Tittle: Wahala (A Novel)
Author: Nikki May
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 376 pages
Rating 5 out of 5 Crowns
“An incisive and exhilarating debut novel following three Angel-Nigerian best friends, Ronke, Boo, and Simi, and the lethally glamourous fourth woman Isobel who infiltrates their group”
“Wahala” (An Yoruba expression used for trouble or drama ) is Nikki May’s debut novel inspired by a long lunch with friends (May, 2022). Each chapter is based on one character’s experience and reaction to another, which I like because, as a reader, I get to step into the character’s shoes.
I love reading a book where I don’t want to say goodbye to the characters. I love a book where I say, “Don’t do that, sis,” while I read each page. If you are looking for a fun thriller and good drama, I recommend this book; if you want to add this book to your book collection because of the beautiful cover, I would suggest that as well. Either way, purchase and read this book.
“This was the downside of telling friends everything: it meant they knew everything”-Wahala, Nikki May-
“Wahala” takes place in London among three friends going through different life stages. The novel first starts with an introduction to Ronke and her boyfriend, Kayode. Ronke looks to Kayode to provide her with the love and perfection that her father once gave her, even if that means Ronke must compromise what she believes is perfect.
Boo is the next character in the novel; although Boo has the perfect husband and the most active daughter, she finds herself more aggravated than happy. Boo is met with mixed feelings when it comes to her whole life.
Simi is the third-best friend in this friendship triangle. Simi dropped out of medical school without telling her parents but became successful when she chose a career in fashion. With all of Simi’s success and a loving husband, she suffers from imposter syndrome.
Isobel, an old friend to Simi, introduces herself as a friend of opportunity to the other ladies in the group. The ladies will soon learn that when an opportunity comes, so do consequences.
“She (Ronke) did all the heavy lifting in their relationship, airbrushed his flaws, oversold his positives, forgave him when she shouldn’t and defend him to her friends. It had almost worked- she’d convinced herself he was perfect”-Wahala, Nikki May-Tweet
My great-grandma (who is now 90 years old) planted a word seed when she told me, “Three friends are enough.” Her reason for this was it would be easier to know who said what behind a person’s back. “Wahala” confirmed this because when Isobel was introduced to the group, that is when “Wahala” (trouble) started happening, and all communication got lost.
I learned (Bloomed) from “Wahala” that communication is the key to a strong “ship,” in this case, a Friendship. A strong “ship” such as a friendship involving three people or eight people can crumble when each person doesn’t feel comfortable communicating with the other people or person in the “ship.”
I also learned that safe spaces are necessary among friends; creating a safe space without judgment and sometimes and sometimes without opinion can allow our friends to be vulnerable and feel accepted. If a safe space is not built on a solid foundation, “Wahala” can easily slip through the cracks.