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Come and Get It

Author Kiley Reid On Tour
Read by Nicole Lewis
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
National Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller

A Good Morning America Book Club Pick

An Indie Next Pick
A LibraryReads Pick

From the celebrated New York Times bestselling author of Such a Fun Age comes a fresh and provocative story about a residential assistant and her messy entanglement with a professor and three unruly students.


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 jeopardized by odd new friends, vengeful dorm pranks, and illicit intrigue.

A fresh and intimate portrait of desire, consumption, and reckless abandon, Come and Get It is a tension-filled story about money, indiscretion, and bad behavior—and the highly anticipated new novel by acclaimed and award-winning author Kiley Reid.
1.
 
Agatha Paul stood in front of Belgrade Dormitory at six fifty-nine p.m. One block down was an ice cream store with outside seating and young women holding paper cups. An Airstream trailer with a colorful pennant banner was selling tacos across the street. Two students with large backpacks walked past her toward the dormitory entrance. One said, "No, I've actually had oatmeal every day this week." The other opened the door with a key fob and said, "See, I need to start doing that, too."
 
A moment later, through a partially frosted glass door, Agatha saw brown Birkenstocks hustling across a tile floor. She didn't know what Millie looked like, but she immediately assumed that these shoes belonged to her.
 
"Hi, Agatha?" she said. She opened the door with an outstretched hand. On her chest was a lanyard weighted with keys, an ID case, and hand sanitizer.
 
"Yes. Millie? Hi." Agatha shook her hand. "Thanks for setting this up."
 
"No worries. Come on in."
 
Agatha stepped into the dorm. The paneled ceiling lights in the lobby were the kind that made her skin look transparent and baby pink. There was a front desk behind a glass window. An overloaded bulletin board: kickball sign-up, dining hall menus, and flyers for movie nights (Beetlejuice, Pitch Perfect 2). The dorm smelled both dirty and artificially clean. There was a faint Febreze scent and something candied in the air. It smelled like perfume purchased from a clothing store, like Victoria's Secret or the Gap.
 
Millie waved to a Black woman sitting behind the sliding glass. "Can I get the sign-in sheet, please?" she asked. The woman swiveled in her seat and said, "Yes, you can." Agatha signed her name beneath a few others: David. Hailey. Aria. Chase. She hadn't seen this many Black people (Millie and this security guard) in the same room since she arrived in Fayetteville. Millie walked to the elevators and pressed a button, but then she turned around. "Our elevator is super slow," she said. "Are you okay with stairs?"
 
Millie wore black cotton shorts and an oversized red polo with University of Arkansas Residence Life embroidered in white. She had rosy brown skin, a pear-shaped form, and an expanse of dark wavy hair in a lopsided bun at the front of her skull. Millie was cute with bright eyes and large, lightly freckled cheeks. From the neck down, she looked like an adult poking fun at campus life, someone dressing like an RA for Halloween. In one arm she held a clipboard and pen. A dated cell phone was behind her waistband at her hip. In a two-finger hold was the plastic loop on a wide-mouth Nalgene bottle. It was covered in overlapping stickers; one said Save the Buffalo River . . . Again! As Agatha followed her up three flights of stairs, she decided that Millie was probably twenty-two years old. She was the type of student that college student service centers swept up for pictures and profiles. Students paid parsimoniously to give brief campus tours.
 
Millie bent to use the fob on her lanyard to open the stairwell door. She looked back and asked, "So you just moved here for the school year?"
 
"I did," Agatha said. "Are you from Arkansas?"
 
"No, I'm from Joplin. But I used to camp here when I was little."
 
"Did you go to Devil's Den?"
 
"Yeah. Many times."
 
"It's lovely over there."
 
Millie dipped her chin. "You've been camping already? That's impressive."
 
"No no, long time ago. But I should go again."
 
Agatha followed her down a long, bright hallway past several doorways that had pool-themed cutouts taped above the peepholes. Written in Sharpie on paper sunglasses and palm trees were names like Sophia, Molly, and Jade. Agatha had lived in a residence hall for her freshman year at Amherst, but then she moved into one of the Amherst Houses, which felt more like a boardinghouse than it did a residence hall. Evidently, aside from her own age and the trend in baby names, everything else had stayed and smelled the same.
 
"Is this okay?" Millie led Agatha into a tiny room with white walls and a speckled tile floor. Near the door, a tall stool held a landline phone. There was a tilt-and-turn window at the far end, and in the center was a circular table and five chairs. Agatha was certain that whatever website boasted Belgrade Dormitory, and probably Millie herself, referred to this room as something like the Resident Lounge or Media Center. "This is perfect," she said, and she meant it. There was a gentle tug of wholesomeness, and she liked the lack of pretension. Millie removed a Post-it from the wall. Reserved from 8-8:45. Xo Millie.
 
"You're welcome to sit in," Agatha said, "if weddings are a thing you're into."
 
"Oh, no. I can't," Millie said. She swiped at the table, pushed crumbs down onto the floor. "I have to do rounds in a minute. Oh wow, that's so nice of you."
 
She was referring to the items Agatha removed from her bag. A six-pack of lemon La Croix. A cutting board and knife in a gallon Ziploc bag. Two blocks of Manchego cheese. Raw almonds. A red apple and a flecked orange.
 
"Yeah? You think this will be okay?"
 
"Oh, for sure. They like anything free. I'm gonna grab them unless you need a minute."
 
Agatha pushed a chair toward the window. "No, that's fine. I'm ready now."
 
Millie left the room, but very quickly, she was back. The crumpled reservation Post-it was still in her hand. "Do you mind what they call you?"
 
Agatha leaned forward on her arms.
 
"Do you prefer Miss Agatha? Or-sorry. Professor?"
 
"Oh. No no," she laughed. "Agatha is just fine."
 
