#BookReview: Wahala by Nikki May @NikkiOMay @NetGalley @randomhouse
Hi everyone! Today, I have a book review for an author I came across via NetGalley. Nikki May is well worth a read >>>
About the Book:
See me, see trouble.
Ronke, Simi, Boo are three mixed-race friends living in London. They have the gift of two cultures, Nigerian and English, though they don’t all choose to see it that way.
Everyday racism has never held them back, but now in their thirties, they question their future. Ronke wants a husband (he must be Nigerian); Boo enjoys (correction: endures) stay-at-home motherhood; while Simi, full of fashion career dreams, rolls her eyes as her boss refers to her ‘urban vibe’ yet again.
When Isobel, a lethally glamorous friend from their past arrives in town, she is determined to fix their futures for them.
Cracks in their friendship begin to appear, and it is soon obvious Isobel is not sorting but wrecking. When she is driven to a terrible act, the women are forced to reckon with a crime in their past that may just have repeated itself.
A darkly comic and bitingly subversive take on love, race and family, Wahala will have you laughing, crying and gasping in horror. Boldly political about class, colorism and cooking, here is a truly inclusive tale that will speak to anyone who has ever cherished friendship, in all its forms.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House for a free Advanced Review Copy of this book.
Wahala is certainly a great title for this story, as is the book cover with eyes covered. Wahala … Trouble … is here.
‘The woman is huddled in the corner of her bedroom. Her dress is ruined–the button missing, the belt ripped. One seam has come apart, exposing her bare shoulder.’ From this intriguing opening line, we then visit three friends in a Nigerian themed cafe, and all seems calm and normal. We know something is coming, but not when or what.
The plot and tension built slowly, but the characterisation and world building had me hooked right from the off. I knew a certain person was trouble, and waiting for it all to unfold and fall apart made the read enjoyable (not sure what that says about this reader, lols). Also, the explanation in the denouement was well worth the wait.
Here a some lines that stood out for me …
‘… you can’t legislate your thoughts, they have a mind of their own.’
‘ ‘Should a dentist be pushing rock-hard, deep-fried pastry?’ | ‘It’s good for business,’ said Ronke. ‘My mortgage relies on broken teeth.’ ‘
‘Dad disapproved of alcohol except when he was drinking it.’
Excellently written, the characters come alive, and in a few scenes, we get to see realistic racism against the British from Nigerians who’ve lived in England for years but retained their own culture. The author shows us the many tensions and misunderstandings that real life brings, especially in a multi-cultural society that doesn’t always make room for ‘different’, however that may manifest.
Wahala gets a resounding 5 stars from me, and I would highly recommend both this read and this author.
NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.
5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.
I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links … the book is due for release in early 2022