I discovered How To Stop Your Grownup From Making Bad Decisions on Goodreads. There was an advert. And, I did some research and found out that it’s written by Judy Balan, a Chennai-based author. So, I was curious. Naturally! After all, she is from my city.
How To Stop Your Grownup From Making Bad Decisions – the first book in the Nina The Philosopher series – is a delightful read. After a long day at work, I began reading it at 11:30 PM, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I confess I couldn’t put it down. (Oh, I am blogging about it at 2.55 AM!)
This is my second children’s book after Neil Gaiman’s Coraline this week. I must say I enjoyed reading both.
Everything in Balan’s book is well thought-out (BTW, this is my first book of Balan). For instance, the first page carries ten random facts about the author. It’s like shaking her hands, before meeting her book. I like the idea. 🙂 Then, a quick, heartwarming note to her daughter and the reader follows.
Little people who have a grownup trapped inside of them, grownups who never signed up for adulthood, we’re all in this mess together.
As a reader, I fall in love with writers, who give words to my thoughts. That way, Balan began winning my trust from that little note.
The story is told from Nina’s perspective. She is eleven and blogs regularly on her website called http://www.ninathephiloshopher.com. Readers learn her story through her blog posts, which are hilarious, and enlightening. She writes about her single mother, her teenage sister, her unfair teacher, her ordeals, and everything that sends her into an infinite loop of thought.
She is a “compulsive over-thinker.” But she doesn’t ask cringe-worthy questions or offer presumptuous opinions. On many occasions, I wanted to leave a comment on Nina’s blog, saying “How did you know what I was thinking?” or “Damn. I should have thought about it.” So, instead of writing a regular review, I thought it would be fun to write a long comment of sorts. Or, let’s say, a letter to Nina.
And, here it is:
I am glad to have met you. I loved reading your blogs. You are adorably irreverent and bright, and I wish I could be like you. Like over-think and still be awesome. 🙂
I kept highlighting a lot of sentences that made me smile. Some of my favourites are here:
Weird people have a story, so you should talk to them.
It’s not like I’m asking for that Pears soap mom who is always lovingly bathing her child, wrapping her in the world’s whitest towel and rubbing her nose against her cheek. I’m just saying I don’t want to WORRY about my mom.
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.
There are a lot more. But I don’t want to spoil your story for other readers by sharing all of them here.
I share your love for Harry Potter. I particularly liked your tendency to explain things using Harry Potter references. Dig-shit is like Umbridge? Man, she must be a bitch no? And, your Grandpa must be crazy to choose a name like Scarecrow. Like really?
I liked your paintings too. The drawing that you did for BLG was amazing.
And, you wanted to become a bus-driver, when you were three? So was my dear nephew. (I should ask him to read your blogs. He might find it interesting.)
I am a fan of your peculiar questions, Nina. You doubt all that adults choose to ignore or accept without questioning. Thank you for over-thinking and coming up with profound thoughts. You do all the brilliant stuff with a dash of innocence, and that’s what makes you incredibly special. You are a star! 🙂
Now that I have started visiting your website, I would want to read more of it. Hoping to see the next book in the series soon.
Finally, you must know what Miss Spink thought about Coraline. “What an extraordinary child!” she opined. I am borrowing that to give you an encouraging pat. Nicely done!
Your reader! ❤