Thursday, 18 August 2016

Nina is not OK

I didn't drink dangerously as a teenager.

Don't get me wrong - I loved drinking. I loved the buzz it gave me at parties, the way it made me feel more. More beautiful, more interesting, more naughty.

I loved sharing a bottle of carefully chosen wine over dinner with a date, or while setting the world to rights late at night with a girlfriend.

But I didn't like the feeling of being really drunk - feeling sick or out of control. So, when I'd had a few glasses I just.... stopped. Simples.

It wasn't until my mid thirties that my drinking started to morph from 'social' to 'hazardous'. Because by then I could drink a whole bottle of vino without feeling particularly drunk.

And by the time I hit my mid forties I was drinking a bottle of wine every single day. More sometimes. (Often).

Knowing what I know now about alcohol addiction, I worry about my children, and how they'll cope when they start playing with booze.

So, when I read a review of a new young adult novel by Shappi Khorsandi called Nina is not OK, I knew I had to buy it.

Nina is seventeen and, like all her friends, loves to party, and to drink. But she has no off switch.

Nina is gorgeous, funny and clever. She has a five year old sister who she loves passionately, and desperately wants to protect. And yet, after a few drinks she changes. Her eyes go dead, and it's as if Nina has left the building.

Every time she gets drunk and does something awful she swears she'll never touch booze again, but by about 5pm the next day her resolve falters.

Drinking makes her life increasingly unmanageable, but the more difficult it becomes, the more she relies on the booze to deal with all the emotions it's unleashed.

Sound familiar?

Then combine all that with the hormones, insecurity and recklessness that come with being a teenager, and chuck in an omnipresent and judgemental social media, and you end up with an incredibly disturbing (but scarily believable) tale.

Please read it.

And if you have a teenage daughter, then rather than sitting her down for one of those 'talks' about the dangers of drugs and alcohol that they dread as much as we do, just give her a copy of Shappi's novel.

It's a far better cautionary tale than either you or I could ever tell, and you won't have to endure all the eye rolling.

Love SM x


  1. I think it is also about Shappi Khorsandi, another soul troubled by booze.


    1. I assumed she must know what she was talking about....

  2. Thanks so much for this SM. I often wonder how I can advise my kids to not fall into the wine witch trap that I did. Any tools in the armoury (mixed metaphor!) soooo welcome. I imagine your book will be even more helpful.... So hurry up and get it out there lovely lady. Over 7mths for me now. Keep writing please. Love SFM xx

  3. So bizarre. Was literally just discussing this in pool
    (We are on holiday) as possible holiday reading with my 17 year old daughter. Got out to check emails and there was yours. Will def download.

  4. Ok this is getting spooky now..I think you are clairvoyant...I have been thinking hard over last few weeks how to help my twin 19yr old girls not end up where I was.....after all they have only ever known their mother with a glass of wine in hand, and more than merry at parties....who does she think she is to tell us how to live......? I will definately look into that and give it to them along with a copy if this post...thank you again...coming up day 150 AF...and stronger every day...

  5. I can't put into words how this book made me feel apart from I am so glad I read it. x