have been better to have focused on fewer in more detail.  For example, I was intrigued by the portrayal of misunderstood Kennedy and her mother, Nichelle.  I would have loved to have understood more about the latter in particular.
Not a bad read but not nearly as memorable or thought-provoking as ‘Such a Fun Age’.
My thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
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Come and Get It by Kiley Reid.

Onto the 2024 book releases! Kiley Reid's second novel was one I was very much looking forward to reading. Her debut, Such A  Fun Age was a great read and enjoyed international success and was long listed for the Booker in 2020.

Come and Get it is set in 2017 at the University of Arkansas and is a character driven novel about a number of women. Millie, a resident assistant in her final year, three of the students who live on the floor of the student accommodation she is responsible for and Agnes a visiting professor.  These characters are well written and meticulously developed as their lives intertwine and it was easy to get invested in their lives but about a third of the way through I realised that's all that was happening.
There is little to no plot. Reid glances  off themes of ambition, money, race and class and they’re there throughout the novel but in a frustratingly I wanted to know more kind of way. While the interactions between the characters was entertaining and engaging and quite funny at times, it  just wasn't enough to carry the entire book.

I didn't dislike anything in particular but a novel requires a plot to bring it all together and there isn't one here. The elements of the book about money were the most interesting and I would have loved it if Reid had examined this in more detail. I did like the ending and overall, I liked the characters and the writing but it felt a bit like you have all the perfect ingredients for a delicious meal , you follow the recipe but then it doesn’t taste as good as expected.

Three stars. I
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