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Wahala by Nikki May

January 5, 2022 in Book Reviews
Wahala by Nikki May - Book Review

AD • I received a copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and opinions are entirely my own.

Happy new year, friends and welcome to my first post of 2022! Kicking it off with a review of the phenomenal debut, Wahala by Nikki May. This book has been described as Sex and the City meets My Sister, the Serial Killer and seeing other readers’ opinions of those comps has been interesting in itself. Set in contemporary London, this is a suspenseful story of friendship, secrets and betrayal centring three mixed-race women in their 30s. Wahala was one of the last books I read in 2021 and yet it made my top 10 reads list immediately. It’s THAT good and I will sing all of its praises. So let’s talk about Wahala!

Wahala by Nikki May

Wahala
by Nikki May

Publisher: Doubleday
Date of Publication: 6th January 2022
Genre: Literary Fiction • Mystery/Thriller
Series: n/a
Format: eBook (375 pages)
Source: Review copy from NetGalley

Available Formats:
Hardback • eBook • Audiobook

Synopsis

Ronke wants happily ever after and 2.2. kids. She’s dating Kayode and wants him to be “the one” (perfect, like her dead father). Her friends think he’s just another in a long line of dodgy Nigerian boyfriends.

Boo has everything Ronke wants—a kind husband, gorgeous child. But she’s frustrated, unfulfilled, plagued by guilt, and desperate to remember who she used to be.

Simi is the golden one with the perfect lifestyle. No one knows she’s crippled by impostor syndrome and tempted to pack it all in each time her boss mentions her “urban vibe.” Her husband thinks they’re trying for a baby. She’s not.

When the high-flying, charismatic Isobel explodes into the group, it seems at first she’s bringing out the best in each woman. (She gets Simi an interview in Hong Kong! Goes jogging with Boo!) But the more Isobel intervenes, the more chaos she sows, and Ronke, Simi, and Boo’s close friendship begins to crack.

A sharp, modern take on friendship, ambition, culture, and betrayal, Wahala (trouble) is an unforgettable novel from a brilliant new voice.

  • Parental death
  • Cheating
  • Murder

Book Review

Wahala by Nikki May is a compelling page-turner of a novel from the very beginning. It’s a strong debut – dark and thrilling while also appealing to fans of contemporary fiction. One of its greatest strengths is how character driven it is. Multiple POVs don’t always work for me but this felt so flawlessly natural as it alternated between Ronke, Simi and Boo’s perspectives. I absolutely adored Ronke and felt a deep attachment to her from the start.

I thought that it was a fantastic choice to not show Isobel’s POV. That really helped ramp up the suspense. Who is this newcomer? What are her true intentions and motivations? And when those pieces finally come together… Wow.

In regards to those comparisons that I mentioned earlier, I don’t see the SATC ones beyond this being a story about a tight-knit group of friends. However, I can see why it’s compared to My Sister, the Serial Killer. They’re very different stories so while it’s not a strict readalike, there’s enough similarity in the underlying themes – especially since sisterhood and friendship aren’t too far detached.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. I can’t wait to see what the author comes out with next and I am so excited to watch the TV adaptation when that’s released because I’m sure it will be equally fantastic.

Will you be adding Wahala to your TBR? Let me know your thoughts below.

Hayley @ Cosy Chapters

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Hayley

I'm Hayley (she/her) and I'm more than a little bit bookish. Cosy Chapters is where I share all things book-related plus the occasional post about the cosy lifestyle. When I'm not reading, you'll find me spending time with my little family, rewatching sitcoms, planning the now somewhat elusive trip to Disneyland Paris and losing entire days playing ACNH.

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3 Comments

  • Fadima Mooneira January 7, 2022 at 11:26 am

    Most book experts are saying that Wahala is a must read in 2022. I must add this to my TBR. Thank you for sharing your review with me.

  • Stephanie @ Bookfever January 7, 2022 at 3:42 pm

    I’ve gotta say you totally sold me on this book. I love Multiple POVs usually (there are always exceptions) so I’m glad this book has them. Sounds like an incredible book!

  • Eleanor Jones January 7, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    I love reading debuts! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, this sounds like a gripping read x

  • Leave a Reply

    Welcome to Cosy Chapters!

    I'm Hayley (she/her) and I'm more than a little bit bookish.

    Cosy Chapters is where I share all things book-related plus the occasional post about the cosy lifestyle.

    When I'm not reading, you'll find me spending time with my little family, rewatching sitcoms, planning the now somewhat elusive trip to Disneyland Paris and losing entire days playing ACNH.

    Follow Cosy Chapters on WordPress.com

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