Shappi Khorsandi – Nina is not OK

17-year old Nina is suffering from her boyfriend breaking up with her. He went to spend a gap year in Hong Kong and already on the plane met another girl. Nina tries to get over him by partying hard and drinking until losing consciousness. More and more often she already needs alcohol at lunch or even for breakfast. Repeatedly, she cannot remember what happened while she passed out, if she slept with some guys or not. She completely loses contact with reality when her family moves away and leave her  alone in London with her friend Beth’s family. After she approached Beth‘ father when being drunk another time, her family sends her to rehab. But the way back into reality is a lot harder than all of them imagined, especially since life in the time of the Internet has much more to offer than a mistake made at the weekend.

This novel quite often is no fun at all. You read about a girl losing control, you want to prevent her from doing what she does, but just like her friends, you cannot do anything about it, you stand there helplessly having to watch what’s happening. This is how you must feel when this happens to somebody close to you in real life. Being addicted is shown in an unembellished way. This makes the plot quite realistic. What I appreciated most was the fact that there is no easy happy-end with everybody loving everybody else again quickly.  The author really shows how hard the way back is and thus illustrates that booze is nothing to go easy about.  The stress is on Nina’s emotional state which shows an addicted not as a despicable person but somebody like you and me. Therefore, I think this can really be a novel for teenagers who might underestimate what too much drinking can do to your life.
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