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Book giveaway: Nina is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi. Discuss the book by 12 July for chance to win £100 Love2Shop voucher!

(44 Posts)
SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-May-16 11:25:18

This month we are very excited to give you the chance to read comedian Shappi Khorsandi's first novel ahead of its publication date. Nina is Not OK is a darkly funny, sometimes shocking, coming of age novel about what it's like to be young and out of control. Fans of Caitlin Moran and Lena Dunham will laugh and cry at this brilliant insight into the perils of teenage life. To find out more and apply for a proof copy, head over to the giveaway page.

Nina does not have a drinking problem. OK, she likes a drink. But what 17-year-old doesn't? Nina's mum isn't so sure but she has her new family to look after. And Nina's almost an adult after all. But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can't help piece together the night before. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, and that somewhere along the way, all this stopped being fun...

We've got 50 copies of Nina is Not OK to give away to Mumsnetters who want to read and share their thoughts about it on this discussion thread. The giveaway closes Monday 30 May, so apply for your free copy now.

If you miss out on a free one, you can pre-order it. All who post feedback before 12 July will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher.

This giveaway is sponsored by Ebury Press

whatwoulddexterdo Mon 23-May-16 19:12:34

This looks brilliant, yes please. Have applied

TheMightyFoof Mon 23-May-16 20:17:06

I've already read an ARC of this in order to review it and it's bloody brilliant. If you don't win a giveaway copy, buy it yourself because it's fantastic. Here's the review I wrote (previously posted elsewhere):

Nina is Not OK is a book which not so much leaves an impression as pulls your still-beating heart clean out of your chest, does a little dance on it, then pops is back in upside down. While making you laugh. And cry. Oh, especially cry.

Full disclosure: I adore Shappi Khorsandi. She's warm, funny and wonderful and I want to be just like her when I grow up, please (that I'm 43 and apparently a grown-up already is neither here nor there). I was, then, fully expecting to enjoy 'Nina'; I was not expecting, however, to be, y'know, deeply affected by it. Yeah, I'm not crying, I've just got a novel in my eye.

Lovely, lovely Nina is eighteen and an alcoholic. A childhood tragedy is the seed from which her addiction to alcohol grows; a traumatic experience as she's on the very cusp of adulthood is what sets her spiralling out of control. A supporting (but not always supportive) cast of friends and family attempt to halt her decline, but before long her illness alienates even those she is closest to. In Nina, Khorsandi has created such a credible, likeable, damaged heroine that the reader cannot help but to fall absolutely for her. We care, oh good God we care. We care about her, and what happens to her, so very much. This is testament to Khorsandi's skill in crafting such a wonderful character; one whose humour (remember, I did say laugh AND cry) serves to both lighten the horror while also drawing into yet sharper relief. It's also the reason why the book never feels hard work, or overwhelming; there is much that is challenging here, but you're never far from one of Nina's scathing one-liners or pithy observations. Which of course, makes us love her even more.

Nina is Not OK is a searing exploration of teenagerdom, and how delicate the balance between 'fine and dandy' and 'my life is going down the tubes' is at that age. Emerging sexuality, tangled friendships and the sweet agony of first love are all covered, sensitively and honestly, here. But it's the darker side of the novel which truly haunts. The question of consent hangs over the whole narrative; victim blaming and shaming makes for an often uncomfortable and harrowing read. For all the laughs, the wild nights and crazy tales, at the heart of the story is a vulnerable girl who 'fucks [people] just so [she] can have a cuddle'. And when you're young, and vulnerable, there will always be those all too ready to take advantage of you.

The wonderful thing (OK, one of the many, many wonderful things) about Nina is Not OK, however, is that despite all, it's actually, ultimately truly and completely redemptive. Nina has balls - she has fight and she's so utterly courageous and brave and strong. We root for her, we will her on, because (did I mention?) we care about her. And she doesn't disappoint.