Agatha's first real writing assignment had been a campsite review, when, at twenty-five years old, she drove a rental car to six different states. In Georgia, she started a fire without matches. In Louisiana she was bitten by a dog on her lower thigh (she gave herself two temporary stitches to hold the wound closed). And here, in the Ozarks, she started writing her first book. She spent two nights each in Devil's Den, Tyler Bend, and Mount Magazine State Park. Perhaps it was silly to feel a connection toward a state she'd spent only six nights in, where she'd talked to less than four people, but this appreciation, however dormant it had been for thirteen years, was considerable enough to make her submit a recent change of address.
 
Fayetteville, Arkansas, had a screen saver, campus visit, Scholastic Book Fair beauty to it. There was a thirty-six-mile bike trail called the Frisco Trailway that crossed a stream not too far from Agatha's home. It was spotted with overly courteous biking couples ("On your right, ma'am. Thanks so much."). Every Saturday morning in the town square was quite possibly the cutest farmers market Agatha had ever seen. She walked with a weekend pace, drank iced coffee, and bought eggs the color of wet sand. One Saturday, she spotted a little bakery that said Stop in for a bloody on a chalkboard outside. The young man behind the counter said, "Would you like a to-go cup?" Agatha smiled under her sunglasses. "Yes. That would be great."
 
She lived rent-free in a two-story, three-bedroom house that belonged to a professor on sabbatical. The house sat on a grassy hill at Wilson Park: a large block of green with a basketball court, tennis courts, two playgrounds, and a winding walking path. The park, and Fayetteville in general, was teeming with hills and trees. In many of the latter were thick webs stitched into the branches with Gothic little worms that writhed in the shade. Agatha's street was filled with enchanting homes and people much like her: academics, liberal-seeming couples, families affiliated with the university. Two blocks behind her home was sorority row. Brassy-looking houses with porches, columns, and stairs, all created with group photos in mind. There were often cars parked along her street with bumper stickers of Greek letters in white. Inside, through the windows, Agatha saw Target bags and paisley duffels. Tangled leggings in back seats. Diet Dr Pepper cans.
 
Agatha's previous trip to Arkansas came with the realization that she was very good at being alone. But this time, after three years in a relationship-now broken up in practice yet still married on paper-the act of experiencing a new place, however bucolic and convenient, was mostly grim and sobering. Agatha poured the almonds into a small glass bowl and laid two wedding magazines on the table. She sliced the orange into eight slivers. She took one of the La Croixs, wished it was colder, and popped it open. Being alone in a new college town was kind of like watching the local news in a hotel room. With someone else it could be amusing and fun. By yourself, it was a little depressing.
 
Millie returned to the room with three young women behind her. "So this is Agatha," she said.
 
Agatha stood. "Hi. Thanks for coming."
 
The shortest one wore sneakers and looked to be coming or going to the gym. "Oh," she said of the cutting board. "I love that. How cute is this."
 
Agatha guessed they were around twenty years old. Each young woman had a thin layer of matte-finish makeup, cotton shorts like Millie's, and long, straight hair that didn't look necessarily straightened. The most compelling correlation was the fact that each of them wore an oversized T-shirt, the colors of which were faded but deep: a butter yellow, lacinato kale blue. Seeing them, Agatha was reminded of what the dog owner had yelled back in Louisiana, just before she was bitten. Hi! she'd said, cupping a hand to her mouth. Don't worry. They're friendly.
 
"Hah there," the blond one said. "So nice to meet you. Ah'm Casey."
 
There weren't many on faculty or in her classes, but accents this strong could still derail her train of thought. Agatha fought that innate instinct to mimic the songlike sounds. "Hi, Casey," she said flatly. "Nice to meet you, too."
 
"Hi, I'm Jenna," the tall one said. Jenna did not have a discernible southern accent, but she did have a dark and even tan that looked deliberate. Her hair was dark brown with light sweeps of chestnut highlight. Agatha said hello, thinking, Jenna, tall, tan. Casey, blond, accent.
 
"I'm Tyler," the last one said. "Ohmygod, I love cheese like this." She took up a piece that was impressive and big. Tyler wore a muted-blue baseball cap with a thick brown braid hanging out the back. Beneath her heather teal T-shirt she wore black biking shorts that ended a few inches above her knees. Tyler was the type of person Agatha could picture holding her phone for the entire duration of a painfully slow, high-resistance elliptical ride. There was a familiar, greedy, adolescent edge about her. It implied that she was accustomed to getting her way. Perhaps she was wrong, but pressed for time, Agatha categorized the residents like this: Jenna: tall. Casey: southern. Tyler: mean.
 
"So I'll be doing rounds," Millie said. "But text me if you need anything."
 
"Thanks so much, Millie. Ladies, are you ready?"
 
The three young women pulled out chairs and took a seat. Agatha pushed her hair behind her ears.
 
"So I'm sure Millie told you the basics, but I'm Agatha Paul. I'm a visiting professor this year and I'm teaching nonfiction as well as culture and media studies in the graduate nonfiction program. I'm also doing some research on weddings and I'm really excited to ask you a bunch of questions."
 
Jenna placed an apple slice in her mouth. "Is this like, for your own wedding?"
 
Agatha looked up and saw that her question was in earnest. "No no. My first book centered around funerals and grief. The second was about birthday celebrations. And this one will be about weddings. All of them focus on money and culture and traditions. And you're all big wedding fans, yes?"
 
Jenna nodded. "That's like, all we do."
 
"What's that?"
 
"We just like . . ." Casey laughed a bit. "We watch a lot of the highlight videos. Or we send each other things we find on Instagram or whatever."
 
"Okay, great. But let's back up. I want to make sure we start properly."
 
Agatha took out her phone, switched the setting to airplane mode, and then began to record. Next, she retrieved her small, black tape recorder, pressed the recording buttons, and placed the device between the cutting board and the young women. "As I said in the email, your names and your likenesses won't appear anywhere in the book. So speak freely and honestly. There are no right answers."
 
Casey folded her arms on the table and said, "Why did Ah just get nervous?"
 
