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Nina is Not OK Paperback – 9 Feb 2017
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"Shappi Khorsandi is both funny and shocking, yet above all writes with warmth, giving Nina an intelligent voice. This girl could be you, or your daughter, or your friend, and I defy anyone not to love the endearing, messed-up Nina as she finds her way out of an alcohol-fuelled hell of her own making." (Daily Mail)
"dark and funny...brilliant" (Simon Mayo)
"It's absolutely bloody magnificent" (Marian Keyes)
"Breathtakingly honest and laugh-out-loud funny… perfectly captures the anxieties of youth" (Red Magazine)
"Khorsandi pulls no punches in her first novel...Equal parts straight-talking, funny and worrying, this is a coming-of-age tale rebooted for the era of social media and slut-shaming." (Glamour Magazine)
About the Author
Shappi Khorsandi is one of the country's finest comedians, having launched herself back in 2006 with her sell out Edinburgh show, Asylum Speaker.
Shappi's career has taken her to all corners of the globe, she has appeared on countless TV & Radio shows including; Live At The Apollo, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Have I Got News For You, QI, The Graham Norton Show and Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. She is the author of the bestselling childhood memoir, A Beginner's Guide To Acting English which tells the story of how her family were forced to flee Iran and gain asylum in the UK.
Nina is Not OK is her first novel.
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If you've ever woken up the morning after the night before with a hangover from hell, a hole in your brain where the previous evening should be and a creeping dread about what you may have said or done then you'll have had a glimpse at what Nina's life is like.
This is a heartbreakingly realistic picture of a young woman falling to pieces and trying to put herself together again and learn to live with who she is. The authenticity makes it excruciatingly painful to read at times - Nina's honesty with herself is indicative of Shappi Khorsandi's deep understanding of addiction.
I read the whole thing through a fog of tears - Nina will stay with me for a very long time.
And I'm very grateful I grew up before social media was a thing.
First her father dies. He too had a drink problem and was not at all nice when drunk, bit when sober he was the best father and it is that that Nina focuses on when grieving for him.
The next blow was her boyfriend dumping her. He flew off on a gap year adventure and found the love of his life within days after telling her she was the one and planning a future with her.
If that wasn’t enough her stepdad, Alan, was offered (and took) a job abroad and all her family upped and left her.
Now, anyone would feel the loss after all that and Nina’s way of coping was to get blackout drunk and shag anyone that was up for it.
The book opens with her getting thrown out of a nightclub after doing a Lewinski on a guy (who goes and gets off with her friend straight after, but not before following her out of the nightclub and eventually seeing her of in a taxi, knickers in hand) This happens before her family emigrate, but they still go even though this was so obviously a cry for help.
I could write a lot more but that would be like schoolwork and would give away the whole plot!!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has you in tears one minute and laughing the next and I have to say I could relate to Nina a lot, though I just grew out of it she went to rehab…….and slept with someone there too!!
If you’re interested I found an interview with Shappi, the author, and it turns out a lot of it was written from experience.
I totally recommend this book.
I shed a few years and a few giggles.
Really enjoyed the book, definitely recommend for anyone over 15.
Have to admit I have done some of the shameful things Nina did under the influence. It will hit a nerve with most of us.
The confusion between sex and affection and the shame and regret that follows. Brilliant.
I bought it on impulse after hearing an interview with the author on Radio 4 and found it irritating at first. Stupid girl who deserved everything that happened to her. But the more I read the more I was drawn in and wanted to join Nina on her journey, willing her to succeed.
I wonder if Nina would have reacted differently had she been aware how the Ched Evans story would evolve?
The anonymous girl in the Evans story is another Nina. My heart goes out to her. I hope she has a Beth, a Trish and a Robbie to hold her hand, to love her whatever she has done and support her on her journey.