Not Just Another Interlude by Lara T Kareem
Not Just Another Interlude by Lara T. Kareem was a 3.5 star read for me. I have so many feelings about this book, I won this book as a giveaway hosted by the author.
While I’m not obligated to review the book, my heartfelt feelings were all tied up into the book. I struggled with the story a bit and debated if I should have given this story a higher rating. This however is my honest review. It is also part of my Nigerian Independence Spotlight Series.
This story was cutesier than I typically prefer but I’m always up to support Nigerian authors in any way I can. When I started the book, there were a lot of eye rolling moments and mutterings: “Really?” and “Na wa oh!.”
However, I persevered. All I can say is that it reminded me so much of one my best YouTube web series, Skinny Girl in Transit. (This is not an ad.)
Initially, I was a little put off by all the big-big grammar, until I remembered that standard Naija, particularly with the middle class, they blow serious grammar that is peppered with local languages and some Nigerianese or pidgin.
Anyways, I loved the mix of proper English with Nigerianese and Yoruba. It gladdens my heart or like we say, e dey sweet my belle. Not being Yoruba (one of the major tribes in Nigeria), some words were difficult for me to immediately grasp but I got the gist of it as the novel progressed.
I also loved that female friendship was highlighted and honored. It is serious goals to say the least. Moreso, you will appreciate this more, if you grew up on a steady diet of Nollywood (the Nigerian film industry) movies that repeatedly force feed betrayals and back stabbings as the reward for having female friends.
I’m sure that the industry contributed a great deal to all those “I don’t have female friends” statements flying around the Nigerian female community. This is because to some certain extents films impact our belief system. Needless to say, Nafisa, Sewa, Onyinye and Nnoli are the babes I want my friends and I to be; semi-paid and enjoying life!
The cultural exploration is luxuriant. Iit accurately depicts what living in Lagos (Lag) is like in the life of a typical Nigerian. Because, what are we without our nosy, bossy, annoying and amusing Nigerian aunties? Ah ah! Is there even a Naija movie or book that is complete without our Nigerian aunties with their busy-body selves? I enjoyed seeing them, the well-meaning but meddlesome and cannot-be-avoided extended family members.
Now let’s get down to the heart of the matter, romance. See ehn, I enjoyed Sewa and Jide’s love. I can’t even beef Sewa at all, I’d actually like to congratulate her and ask, “Nne, how did you manage to snag a Jide that was not a Yoruba demon?”
Since it has been long agreed, and hence public knowledge that Jides are to women what Cassonova was reputed for – passion, heart break. So, I want to ask Sewa, Girllll! How did you do it and a rich one at that?
Now that we’ve established that I’m for Sewa and Jide, can I say that their relationship was absolutely perfect? Too perfect, some might say, nevertheless, it was beautiful but it seemed too tidy for me sa.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, had a real good laugh and would recommend it for lovers of contemporary Nigerian romance. This story is for readers who read for escape and really anyone who enjoys romance.
It’s equally suitable read for the teenage demographic as a good voyage into the romance genre. I can’t help but say that the Nigerian flavor of this book is my greatest highlight and I can’t wait to read more of Lara T. Kareem’s works.
I used a lot of Nigerian terms and phrases – if you were lost, here’s a mini glossary.
Nne – it means mother in Igbo language (one of the major tribes in Nigeria). It can also be used address a woman or girl informally.
Ah ah – it’s an exclamation and question all at once. It has multiple uses.
Ehn- It’s word added to a sentence or comes after another word. It adds stress to the word that it comes after it.
Nigerianese – Statements that are a mixture of English, slangs, pidgin English and local languages that Nigerians speak regularly irrespective of class, religion, tribe or social status e.g Na Wa!
Na Wa! – is one of those word that everybody knows how it should be used but cannot explain the meaning to someone else that is not familiar with the language. It used to express exasperation or shock.
Sa- similar to anyways
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