"I know, me too," Tyler said.
 
"There's no need to be nervous, I promise."
 
"Actually?" Jenna stood up. "Can I grab my sweatshirt? My room is like . . . right there."
 
"Oh, of course."
 
Jenna left and silence took the room. This moment was familiar: the sudden dread that it would be a struggle to pass the next forty-five minutes, let alone with something inspiring. But after hundreds of interviews in the last ten years, Agatha's brief apprehension was eclipsed with the firsthand knowledge that, for the most part, people liked talking about themselves.
 
Casey pointed at a La Croix. "Do you mind if Ah take one?"
 
Agatha said, "No, please. Help yourself."
 
Casey opened the can with both hands. "May Ah ask what type of stone that is?"
 
Agatha looked down at her ring. "Oh, sure. It's called a sunstone." She thought twice about it, then slipped the ring off her finger. She reached and handed it to Casey.
 
Casey held the ring up to her line of sight. "A sunstone," she said. "That's so neat."
 
Tyler leaned into Casey. "I love that. It kind of matches your hair."
 
"Huh," Agatha said. "You're right. I guess it does."
 
Casey carefully handed the ring back. "It's real pretty," she said.
 
Agatha said, "Thank you," and slipped it back onto her hand. When she looked back up, she found that Tyler's brown eyes had centered on Agatha's neck and chest.
 
"So this is a weird thing to say?" Tyler said. "But you dress how I want to dress when I'm older."
 
Agatha wished she could fight the impulse, but her face pouted at Tyler's words. She looked down at her outfit with a "This old thing?" expression. Light blue chino pants. A white boatneck top. Gold bar necklace. A chambray vest that went past her knees.
 
Agatha leaned forward and pulled up on the waistband of her pants. "That's very nice, Tyler. Thank you."
 
"Mm-hmm," Casey agreed. "Ah see what you mean. Mah goal is to have really solid pieces that all kind of go together."
 
A Best Book of the Year:
Vogue • Elle • Betches

A Most Anticipated Book of the Year:
TIME • Good Housekeeping • Stylecaster BookPage LitHub • NYLON • Nerd Daily • Entertainment Weekly • Oprah Daily • Orange County Register • The Root • BookBub • Town & Country Shondaland • The Week • The Messenger • Electric Lit • The Mary Sue • Scary Mommy

One of Southern Review of Books’ Best Southern Books of January
One of Town and Country’s Best Books of January
One of BookBub’s Best Winter Books

One of Woman’s World’s Best Books Club Books
One of Essence Magazine’s Must-Reads Books
One of New York Post’s Best New Books
A People Magazine Book of the Week
A New Yorker Best Book of the Week

"With only a handful of chapters, numerous characters feel fleshed-out and well-rounded. The story gets its hooks in with such subtlety, the reader doesn’t realize how far she’s been pulled in until Come & Get It is well under the skin, the characters staying for days." —BUST Magazine

"Reid’s skillful storytelling and vibrant characters are sure to give you a great time." —BookRiot

"Reid really shines. The dialogue and personalities she created for each dorm resident, each classmate and each parent are so complete, it's like tuning into a juicy reality show already in progress. . . . Consumerism, race, desire, grief and growth are key themes in Reid's novel, but connection might be the thread through them all." —USA Today
 
"Amuses and captivates from the first page. . . . Reid crafts a witty and moving vignette of college life, the challenges it poses, and the women who endure them. . . . A clever, accurate portrayal of the immaturity and growth of young adulthood." —The Harvard Crimson

"Reid’s novels are interested in recognizing the pervasiveness of this economic approach to life, exploring its consequences, and trying to think past it. . . . Another opportunity to think about important social issues from a welcome new angle." —Chicago Review of Books
 
"Reid creates a story with real weight. Her ear for dialogue [is] finely tuned. It feels like you’re reading great gossip, but the characters come across as genuine, with real problems. Come and Get It is a fun, propulsive read that puts readers in a world most of them will have long since graduated from, but which provides an ideal window to explore deeper themes — from relationships to class and privilege to racism." —Associated Press

"The story unfurls like a magic trick, its breeziness disguising an incisive and damning exploration of economics and ethics in America. . . . Reid is a social observer of the highest order, knowing exactly when a small detail or beat of dialogue will resonate beyond the confines of the scene. . . . It’s a testament to Reid’s gifts that . . . she never judges her characters. Her world, like the real one, is populated by people whose shortsightedness lives alongside good intentions. . . . With her perceptive eye and ear, Reid imbues her novel with the stuff, literally and figuratively, of life. . . . Her characters feel unique, often lovable — and always human. Money drives them in the way it drives us all, and that’s the beauty (and the terror) of Reid’s point. With her remarkable examination of American monoculture — from fast food to pop culture to handed-down ideals — she tells a story about economics that’s neither poverty porn nor finance fantasy. Instead, it’s about the hows and whys of everyday consumerism and the insidious toll it takes on our lives. . . . As I read Come and Get It, I found myself thinking of certain writers who have, over the years, elected themselves as ‘capital C’ Chroniclers of contemporary America. With this book, Reid demonstrates that she deserves a place in the running." —The New York Times Book Review

"Reid nails the anxiety about the future (and the present) for some students and the unperturbed overconfidence for others, depending largely on who has needed to develop defenses and who has not. That, of course, means taking into account the contexts of race and class and sexuality, as well as social skills and trauma history. She nails the heightened interpersonal conflicts that grow in cramped shared rooms like mildew on the walls. She burrows deeply into one young woman's pain and the lessons she learns about what it means to have other people invited into that pain to be spectators." —NPR

"A thrilling, delectable look at wealth, privilege, and desire." —People Magazine

