Review: Nina Is Not Ok – Shappi Khorsandi

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I would first like to thank NetGalley, the author and the publisher for a digital ARC of this book to read in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this book. I have also received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway Win!

Nina is not ok and everyone can see that, except for Nina, of course!!. She’s recently been dumped by her boyfriend, who met someone on the plane to Hong Kong, only hours after saying goodbye to Nina and making plans together for their future. With unanswered phone calls, text messages, emails and numerous other ways to get in touch via social media, Nina is in a bad way. So what do most 17 year old teenage girls do? Party and turn to alcohol!. Only alcohol isn’t the right answer for Nina. In fact, with her family history, alcohol only makes things go from bad, to extremely worse….

I feel really bad giving this book only a two star rating, especially considering the topics that are discussed within this book, but I genuinely couldn’t sympathise with Nina, until towards the end of the book. I’m trying to write this review without giving away too many spoilers, but still explain and review, but its difficult. The way her character is put across in this book, and how she acts, which I know isn’t her fault technically speaking, but make her instantly unlikeable, to me anyway. She comes across mean, bitchy and really unlikeable, and then when we learn about her mum and family moving away to another country without her, again I don’t feel any sympathy towards her and it was at that point that realised that I haven’t connected to her character in the slightest bit. I know that should be due to her character and how she has a “problem”, so maybe I am not meant to connect to her in the same way I connect to other characters, but this is the first book I’ve read in a while where I’ve actually hated the main character. I hated the way she spoke to her mum, or shouted, the way she’d used people to get what she wants and the list can go on.

Towards the last third of the book, maybe a bit less, I did start to understand Nina a little bit better and a little bit clearer, but it was also a bit repetitive with the same thing being said over again, as if purposely trying to make the book a bit longer. There were silly editing mistakes throughout, with words missing, spelling mistakes and the wrong names being used in places at times and so on.

I understand that as part of the characters illness, that nobody really understood and even the other characters began hating her, including her family, so from that point of view, me hating her was an excellent job from the author. But I can’t personally enjoy a book where I hate the main character and when I am then supposed to suddenly feel sympathy and empathy towards her. In the end this book made me feel like a bad person because of my lack of emotions and empathy towards Nina and my only enjoyment was the end when her change occurred. The part that made me truly hate this book and still has me talking about it today, is because of how a sensitive issue is brought about, taking two thirds of the book for something that occurred within the first couple of chapters.

So overall, I didn’t enjoy this book and wanted to give up on it several times and I only continued reading it as I was given the chance to read it by NetGalley and I had to review it as part of the deal. Therefore, I have to give this book only 2 out of 5 stars. Therefore, for me personally, I don’t recommend this book whatsoever. Officially the worse book I’ve read this year.

Have you read this book? Do you agree or disagree? Comment below 😀

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