On the jacket:
Nina has questions. Are moms just little girls who are taller and wear prettier shoes? Can I call pest control services to get rid of a pesky seven-year-old boy? What if my sister is a voodoo high priestess? Is a grownup refusing to grow up the same as someone pretending to be asleep? Are teachers not allowed to admit they're wrong? WHO. LEFT. PARENTS. IN. CHARGE? Somebody had better have the answers. Big announcement: Nina's mom is going to marry Dhiraj! He's not the wicked stepfather by any stretch of the imagination. He's much, much worse. He's a rapper! And a bad one at that. And his rapper name is Dhiraj Fist aka Diddy Blood. Case rested. After all, dumb is the new wicked. Nina must stop this catastrophe, but she's going to need co-conspirators. With her sister Nikki, who seems to keep disappearing mysteriously, and her mother's best friend, Ashwin Uncle, who's now fighting with her mother, Nina must find a way to save her favourite grownup from making a really bad decision. Because, really, grownups just can't be trusted to make the best life choices. As sweet as it is funny, Nina the Philosopher is a brilliant, witty, thought-provoking series that tells the story of a modern-day fairy tale: a single mother and her two wonderful, hilariously angst-ridden daughters. It's the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Without a wimp. Or a diary. The book is beautifully designed and illustrated by a remarkably talented new artist, Priyanka Shyam.
I have been reading Judy since she was just a blogger and am one of her fans. No, that doesn't mean I am biased. I'd loved Two Fates but didn't like Sophie Says that much. So here I have her first book for young adults and let me be frank, this is Judy's forte.
How to stop your grownup from making bad decisions is a collection of excerpts from Nina's diary. Oh wait! Nina is a blogger. Yes, she's cool that way. Your average, over-thinking pre-teen who wants to do the right things in their literal sense but is totally harassed by the grow-ups in her life. The eleven year old, in her own world, sees the rest of the world as it should be seen - where elders say something yet do something else, don't get the basics of life and can make the silliest of decisions.
Younger daughter to a single mother, she feels she is her mother's mother at times and her sister Nikki ... well, let's not talk about Nikki *rolls eyes*. Then there are her grandparents who are much fun and there is Ashwin uncle who is the most fun to be. Her mother is dating someone who goes by the name Diddy Blood and fancies himself to be a rapper. If a rapper as her mom's boyfriend wasn't enough, the man had a seven year old son Polka Dot who was sent to this world just to annoy Nina, one would think.
Judy has got the essence of a pre-teen's mind to a T. Characters are well-defined and so easy to relate to - specially, Nina. Also, it doesn't matter how old you are, you will relate to Nina's joys, confusions and frustrations with the elders in her life.
I have read quite a few books for young adults by Indian as well as foreign authors, over the last year and I have no qualms in admitting I found 'most' of them disappointing. Everyone is trying to ape The Twilight. Whatever for? Give a pre-teen a story about pre-teens living normal lives. A twelve-year-old me would have lapped this book up and waited for more. Even now, I lapped it up over a few hours and yes, am waiting for more similar books from Judy.
I almost forgot to add, I loved the cover design.
[This was an author request review. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]