"Clever . . . Beginning with an interview of these young women could easily have felt like the laziest kind of exposition, but in Reid’s hands it serves as a brilliant demonstration of her own approach as a novelist: Listen. . . . The key is Reid’s exquisitely calibrated tone . . . She’s so good at capturing both the syrupy support and catty criticism these young women swap, and yet she also demonstrates a profound understanding of their fears and anxieties. Not to mention she gathers accents and verbal quirks like she’s picking delicate fruit. . . . You’re in the presence of a master plotter who’s engineering a spectacular intersection of class, racism, academic politics and journalistic ethics. Reid spots all the grains of irritation and deceit that get caught in the machinery of social life until the whole contraption suddenly lurches to a calamitous halt. Come and get it, indeed!" —The Washington Post

"Masterfully captures the quiet misalignments that stem from a varying sense of what’s at stake. . . . [A] novel of manners that acutely captures the modern moment." —Vogue

"Juicy—naturally—but poignant, this highly anticipated return from the Such a Fun Age author is sure to get tongues wagging." —Elle

"Reid employs her signature sharp eye and sardonic wit to spear academia in Come and Get It, a biting comedy of manners.” —Entertainment Weekly

"Such A Fun Age still occupies space in my brain for its incisive brilliance. Reid’s highly-anticipated second novel Come and Get It tackles themes of consumption and reckless abandon." —Nylon
 
"Reid makes a strong return with her biting and smart new novel." —Shondaland

"Come and Get It is a page-turning read filled with vengeful pranks and intrigue, but at its heart, it is a fascinating portrait of our obsession with material wealth." —Chicago Review of Books
 
"Clear and artfully expressed . . . [Reid] is very good at sketching a scene." —The Wall Street Journal

"This new book promises all the same ability at depth and poignancy through a fun, plotty story... It’s a perfect recipe for a great January read: in a college setting, about discretion and desire, about money, want, and, most importantly, it’s by Kiley Reid." —LitHub

"Kiley Reid is a great writer. Full stop. Her observations and point of view make even the most mundane moments, like a few students meeting for a focus group in college, feel reexamined and truly original….[A] captivating read that fans will gobble up.” —GoodMorningAmerica.com

"Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age, returns with another incisive novel everyone will be talking about. . . . A riveting and fascinating tale." —Town & Country

"The story gets its hooks in with such subtlety, the reader doesn’t realize how far she’s been pulled in until Come & Get It is well under the skin, the characters staying for days." —BUST Magazine

"Entertaining gems of insight . . . [A] meaningful cultural analysis and critique of young Black and white women’s financial and consumer lives." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"[An] edgy and fiercely funny social novel . . . A virtuoso of adept observation, Reid once again delivers fiction with a sharp eye for social commentary, all while efficaciously mesmerizing the reader with her sublime sardonic wit from beginning to end." —Stylecaster

"[A] wild romp . . . offering up a comically horrifying climax." —Ebony Magazine

"A sharp, fascinating story . . . Another sharply written coming-of-age story about a group of women living in and around a college campus and the micro- and macro-aggressions that inform their relationships and conflicts.” —Woman’s World
 
"Stellar commentary on class, astute social observation, and lots of wit." —Scary Mommy

"The vibrant and brilliantly written coming-of-age story about ‘money, indiscretion, and bad behavior.’ . . . A page-turner." —Essence Magazine

"Another incisive novel everyone will be talking about. . . A riveting and fascinating tale." —Town & Country

"A story of indiscretions and gray areas, power dynamics, and privilege that’s wound as tight as a violin string." —Good Housekeeping

"Beautifully told through the eyes of multiple characters, this intimate and revealing story from the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Such a Fun Age is not to be missed." —BookBub

"[A] sharp, edgy social novel. . . Reid has the very same obsessions she gives her character Agatha, and the guilty pleasure of the book is the way she nails the characters’ speech styles, Southern accents, and behavior and her unerring choice of products and other accoutrements to surround them with. . . . Reid is a genius of mimicry and social observation.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Reid returns after her smash hit Such a Fun Age with a sardonic and no-holds-barred comedy of manners….Reid is a keen observer­—every page sparkles with sharp analysis of her characters. This blistering send-up of academia is interlaced with piercing moral clarity." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A deft exploration of how microaggressions can lead to macro consequences, Reid's second outing will appeal to readers who enjoy slow-burn, character-driven novels. . . . Reid has a ready and eager audience for her second novel, and the word is out." —Booklist

"Reid offers an illuminating study of power, responsibility, and the bad choices we sometimes make, written in the fresh, bright language for which she’s known. . . . What’s most remarkable here is the grace and understanding the author shows her characters. . . . An emotionally intense exploration of power dynamics within relationships that doesn’t settle for easy villains and victims." —Library Journal

"Kiley Reid is an expert at teasing apart the messy, complicated, nuanced layers of social dynamics, and has a rare gift for making the unknown feel intimately familiar and the familiar feel brand-new. In Come and Get It, she's crafted a story that moves with the momentum and inevitability of a snowball rolling down a mountain. I couldn't put it down, and I didn't want to either." —Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Happy Place

"Reading a Kiley Reid novel is like watching a docuseries designed exactly for you. She captures those exceedingly awkward and real human interactions with such precision and specificity that you’re fully invested by the first page. Come and Get It is genius. It’s perfect." —Liz Moore, author of Long Bright River

"Wonderfully immersive, propulsive, and beautifully paced. On page one, there is a story that is already happening, and you’re plunged right into the novel’s world, already up and running, full of real people, and complicated—that is, substantive—as all hell. Just great.” —Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of This Other Eden and Tinkers

"Come and Get It is an engrossing novel full of intimately portrayed characters and the seemingly innocuous choices that lead to life-altering mistakes." Elizabeth Acevedo, author of Family Lore and The Poet X
© David Goddard
Kiley Reid is the author of Such a Fun Age, which was a New York Times bestseller and longlisted for the Booker Prize. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, The Guardian, and others. Reid is currently an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. View titles by Kiley Reid
Discussion Guide for Come and Get It

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About

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
National Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller

A Good Morning America Book Club Pick

An Indie Next Pick
A LibraryReads Pick

From the celebrated New York Times bestselling author of Such a Fun Age comes a fresh and provocative story about a residential assistant and her messy entanglement with a professor and three unruly students.


