When “How to Stop Your Grownup From Making Bad Decisions” by Judy Balan was thrust on me by a friend, I was very reluctant to read it because humour is a risky business. It appeals to some but annoys others. So, I am very choosy about this genre and I was uncertain about what I was in for.
Written as a series of blog posts (epistolary novel) by Nina, it is the story of a eleven-year old girl who asks lots of questions. She lives with her divorced single Mom – Ritu, and her teenage sister – Nikki. The other characters that share her world are
Mrs. Pooja Dixit a.k.a. Mrs. Poo-jar Dig-Shit, her teacher,
Ashwin uncle, her mom’s good friend,
Dhiraj Fist a.k.a. Diddy Blood, her mom’s rapper boyfriend,
Polka Dot a.k.a. Poltergeist, Dhiraj’s son and
As she struggles through her life with the PMSing Nikki and the maddening Dig-shit, with the the only silver lining being Ashwin Uncle, her mother meets with a car accident when she is out with Dhiraj.
This is when she discovers the “Bright Light God”. Though BLG saves her mother, Nina feels that her mother has changed since the accident because she wants to marry Dhiraj and let him and his pest-of-a-son move into their house.
An attempt at a funny and philosophical series of events that
narrate Nina and Nikki’s efforts to avert this disaster is the rest of the story.
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- Firstly, check the cool site of Nina, the philospher.
- I said attempt, did I? The attempt has been a success. For the most part, the attempt at humour has been fruitful, though there were a few portions which did not exactly tickle me. I do understand that this is a 11-year old’s story. So, from that perspective, it will definitely serve its purpose to younger readers.
- The illustrations by Priyanka Shyam perfectly complement the style and humour of Nina. I am sure every reader would love the “Types of female Moustaches”. Check it out on Nina’s blog.
- Deep thoughts in simple words wrapped inside a child’s blog posts of her family. The simplicity and innocence of the philosophical statements coming from Nina and the depth of the thoughts is striking. Is it because it appears to come from a child that they made me smile?
I don’t know why grownups can’t admit they are wrong. Like, if somebody tells me I made a grammatical mistake, I’d just say, ‘Oh, okay!’ and I’d learn the right answer. So simple it is.
I think new friends are okay, but if we talk more to old friends and family, we’ll have BETTER friends instead of MORE friends.
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- As the mother of a 11-year old, I can tell that this book is much beyond her age – maybe partly because her circumstances are different from Nina’s.
Philosophy of Nina, the philosopher.