You know those “mornings after the night before” in your twenties, when you’d think back over the hilarious things you said/did when you’d had one drink too many, and then want the ground to open up and swallow you? This book is 334 pages of that, but 10 million times worse.
When I was reading this my husband kept asking me if I was okay, as I turned the page and said “oh God, oh no, why Nina? Why?!?” for 3 hours.
You’re completely sold on buying this book now, right?
From the blurb:
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…
Nina loves a drink, which is good because it’s the only thing getting her through her recent break up, with the ex-love of her life, Jamie.
Except she keeps going a bit too far.
She wakes up with blank spots to find that she shouted at her friend Trish, or sent nasty messages to Jamie about his new girlfriend, or gave a bloke she’d just met a blow job in a club, and got thrown out.
No wait, she remembers that last bit. She doesn’t remember how she got into the back of a black cab, with her knickers in her hand though, that same night…
Well, it’s not anything serious. Her friends will think it’s hilarious. Except that her friend Zoe is now dating Alex, the guy Nina doesn’t know if if she has had sex with. Every time Nina sees Alex she feels ashamed and dirty. So she drinks more, and ends up sleeping with someone she doesn’t know.
Everything is getting out of control. Her mum is worried about her; Nina’s dad was an alcoholic, who died from pancreatitis when Nina was 9. It looks like Nina has started down the same dark path…
Nina is not okay.
I think every woman should read this book. In my opinion this is not a young adult book, and is not suitable for younger teenagers. However it is a brilliant commentary on binge drinking, slut-shaming, and the dangers of social media, as well as dealing with alcoholism and sexual assault.
I had a friend in my early twenties who had a drink problem – as in serious, got herself into situations like Nina, almost lost her job, wouldn’t get help or let anyone help her. I think maybe if I’d read something like this at the time, I might have been able to better understand what she was going through.
This book is also hilarious, and I loved Nina, even if there were times I wanted to shake her for being selfish and entitled. I’m sorry, but I saw no issue with her mum and step-dad wanting to move to Germany. Nina is almost an adult, she didn’t want to go with them, why should they turn down such an amazing opportunity?
I gave Nina is not OK 4.5 stars on Goodreads. It would have been 5, but I found the first half of the book intensely uncomfortable to read – I know that is the point, but it became almost unreadable at some points. I just wanted to die for her.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.