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 jeopardized by odd new friends, vengeful dorm pranks, and illicit intrigue.

A fresh and intimate portrait of desire, consumption, and reckless abandon, Come and Get It is a tension-filled story about money, indiscretion, and bad behavior—and the highly anticipated new novel by acclaimed and award-winning author Kiley Reid.

Excerpt

1.
 
Agatha Paul stood in front of Belgrade Dormitory at six fifty-nine p.m. One block down was an ice cream store with outside seating and young women holding paper cups. An Airstream trailer with a colorful pennant banner was selling tacos across the street. Two students with large backpacks walked past her toward the dormitory entrance. One said, "No, I've actually had oatmeal every day this week." The other opened the door with a key fob and said, "See, I need to start doing that, too."
 
A moment later, through a partially frosted glass door, Agatha saw brown Birkenstocks hustling across a tile floor. She didn't know what Millie looked like, but she immediately assumed that these shoes belonged to her.
 
"Hi, Agatha?" she said. She opened the door with an outstretched hand. On her chest was a lanyard weighted with keys, an ID case, and hand sanitizer.
 
"Yes. Millie? Hi." Agatha shook her hand. "Thanks for setting this up."
 
"No worries. Come on in."
 
Agatha stepped into the dorm. The paneled ceiling lights in the lobby were the kind that made her skin look transparent and baby pink. There was a front desk behind a glass window. An overloaded bulletin board: kickball sign-up, dining hall menus, and flyers for movie nights (Beetlejuice, Pitch Perfect 2). The dorm smelled both dirty and artificially clean. There was a faint Febreze scent and something candied in the air. It smelled like perfume purchased from a clothing store, like Victoria's Secret or the Gap.
 
Millie waved to a Black woman sitting behind the sliding glass. "Can I get the sign-in sheet, please?" she asked. The woman swiveled in her seat and said, "Yes, you can." Agatha signed her name beneath a few others: David. Hailey. Aria. Chase. She hadn't seen this many Black people (Millie and this security guard) in the same room since she arrived in Fayetteville. Millie walked to the elevators and pressed a button, but then she turned around. "Our elevator is super slow," she said. "Are you okay with stairs?"
 
Millie wore black cotton shorts and an oversized red polo with University of Arkansas Residence Life embroidered in white. She had rosy brown skin, a pear-shaped form, and an expanse of dark wavy hair in a lopsided bun at the front of her skull. Millie was cute with bright eyes and large, lightly freckled cheeks. From the neck down, she looked like an adult poking fun at campus life, someone dressing like an RA for Halloween. In one arm she held a clipboard and pen. A dated cell phone was behind her waistband at her hip. In a two-finger hold was the plastic loop on a wide-mouth Nalgene bottle. It was covered in overlapping stickers; one said Save the Buffalo River . . . Again! As Agatha followed her up three flights of stairs, she decided that Millie was probably twenty-two years old. She was the type of student that college student service centers swept up for pictures and profiles. Students paid parsimoniously to give brief campus tours.
 
Millie bent to use the fob on her lanyard to open the stairwell door. She looked back and asked, "So you just moved here for the school year?"
 
"I did," Agatha said. "Are you from Arkansas?"
 
"No, I'm from Joplin. But I used to camp here when I was little."
 
"Did you go to Devil's Den?"
 
"Yeah. Many times."
 
"It's lovely over there."
 
Millie dipped her chin. "You've been camping already? That's impressive."
 
"No no, long time ago. But I should go again."
 
Agatha followed her down a long, bright hallway past several doorways that had pool-themed cutouts taped above the peepholes. Written in Sharpie on paper sunglasses and palm trees were names like Sophia, Molly, and Jade. Agatha had lived in a residence hall for her freshman year at Amherst, but then she moved into one of the Amherst Houses, which felt more like a boardinghouse than it did a residence hall. Evidently, aside from her own age and the trend in baby names, everything else had stayed and smelled the same.
 
"Is this okay?" Millie led Agatha into a tiny room with white walls and a speckled tile floor. Near the door, a tall stool held a landline phone. There was a tilt-and-turn window at the far end, and in the center was a circular table and five chairs. Agatha was certain that whatever website boasted Belgrade Dormitory, and probably Millie herself, referred to this room as something like the Resident Lounge or Media Center. "This is perfect," she said, and she meant it. There was a gentle tug of wholesomeness, and she liked the lack of pretension. Millie removed a Post-it from the wall. Reserved from 8-8:45. Xo Millie.
 
"You're welcome to sit in," Agatha said, "if weddings are a thing you're into."
 
"Oh, no. I can't," Millie said. She swiped at the table, pushed crumbs down onto the floor. "I have to do rounds in a minute. Oh wow, that's so nice of you."
 
She was referring to the items Agatha removed from her bag. A six-pack of lemon La Croix. A cutting board and knife in a gallon Ziploc bag. Two blocks of Manchego cheese. Raw almonds. A red apple and a flecked orange.
 
"Yeah? You think this will be okay?"
 
"Oh, for sure. They like anything free. I'm gonna grab them unless you need a minute."
 
Agatha pushed a chair toward the window. "No, that's fine. I'm ready now."
 
Millie left the room, but very quickly, she was back. The crumpled reservation Post-it was still in her hand. "Do you mind what they call you?"
 
Agatha leaned forward on her arms.
 
"Do you prefer Miss Agatha? Or-sorry. Professor?"
 
"Oh. No no," she laughed. "Agatha is just fine."
 
Agatha's first real writing assignment had been a campsite review, when, at twenty-five years old, she drove a rental car to six different states. In Georgia, she started a fire without matches. In Louisiana she was bitten by a dog on her lower thigh (she gave herself two temporary stitches to hold the wound closed). And here, in the Ozarks, she started writing her first book. She spent two nights each in Devil's Den, Tyler Bend, and Mount Magazine State Park. Perhaps it was silly to feel a connection toward a state she'd spent only six nights in, where she'd talked to less than four people, but this appreciation, however dormant it had been for thirteen years, was considerable enough to make her submit a recent change of address.
 