I have a daughter Nina's age which might, perhaps, explain why I was such a cryface practically from page one. A more likely reason, though, is the fact that Shappi Khorsandi has written a book so bloody brilliant, so insightful, so well-researched, so sweet and sad and painful and lovely, that it made me snot on the bus. Read it, read it now. It's the most perfect, tragic yet curiously uplifting novel you'll read all year.

SlowJinn Tue 24-May-16 06:47:32

Excellent review, this book sounds brilliant. If I'm not lucky enough to get a free copy, I will treat myself on payday smile

AnonymousBird Wed 25-May-16 13:35:31

I LOVE Shappi, I have applied for the book and wait in hope...

I skim read the review above, just so as not to take in too many details and it sounds brilliant.

I also have a bizarre thing about needing to really care about someone called Nina, so I think this book could be great therapy for me as well as a super read. Love, Nina worked wonders, hoping this will too.

voyager50 Thu 26-May-16 07:57:06

This sounds like an interesting book - if I win a copy I think I will pass it on to my friend's 16 year old daughter when I've read it as I think she will appreciate it too.

BearAusten Mon 06-Jun-16 12:37:47

A very different coming of age story, told from the perspective of a troubled teenager. It highlights the problems to be faced within our culture of victim shaming.

'NIna is not okay' is heartbreakingly sad, yet at times, so funny. If there hadn't been some light relief, I doubt I would have kept turning the pages.
Thank you for the book, not something that I would usually pick to read.

AnonymousBird Tue 07-Jun-16 08:37:02

Oh boo hoo, it appears I didn't get this one!

FernieB Thu 09-Jun-16 09:54:12

Poor Nina - she is definitely not okay. From the opening pages when she is turfed out of a nightclub, Nina initially appears to be a 'wild teen', partying too hard. The kind of girl my Gran would tut at and cross the street to avoid! As her narrative reveals more of herself and her circumstances, we begin understand there's more to Nina and start rooting for her.

Shappi Khorsandi has created a group of likeable, genuine characters readers will want to spend time with. It's a warm, witty read with some heartbreakingly sad moments as Nina seems hellbent on self-destruction. As a mum of teen girls, I found myself empathising with her Mum and largely silent stepdad. I'm going to get my daughters to read this too to get their teenage perspective.

Thanks for sending me a copy of this book - it's not something I would normally have read and I'd have missed a gem.

Uneasypeasy Thu 09-Jun-16 20:17:47

It's arrived! Can't wait to get going! Thanks for my copy smile

19sharon Thu 09-Jun-16 22:58:51

My book arrived this morning and I've read the first four chapters already. It's strange for me. I have a daughter turning 17 in August so I keep making comparisons with my child and her friends. The first couple of pages talk about Nina drinking wine before she goes out, then moves onto vodka and then whisky and coke whilst she's out. Needless to say she gets thrown out of the club for being drunk. How is she even safe? It's ever so horrifying in a perverse kind of way in the fact that I kept on reading all the while "tut-tutting" in my head at her being so silly and irresponsible. But she lives in a chaotic household and has never really been shown how to be responsible. I'm going to pass this onto my daughter to read when I've finished it. I don't think it will take me long - it draws you in. A bit like the alcohol does with Nina (who is certainly not ok for the record).

Uneasypeasy Mon 13-Jun-16 20:36:19

I sat down to read a couple of chapters on Sunday afternoon and couldn't put it down until I'd finished!

This is so well written, some really funny bits, but equally made me choke up at points. The hero of the story, Nina, is so believable - I could relate to some of her thoughts and experiences as a teenager (especially the feelings she had for Jamie and her reaction to their relationship) and it was truly heart wrenching to witness her spiralling out of control. I was willing her onto a happy ending!

As expected of a proof, there are a few errors remaining, but this didn't attract from my enjoyment one bit.

