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Book Review: Queenie by: Candice Carty-Williams

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. John's chapter.

*Trigger warnings for this book include: sexual violence, mental health, miscarriage, childhood trauma, graphic sex and race.*

During this past Winter break, I proudly became a reader. While on break, I scoured the internet and I felt like I had watched everything there was to see. I was so bored that I decided to give reading a try. 

I mainly did it for the aesthetic, but I ended up thoroughly enjoying the books I read. One of my all time favorites is titled, Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams. 

This book honestly tore me up inside and made me extremely sad while reading (the ending makes you feel a bit better though). The writing is absolutely beautiful and gut-wrenching. While reading you feel as if you are going through the same emotions as Queenie.

Queenie is a 25 year-old British-Jamaican journalist who has just gone on a “break” with her white boyfriend. Now, it’s important that I include their races because that is a huge theme throughout the book.

Interracial relationships come with a lot of hardships and obstacles. Her ex-boyfriend, Tom’s, family would make racist comments, and would even go as far as to use the n-word. Queenie was expected to overlook this and many other microaggressive comments because Tom was the one who she was with, not his family.

Following the “break”, it seems as if Queenie’s life starts to spiral. The “break” brings all these other issues into her life, and the book follows her journey to try and discover herself. 

Another central theme of this book is mental health. After Queenie’s breakup, she goes through an abundance of problems that would cause anyone’s mental health to decline heavily. Some things she encounters are fetishziation, almost losing her job, her mental health being belittled, and more. 

In Black culture (in this case, Caribbean culture), mental health is not prioritized. This is a constant struggle Queenie deals with. Things are constantly being thrown at her and she has no clue how to deal with them. 

Queenie goes through this constant battle with wanting to get help, and not wanting to get help because that is seen as “weak” in her culture. As a person who comes from a Caribbean family, this is a struggle that I understand all too well.

This book is definitely an emotional rollercoaster. Even though this book may leave you with streaks of mascara running down your face, it’s still a must-read. Please read the trigger warnings for this book before you dive in. Happy reading!

*Trigger warnings for this book include: sexual violence, mental health, miscarriage, childhood trauma, graphic sex and race.*

Amaiya Sancho

St. John's '25

Hi! My name is Amaiya Sancho, I'm from Columbia, Maryland, and I am the Vice President/Editor-in-Chief for Her Campus St. John’s. I am a Communications major, with three minors in Social Justice, Italian, and International Studies. Writing has always been a passion of mine, so I'm more than excited to be a part of HerCampus at St. John's!