Fayetteville, Arkansas, had a screen saver, campus visit, Scholastic Book Fair beauty to it. There was a thirty-six-mile bike trail called the Frisco Trailway that crossed a stream not too far from Agatha's home. It was spotted with overly courteous biking couples ("On your right, ma'am. Thanks so much."). Every Saturday morning in the town square was quite possibly the cutest farmers market Agatha had ever seen. She walked with a weekend pace, drank iced coffee, and bought eggs the color of wet sand. One Saturday, she spotted a little bakery that said Stop in for a bloody on a chalkboard outside. The young man behind the counter said, "Would you like a to-go cup?" Agatha smiled under her sunglasses. "Yes. That would be great."
 
She lived rent-free in a two-story, three-bedroom house that belonged to a professor on sabbatical. The house sat on a grassy hill at Wilson Park: a large block of green with a basketball court, tennis courts, two playgrounds, and a winding walking path. The park, and Fayetteville in general, was teeming with hills and trees. In many of the latter were thick webs stitched into the branches with Gothic little worms that writhed in the shade. Agatha's street was filled with enchanting homes and people much like her: academics, liberal-seeming couples, families affiliated with the university. Two blocks behind her home was sorority row. Brassy-looking houses with porches, columns, and stairs, all created with group photos in mind. There were often cars parked along her street with bumper stickers of Greek letters in white. Inside, through the windows, Agatha saw Target bags and paisley duffels. Tangled leggings in back seats. Diet Dr Pepper cans.
 
Agatha's previous trip to Arkansas came with the realization that she was very good at being alone. But this time, after three years in a relationship-now broken up in practice yet still married on paper-the act of experiencing a new place, however bucolic and convenient, was mostly grim and sobering. Agatha poured the almonds into a small glass bowl and laid two wedding magazines on the table. She sliced the orange into eight slivers. She took one of the La Croixs, wished it was colder, and popped it open. Being alone in a new college town was kind of like watching the local news in a hotel room. With someone else it could be amusing and fun. By yourself, it was a little depressing.
 
Millie returned to the room with three young women behind her. "So this is Agatha," she said.
 
Agatha stood. "Hi. Thanks for coming."
 
The shortest one wore sneakers and looked to be coming or going to the gym. "Oh," she said of the cutting board. "I love that. How cute is this."
 
Agatha guessed they were around twenty years old. Each young woman had a thin layer of matte-finish makeup, cotton shorts like Millie's, and long, straight hair that didn't look necessarily straightened. The most compelling correlation was the fact that each of them wore an oversized T-shirt, the colors of which were faded but deep: a butter yellow, lacinato kale blue. Seeing them, Agatha was reminded of what the dog owner had yelled back in Louisiana, just before she was bitten. Hi! she'd said, cupping a hand to her mouth. Don't worry. They're friendly.
 
"Hah there," the blond one said. "So nice to meet you. Ah'm Casey."
 
There weren't many on faculty or in her classes, but accents this strong could still derail her train of thought. Agatha fought that innate instinct to mimic the songlike sounds. "Hi, Casey," she said flatly. "Nice to meet you, too."
 
"Hi, I'm Jenna," the tall one said. Jenna did not have a discernible southern accent, but she did have a dark and even tan that looked deliberate. Her hair was dark brown with light sweeps of chestnut highlight. Agatha said hello, thinking, Jenna, tall, tan. Casey, blond, accent.
 
"I'm Tyler," the last one said. "Ohmygod, I love cheese like this." She took up a piece that was impressive and big. Tyler wore a muted-blue baseball cap with a thick brown braid hanging out the back. Beneath her heather teal T-shirt she wore black biking shorts that ended a few inches above her knees. Tyler was the type of person Agatha could picture holding her phone for the entire duration of a painfully slow, high-resistance elliptical ride. There was a familiar, greedy, adolescent edge about her. It implied that she was accustomed to getting her way. Perhaps she was wrong, but pressed for time, Agatha categorized the residents like this: Jenna: tall. Casey: southern. Tyler: mean.
 
"So I'll be doing rounds," Millie said. "But text me if you need anything."
 
"Thanks so much, Millie. Ladies, are you ready?"
 
The three young women pulled out chairs and took a seat. Agatha pushed her hair behind her ears.
 
"So I'm sure Millie told you the basics, but I'm Agatha Paul. I'm a visiting professor this year and I'm teaching nonfiction as well as culture and media studies in the graduate nonfiction program. I'm also doing some research on weddings and I'm really excited to ask you a bunch of questions."
 
Jenna placed an apple slice in her mouth. "Is this like, for your own wedding?"
 
Agatha looked up and saw that her question was in earnest. "No no. My first book centered around funerals and grief. The second was about birthday celebrations. And this one will be about weddings. All of them focus on money and culture and traditions. And you're all big wedding fans, yes?"
 
Jenna nodded. "That's like, all we do."
 
"What's that?"
 
"We just like . . ." Casey laughed a bit. "We watch a lot of the highlight videos. Or we send each other things we find on Instagram or whatever."
 
"Okay, great. But let's back up. I want to make sure we start properly."
 
Agatha took out her phone, switched the setting to airplane mode, and then began to record. Next, she retrieved her small, black tape recorder, pressed the recording buttons, and placed the device between the cutting board and the young women. "As I said in the email, your names and your likenesses won't appear anywhere in the book. So speak freely and honestly. There are no right answers."
 
Casey folded her arms on the table and said, "Why did Ah just get nervous?"
 
"I know, me too," Tyler said.
 
"There's no need to be nervous, I promise."
 
"Actually?" Jenna stood up. "Can I grab my sweatshirt? My room is like . . . right there."
 
"Oh, of course."
 
