Let me tell you, this book was a wild, amazing, emotional rollercoaster. I’m going to tell you right away it’s a 5/5 read – I’m speechless. Well, nearly.
In exchange for an honest review I received this eARC from the publisher on NetGalley. Thank you very much!
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…
Synopsis taken from Goodreads
Let’s get right into some of the main reasons why I loved this book to bits! Beware: Mild spoilers as well as sexual abuse and alcoholism ahead.
Although Nina is Not OK is a YA Contemporary, at that it was being very serious and mature. Right from the beginning I loved that the book did not mince matters. It was raw, edgy and, well, explicitly sexual. I was not expecting it to be this explicit, considering that Nina is only 17 at that point in the book. I’m not even judging, I simply expected this book to be for a younger audience.
Nina makes you feel something. Her feelings and thoughts and her suffering, but also happiness, are written in a way to make you feel it too. It is intense. Additionally, there is so much happening all the time. The reader is not stuck at one particular point in time, although Nina consistently keeps being reminded of that certain event from the beginning. Because so many aspects of Nina’s life are being visited throughout reading this book, it makes her feel like she is a real human being, a good friend. Her character development is clearly visible and especially at the end, she is obviously changed.
And Nina is not even the only amazing character. Let us briefly talk about Beth and Zoe. Well, you may think now that since this book has one amazing huge important bad-ass main character, the development for the other ones fell flat. But you guessed right: it didn’t. They felt equally real, went through tough stuff and ended up in different places.
Shappi Khorsandi has such an interesting way of writing. It is unexpected and entertaining. She manages to make Nina is Not OK so vivid by being equally plot- and character-driven. It left me speechless on a few occasions, but it made me want to keep reading it forever and ever.