Nikki May: Wahala

This rreview is written with thanks to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read and review Wahala.


Ronke, Simi, Boo are three mixed-race friends living in London.
They have the gift of two cultures, Nigerian and English.
Not all of them choose to see it that way.

Everyday racism has never held them back, but now in their thirties, they question their future. Ronke wants a husband (he must be Nigerian); Boo enjoys (correction: endures) stay-at-home motherhood; while Simi, full of fashion career dreams, rolls her eyes as her boss refers to her urban vibe yet again.

When Isobel, a lethally glamorous friend from their past arrives in town, she is determined to fix their futures for them.

Cracks in their friendship begin to appear, and it is soon obvious Isobel is not sorting but wrecking. When she is driven to a terrible act, the women are forced to reckon with a crime in their past that may just have repeated itself.

Explosive, hilarious and wildly entertaining, this razor-sharp tale of love, race and family will have you laughing, crying and gasping in horror. Fearlessly political about class, colourism and clothes, the spellbinding Wahala is for anyone who has ever cherished friendship, in all its forms.


I chose this book from Pigeonhole at the last minute and I’m so glad I did. I really enjoyed being part of the lives of Ronke, Simi and Boo and learning about their culture. 

I found that Wahala was mostly character led and the female characters in particular were brilliantly constructed. May explores several themes that resonate with me as I am a similar age to these characters: issues such as relationships, friendships, sex and body image. This helped me to relate to Ronke, Simi and Boo and root for them throughout the novel, even though I didn’t always agree with their actions, as I could understand the reasons behind them. Isobel was a character who really got under my skin as she was so unlikeable and I was intrigued to see how she would affect the dynamics of the friendship. 

The plot of Wahala is slightly slow burning and it was not until the last few chapters that the novel burst into life. However, I loved that there are so many clues and red flags peppered throughout the novel and I remained engaged the whole way through. 

I would highly recommend this novel. 

Wahala is available from Amazon.

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