Jenna left and silence took the room. This moment was familiar: the sudden dread that it would be a struggle to pass the next forty-five minutes, let alone with something inspiring. But after hundreds of interviews in the last ten years, Agatha's brief apprehension was eclipsed with the firsthand knowledge that, for the most part, people liked talking about themselves.
 
Casey pointed at a La Croix. "Do you mind if Ah take one?"
 
Agatha said, "No, please. Help yourself."
 
Casey opened the can with both hands. "May Ah ask what type of stone that is?"
 
Agatha looked down at her ring. "Oh, sure. It's called a sunstone." She thought twice about it, then slipped the ring off her finger. She reached and handed it to Casey.
 
Casey held the ring up to her line of sight. "A sunstone," she said. "That's so neat."
 
Tyler leaned into Casey. "I love that. It kind of matches your hair."
 
"Huh," Agatha said. "You're right. I guess it does."
 
Casey carefully handed the ring back. "It's real pretty," she said.
 
Agatha said, "Thank you," and slipped it back onto her hand. When she looked back up, she found that Tyler's brown eyes had centered on Agatha's neck and chest.
 
"So this is a weird thing to say?" Tyler said. "But you dress how I want to dress when I'm older."
 
Agatha wished she could fight the impulse, but her face pouted at Tyler's words. She looked down at her outfit with a "This old thing?" expression. Light blue chino pants. A white boatneck top. Gold bar necklace. A chambray vest that went past her knees.
 
Agatha leaned forward and pulled up on the waistband of her pants. "That's very nice, Tyler. Thank you."
 
"Mm-hmm," Casey agreed. "Ah see what you mean. Mah goal is to have really solid pieces that all kind of go together."
 

Reviews

A Best Book of the Year:
Vogue • Elle • Betches

A Most Anticipated Book of the Year:
TIME • Good Housekeeping • Stylecaster BookPage LitHub • NYLON • Nerd Daily • Entertainment Weekly • Oprah Daily • Orange County Register • The Root • BookBub • Town & Country Shondaland • The Week • The Messenger • Electric Lit • The Mary Sue • Scary Mommy

One of Southern Review of Books’ Best Southern Books of January
One of Town and Country’s Best Books of January
One of BookBub’s Best Winter Books

One of Woman’s World’s Best Books Club Books
One of Essence Magazine’s Must-Reads Books
One of New York Post’s Best New Books
A People Magazine Book of the Week
A New Yorker Best Book of the Week

"With only a handful of chapters, numerous characters feel fleshed-out and well-rounded. The story gets its hooks in with such subtlety, the reader doesn’t realize how far she’s been pulled in until Come & Get It is well under the skin, the characters staying for days." —BUST Magazine

"Reid’s skillful storytelling and vibrant characters are sure to give you a great time." —BookRiot

"Reid really shines. The dialogue and personalities she created for each dorm resident, each classmate and each parent are so complete, it's like tuning into a juicy reality show already in progress. . . . Consumerism, race, desire, grief and growth are key themes in Reid's novel, but connection might be the thread through them all." —USA Today
 
"Amuses and captivates from the first page. . . . Reid crafts a witty and moving vignette of college life, the challenges it poses, and the women who endure them. . . . A clever, accurate portrayal of the immaturity and growth of young adulthood." —The Harvard Crimson

"Reid’s novels are interested in recognizing the pervasiveness of this economic approach to life, exploring its consequences, and trying to think past it. . . . Another opportunity to think about important social issues from a welcome new angle." —Chicago Review of Books
 
"Reid creates a story with real weight. Her ear for dialogue [is] finely tuned. It feels like you’re reading great gossip, but the characters come across as genuine, with real problems. Come and Get It is a fun, propulsive read that puts readers in a world most of them will have long since graduated from, but which provides an ideal window to explore deeper themes — from relationships to class and privilege to racism." —Associated Press

"The story unfurls like a magic trick, its breeziness disguising an incisive and damning exploration of economics and ethics in America. . . . Reid is a social observer of the highest order, knowing exactly when a small detail or beat of dialogue will resonate beyond the confines of the scene. . . . It’s a testament to Reid’s gifts that . . . she never judges her characters. Her world, like the real one, is populated by people whose shortsightedness lives alongside good intentions. . . . With her perceptive eye and ear, Reid imbues her novel with the stuff, literally and figuratively, of life. . . . Her characters feel unique, often lovable — and always human. Money drives them in the way it drives us all, and that’s the beauty (and the terror) of Reid’s point. With her remarkable examination of American monoculture — from fast food to pop culture to handed-down ideals — she tells a story about economics that’s neither poverty porn nor finance fantasy. Instead, it’s about the hows and whys of everyday consumerism and the insidious toll it takes on our lives. . . . As I read Come and Get It, I found myself thinking of certain writers who have, over the years, elected themselves as ‘capital C’ Chroniclers of contemporary America. With this book, Reid demonstrates that she deserves a place in the running." —The New York Times Book Review

"Reid nails the anxiety about the future (and the present) for some students and the unperturbed overconfidence for others, depending largely on who has needed to develop defenses and who has not. That, of course, means taking into account the contexts of race and class and sexuality, as well as social skills and trauma history. She nails the heightened interpersonal conflicts that grow in cramped shared rooms like mildew on the walls. She burrows deeply into one young woman's pain and the lessons she learns about what it means to have other people invited into that pain to be spectators." —NPR

"A thrilling, delectable look at wealth, privilege, and desire." —People Magazine

"Clever . . . Beginning with an interview of these young women could easily have felt like the laziest kind of exposition, but in Reid’s hands it serves as a brilliant demonstration of her own approach as a novelist: Listen. . . . The key is Reid’s exquisitely calibrated tone . . . She’s so good at capturing both the syrupy support and catty criticism these young women swap, and yet she also demonstrates a profound understanding of their fears and anxieties. Not to mention she gathers accents and verbal quirks like she’s picking delicate fruit. . . . You’re in the presence of a master plotter who’s engineering a spectacular intersection of class, racism, academic politics and journalistic ethics. Reid spots all the grains of irritation and deceit that get caught in the machinery of social life until the whole contraption suddenly lurches to a calamitous halt. Come and get it, indeed!" —The Washington Post

