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Reader Reviewed
Nina is Not Ok by Shappi Khorsandi

Nina is Not Ok

Family Drama   NewGen - YA Fiction   Debuts of the Month   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   
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One of our Books of the Year 2016.

August 2016 Debut of the Month.

With a fierce, biting sense of reality, this is a provocative, yet beautifully worthwhile, must read. Nina is 17 years old, her best friend and worst enemy is alcohol, when she forgets one time too many the night before, her life starts to unravel before her eyes. If you're expecting a comical, light, coming of age novel, from comedian Shappi Khorsandi, then brace yourself, this is uncomfortable, and occasionally jaw droppingly shocking stuff. ‘Nina is Not OK’ made me flinch, made me cry, and made me think. Nina tells her own story, it feels as though there’s no filter, she thinks it and she says it, we hear her innermost thoughts and feelings. The voice Shappi Khorsandi gives Nina ensured I fell in love with her, although I positively ached for her, and her journey was at times so very painful to watch, she made me smile, even made me laugh. This is compassionate, beautiful writing at its best, ‘Nina is Not OK’ is an outstanding debut and I really, really do, with all my heart, recommend it. ~ Liz Robinson

A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...

'When we commissioned Shappi Khorsandi to write a novel we knew it was going to be funny – after all she’s absolutely hilarious. We also knew it was going to be wonderfully written – we’d previously published her lovely childhood memoir, A Beginner's Guide to Acting English. What I hadn’t expected was just how emotionally invested I was going to become in her heroine, Nina.

Nina is Not OK is a big, bold, beautiful novel written with heart, humour and courage. I’m so proud of what Shappi has accomplished with her debut - it’s an important book, dealing as it does with issues such as teenage self-esteem, alcoholism, consent, victim blaming and the pressures we put on girls in our society. But it is Nina who stays with you: Nina who takes you from tears to laughter in a paragraph and who you’ll want to hug/slap/rescue/shout at/be your friend.'

Gillian Green, Publishing Director. Ebury Fiction

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Rachael Anderson - 'An excellent, and somewhat different, coming of age story.'
  • Helen Claire - 'Brilliantly tackles several very difficult subjects and uses humour well to detract from the severity of them.'
  • Beth Kemp - 'it's wittily told, as expected, but this is no light humorous book. It is dark, as billed, but not dark comedy - just downright gritty.'
  • Shriya Khambhaita - 'Shappi has written a thought provoking read about teenagers who consume a lot of alcohol and the social/ family dynamics that take place in modern day life.'
  • Hannah Ward - 'This book wasn't really for me but I am sure other people may like it.'
  • Jenny Duffy - 'A cross between Rachel’s Holiday and Asking For It. Like Keyes and O’Neill, Khorsandi does not hold back when showing us her protagonist’s pain.'
  • Humaira Kauser - 'Outrageously funny and equally heart wrenching/warming!'
  • Sharon Mills - 'With wit and humour laced throughout, with one or two cringe worthy laugh out loud moments, and considering the subject matter, Shappi has written a positive uplifting tale about teen angst...It was brilliant and fabulously written and I loved it!'


Nina is Not Ok by Shappi Khorsandi

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...


'Breathtakingly honest and laugh-out-loud funny... perfectly captures the anxieties of youth' Red Magazine

'It's absolutely bloody magnificent' -- Marian Keyes

'Absolutely brilliant - funny, dark and terribly upsetting, and the voice is incredibly loud and true...a pure marvel' -- Jenny Colgan

'I finished Nina Is Not Ok in one sitting. Funny, sharp, and heartbreakingly honest, this is Rachel's Holiday for young adults' -- Louise O'Neill

'Unexpectedly moving, emotional and funny' -- Richard E Grant (on Shappi Khorsandi)

About the Author

Shappi Khorsandi

Shappi Khorsandi was born in 1973 in Tehran and moved to London with her family in 1976 who were exiled after the revolution of 1979. She studied drama at university and has now been a stand-up for over ten years. She has performed all over the world including her annual sell-out run at the Edinburgh festival.

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.

She lives in West London with her husband and son.

Author photo © Heathcliff OMalley

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Book Info

Publication date

28th July 2016


Shappi Khorsandi

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Ebury Press an imprint of Ebury Publishing


352 pages


Family Drama
NewGen - YA Fiction
Debuts of the Month
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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