Review: Nina is Not OK

by @edent | # # #

Book cover for Nina is Not OK. A girl is trapped in a glass of wine - is she waving or drowning?

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, funny – sometimes shocking – coming of age novel from one of the UK’s leading comedians.

I’ve spend ages laughing at Shappi Khorsandi on stage – and now I’ve spent an afternoon crying over her prose.

At breakfast on holiday, I was offered a delightful mimosa. Refreshing, relaxing, and not a million miles away from the titular Nina’s sneaky swig of vodka in the school toilets.

What is it which drives people to act against their best interests? Are our self-destructive habits inherited or learned?

This book is painfully funny and completely devastating. It absolutely haunted me and caused me no end of internal arguments about whether I agreed with some of the characters’ actions.

Not for the faint-hearted, but a wonderfully observed tale.

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