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Review | Nina is Not Okay – Shappi Khorsandi


Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn’t?


Nina’s mum isn’t so sure. But she’s busy with her new husband and five year old Katie. And Nina’s almost an adult after all.


And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before, then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. Nina’s drunken exploits are the stuff of college legend.


But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can’t help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her…


A dark and sometimes shocking – coming of age novel from one of the UK’s leading comedians. NINA IS NOT O.K. will appeal to fans of Caitlin Moran and Louise O’Neill.


Due to the nature of this book, I would suggest this book is aimed at readers 15 and above. This book was kindly provided by Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review.

Let me start this off by saying I have not read anything from Louise O’Neill or Caitlin Moran, but if this book will appeal to fans of them maybe I should look them up. This book was funny and witty, but a lot of the time it was infuriating, at least for the first half when Nina is out of control.

I liked this book because, initially, I didn’t like the main character of Nina, I thought she was spoilt, nasty and sometimes downright idiotic, but I kind of rooted for her. I wanted her to be a better person, the person that Beth and her Mum used to see, more of the person that her little sister Katie sees every day.

Although I didn’t like Nina very much at the beginning, it was easy to see why she was acting the way she was. Her mother has remarried someone completely different to her own dad who passed away from Alcohol Poisoning nearly ten years previous. Mum’ new marriage and new kid takes up nearly all of her time, and she doesn’t want to spend her days worrying her daughter will end up the same way as her father. Nina drinks for attention. That much is clear. She didn’t have a normal upbringing with her parents who held parties nearly every night. Mum wants a do over, a new life, a normal husband and an easy, lovely, normal child, and this she does with Alan and Katie.

This book is a very good story, like many of the people who have read it so far I’m sure; I’d like to say this is farfetched story that the author made up and it is unlikely to happen in real life. But the sad fact is far worse things happen to girls like this. Vulnerable girls who are crying for help in the only way they know how to. This books needs to be read by as many people are possible. Women are strong, men are strong, victims are strong and people will support you if you decide to speak up, this book tells you that. It may seem you are in a dark tunnel right now, but there is light at the end, and no matter if you talk about it now, or years from now, it is never too late.


Overall 5 out of 5


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