Book Reviews

Nina is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi

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List Price: £12.99


Hardcover: 352 Pages.

Published: 28 July 2016 by Ebury Press (Fiction)

Edition: UK ed.

ISBN: 1785031368

EAN: 9781785031366

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…


5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Trial by Social Media

Nina is a bright 17 year old girl who seems to have pressed the self destruct button. Her life is spiralling out of control and she doesn't seem able to stop it. She has no self confidence or self respect. She wants to be liked and cannot seem to go out with her friends without a couple of drinks inside. If a boy even talks to her she is so desperate to be liked she drinks more and humilates herself by doing truly detestable things. It even gets to a point where she is downing miniatures of vodka in the college toilets just to get through the day.

Nina is such a terribly sad character. She has no respect for herself or confidence in who she is and hides herself in alcohol. Throughout the book we see glimpses of the Nina that she could be - clever, witty, friendly, fun and pretty. She cannot see any of those things in herself. She humiliates and degrades herself in the search for something......I don't think she even knows what. Nina is terribly used by both friends and strangers alike and in her turn uses people she barely knows and some of her loyal friends. You cannot but feel empathy for Nina. When things so terribly wrong she faces trial by social media. A truly terrible event where people she knows and total strangers say the most terrible things about her.

I admire the author for writing this book. It is quite dark but it really highlights the pressures on young people today. Nothing young people do today gets lost or hidden, there is always someone prepared to take pictures to post online or make comments about it. Every aspect of young people's lives seems to be in the public domain for anyone to talk about.#

There is quite a lot of bad language in this book. I really don't like bad language and it can often turn me off a book. In this case, it did fit in with the characters.

There are some great characters in this book - Beth, Nina's best friend, is a fairly average girl, Trish who is a bit on the edge and a bit odd, Max Beth's Dad who is a fantastic adult and Nina's family who are trying to live their own lives without realising just how out of control Nina is until she steps over a final line.

There are some lighter moments in this book but no real laugh about humour. This is a book that made me ache for the imaginary Nina and all of the other teenage girls who are facing similar pressures. I am very pleased that I read this book and shall be recommending it for my bookgroup next year. It should certainly provoke some discussion!

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