Thanks so much for my copy - I would highly recommend it - and DH is now keen to read it having witnessed me devouring it!

nerysw Mon 13-Jun-16 21:13:54

I've just finished my copy and it was a compulsive read so I've stayed up a lot later than normal a few nights because I didn't want to put it down.
I couldn't help but like and admire Nina, even if she did infuriate me at times. I found myself thinking of her as her own worst enemy at times and I was totally sucked in to the story. The book is funny but it's also quite a difficult read at times. It's so well written that when the not-nice stuff happens you feel it too.
If you're after some mindless happy chick lit don't bother with this. It's a really good book. Funny, warm and difficult.

StickChildNumberTwo Fri 17-Jun-16 09:26:29

After the first couple of chapters of this book, I thought about not bothering, but thought I really ought to given I'd need to post about it! I mean, how can a book about a teenage alcoholic be any good?

I'm very glad I did. I went from being irritated by Nina to rooting for her and hoping she was going to come out of it OK. Her experience of being a teenager is very different to mine, but then I'm old (I am SO glad there was no social media back then) and always was boring and sensible. It made me think about how it must be for teens today, dealing with a whole different set of pressures to the ones my friends and I faced.

So from wanting to put the book aside I went to not being able to put it down. Thanks for the opportunity to read something I'd never have picked up myself. If the editors/proof readers are reading this, please can you sort out all the times it says councillor instead of counsellor.

daisyduke66 Sat 18-Jun-16 09:56:38

I was lucky enough to receive a copy - thank you. My review: An open, honest, sometimes uncomfortable but funny read! Shappi covers an area that, I think, we can all associate with or at the very least understand. She manages this through the eyes of Nina, a complete disaster zone. There is little doubt that you will empathise with all of her characters and especially with Nina herself. Uncomfortable, yes - having been a teenage girl and having two myself this can be a somewhat worrisome read!- but it's enlightening too, highlighting the pressures of those later teenage years.
I will be passing this to my teenage daughters- their perspective will be interesting.
In all an honest coming of age tale told with compassion.

slev Sat 18-Jun-16 23:51:22

Wow, Nina really is not OK! Thanks for the book - I don't think it's the kind of book you can really "enjoy" - it's just not that sort of subject matter - but I thought it was well written, and I cared about what happened to Nina.

I think some of it seemed a bit extreme, but then I've never been in that position - and hope I never will be.

My only negative would be that I'm not sure who the book is aimed at. I'm closer to Nina's Mum in age than I am to Nina, so found it hard to engage as much with a 17 year-old. If you can persuade a teenager to read it, I think it would be great and a warning of what can happen. But as someone fast approaching 40, I was viewing it more from a parental perspective which probably wasn't the idea.

Question for Mumsnet - as it's a proof, can I pass this on to a charity shop? Or if not, if anyone wants my copy, can they PM me and I'll post it on? I don't want to bin it as it's a great read, but I have too many books already and I can't see myself re-reading this as it wouldn't have the impact second time around.

shelaghh Sun 19-Jun-16 12:14:56

A sad book about a problem that will enter all our lives at some point,whether be a family or friends or even acquaintances -POOR NINA-
Lets hope support is at hand ,and she has my thoughts-

WHAT A GOOD BOOK- 5 out 5.

Rae1000 Sun 19-Jun-16 18:27:08

Just started. poor kid! Think I will enjoy it though.