"Masterfully captures the quiet misalignments that stem from a varying sense of what’s at stake. . . . [A] novel of manners that acutely captures the modern moment." —Vogue

"Juicy—naturally—but poignant, this highly anticipated return from the Such a Fun Age author is sure to get tongues wagging." —Elle

"Reid employs her signature sharp eye and sardonic wit to spear academia in Come and Get It, a biting comedy of manners.” —Entertainment Weekly

"Such A Fun Age still occupies space in my brain for its incisive brilliance. Reid’s highly-anticipated second novel Come and Get It tackles themes of consumption and reckless abandon." —Nylon
 
"Reid makes a strong return with her biting and smart new novel." —Shondaland

"Come and Get It is a page-turning read filled with vengeful pranks and intrigue, but at its heart, it is a fascinating portrait of our obsession with material wealth." —Chicago Review of Books
 
"Clear and artfully expressed . . . [Reid] is very good at sketching a scene." —The Wall Street Journal

"This new book promises all the same ability at depth and poignancy through a fun, plotty story... It’s a perfect recipe for a great January read: in a college setting, about discretion and desire, about money, want, and, most importantly, it’s by Kiley Reid." —LitHub

"Kiley Reid is a great writer. Full stop. Her observations and point of view make even the most mundane moments, like a few students meeting for a focus group in college, feel reexamined and truly original….[A] captivating read that fans will gobble up.” —GoodMorningAmerica.com

"Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age, returns with another incisive novel everyone will be talking about. . . . A riveting and fascinating tale." —Town & Country

"The story gets its hooks in with such subtlety, the reader doesn’t realize how far she’s been pulled in until Come & Get It is well under the skin, the characters staying for days." —BUST Magazine

"Entertaining gems of insight . . . [A] meaningful cultural analysis and critique of young Black and white women’s financial and consumer lives." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"[An] edgy and fiercely funny social novel . . . A virtuoso of adept observation, Reid once again delivers fiction with a sharp eye for social commentary, all while efficaciously mesmerizing the reader with her sublime sardonic wit from beginning to end." —Stylecaster

"[A] wild romp . . . offering up a comically horrifying climax." —Ebony Magazine

"A sharp, fascinating story . . . Another sharply written coming-of-age story about a group of women living in and around a college campus and the micro- and macro-aggressions that inform their relationships and conflicts.” —Woman’s World
 
"Stellar commentary on class, astute social observation, and lots of wit." —Scary Mommy

"The vibrant and brilliantly written coming-of-age story about ‘money, indiscretion, and bad behavior.’ . . . A page-turner." —Essence Magazine

"Another incisive novel everyone will be talking about. . . A riveting and fascinating tale." —Town & Country

"A story of indiscretions and gray areas, power dynamics, and privilege that’s wound as tight as a violin string." —Good Housekeeping

"Beautifully told through the eyes of multiple characters, this intimate and revealing story from the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Such a Fun Age is not to be missed." —BookBub

"[A] sharp, edgy social novel. . . Reid has the very same obsessions she gives her character Agatha, and the guilty pleasure of the book is the way she nails the characters’ speech styles, Southern accents, and behavior and her unerring choice of products and other accoutrements to surround them with. . . . Reid is a genius of mimicry and social observation.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Reid returns after her smash hit Such a Fun Age with a sardonic and no-holds-barred comedy of manners….Reid is a keen observer­—every page sparkles with sharp analysis of her characters. This blistering send-up of academia is interlaced with piercing moral clarity." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A deft exploration of how microaggressions can lead to macro consequences, Reid's second outing will appeal to readers who enjoy slow-burn, character-driven novels. . . . Reid has a ready and eager audience for her second novel, and the word is out." —Booklist

"Reid offers an illuminating study of power, responsibility, and the bad choices we sometimes make, written in the fresh, bright language for which she’s known. . . . What’s most remarkable here is the grace and understanding the author shows her characters. . . . An emotionally intense exploration of power dynamics within relationships that doesn’t settle for easy villains and victims." —Library Journal

"Kiley Reid is an expert at teasing apart the messy, complicated, nuanced layers of social dynamics, and has a rare gift for making the unknown feel intimately familiar and the familiar feel brand-new. In Come and Get It, she's crafted a story that moves with the momentum and inevitability of a snowball rolling down a mountain. I couldn't put it down, and I didn't want to either." —Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Happy Place

"Reading a Kiley Reid novel is like watching a docuseries designed exactly for you. She captures those exceedingly awkward and real human interactions with such precision and specificity that you’re fully invested by the first page. Come and Get It is genius. It’s perfect." —Liz Moore, author of Long Bright River

"Wonderfully immersive, propulsive, and beautifully paced. On page one, there is a story that is already happening, and you’re plunged right into the novel’s world, already up and running, full of real people, and complicated—that is, substantive—as all hell. Just great.” —Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of This Other Eden and Tinkers

"Come and Get It is an engrossing novel full of intimately portrayed characters and the seemingly innocuous choices that lead to life-altering mistakes." Elizabeth Acevedo, author of Family Lore and The Poet X

Author

© David Goddard
Kiley Reid is the author of Such a Fun Age, which was a New York Times bestseller and longlisted for the Booker Prize. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, The Guardian, and others. Reid is currently an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. View titles by Kiley Reid

Guides

Discussion Guide for Come and Get It

Provides questions, discussion topics, suggested reading lists, introductions and/or author Q&As, which are intended to enhance reading groups’ experiences.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

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New year, new books… and a new season of Morning Book Buzz! Jen, Kate, and Miriam kicked off season 5 with their 1st reads for 2024—and thanks to our lively audience chat, we found out some librarians’ 2024 reading picks, too!

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