SuzCG Mon 20-Jun-16 10:47:09

Thank you for my copy of this book - I always feel lucky when I get books through!
I love Shappi's humour as a comedian and was interested to see how she would fare as an author...
This book is funny! Awkwardly so at times, but funny none the less. The story got me involved emotionally, in the earlier stages I found it painful and frustrating and really wanted Nina to stop behaving in the way she was - by the end I was rooting for her as she got the messages and learned the lessons along the path of growing up. It was good to understand the complex family relationships that had led her to the point she was at - and you kind of understood why she was a bit screwed up. I think it portrayed quite an accurate picture of life for young people in this modern world and the sometimes worrying scenarios they will face - to a point where I am now quite worried about what lies ahead for my two...
Overall, a big well done to Shappi - I enjoyed this one and would give it a very solid 4/5.

teddy2k Mon 20-Jun-16 17:45:28

Thank you for my copy. When I first started to read "Nina is not ok" I did wonder if I was going to like it, however I am not sure if like is the right word as it is about a coming of age novel, and I found it very dark. When I was a few chapters in I did find myself turning the pages and wanted to find out more about what happened to Nina and I did feel a lot of compassion and sympathy for her. There is some light relief, and I liked the relationship between Nina and her little sister. I don't want to give any spoilers but I could guess the ending of the book. However, I don't think this is a book that I would buy.

susan123 Tue 21-Jun-16 09:30:57

I got a free copy of the book. I wasn't sure at first if I would get into the story, but, by the third chapter I was hooked. It is an amazingly well written story, with enough twists to keep me interested.

IreadthereforeIam Tue 21-Jun-16 10:50:55

I'll be starting this book today - I'm looking forward to it! Everyone seems to have really enjoyed it.

Pesto37 Tue 21-Jun-16 13:46:43

Thank you, for free copy of this.
No, Nina is far from ok. I started this hoping not to be disappointed as I very much enjoy Shappi Khorsandi's comedy. I am very glad to say that it was a great read. Nina is an engaging character with a lot going for her. The first person narrative gives an intimacy and immediacy which means you are invested in the character from the start. Your hope is that Nina will be ok in the end.
The plot rattles along nicely, Nina lurches from one crisis to another and goes through some dark times. The background to her addiction is explored - here there is a light touch and Shappi Khorsandi does not portray characters in a simplistic way. It is a novel I suppose that will speak to young adults particularly but we were all young once and so I think this is a novel most people would enjoy. It is a novel with a feminist slant and this thoroughly cheered me. The relationships are realistic although the stepfather may find he is tripping over his halo a bit by the end. One of the nicest parts of the book is the love Nina has for her little sister.
Overall this was a great read I would recommend it to anyone.
And yes it was funny

voyager50 Tue 21-Jun-16 16:25:11

Having read the previous posts it seems like a lot of us have had similar views.

When I read the first few pages of this book I thought it wouldn’t be for me but I wanted to give it a fair try as I had agreed to review it for the giveaway. I am so pleased I stuck with it as I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Nina is a very likeable character and I am finding myself rooting for her as she faces so many obstacles on the way to her recovery.

I can relate to her as when I was 17 I also had an uneasy relationship with my step father and a much younger sister who I adored however, I never drank or had sex as a teenager so in that sense we are poles apart.

I didn’t grow up in the age of social media and still don’t use it now but the way it is featured in the novel gives a realistic picture of what life is like for today’s young adults - every thing they do can be captured on camera or gossiped about and can ruin their lives - I really don’t envy them.

The way Shappi writes about the intricacies of teenage friendship are so true to life and very familiar to me from my youth. I love the character Trish - I’m sure we all knew one - that girl we only hung out with if no one else was free yet my ‘Trish’ is one of my closest friends now!

It is a dark story but it has humour in it and I think it is accurate reflection of what life could be like for a young alcoholic. This book deserves to win awards - thank you for my copy of it

debjani Tue 21-Jun-16 16:49:33

I don't know Shappi Khorsandi as a comedian but was hoping that this book would be funny. I couldn't get past the first few pages: who is this book aimed at? Nina's predicament might have been interesting but since there was hardly any setting or description the story was both odd and lacking. I have a teenage daughter but the writing is not strong enough for me to wade through this even as a cautionary tale. Happy to post this on to someone if they wld like it but I found this very disappointing and empty (as far as I read). [I won a proof of this book via Mumsnet and my views are my own.]

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