This book was on the Notable list for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards – Older Readers
Eighteen-year-old Brooke is the kind of friend who not only remembers everyone’s birthdays, but also organises the group present, pays for it and politely chases others for their share. She’s the helper, the doer, the guarder-of-drinks, the minder-of-bags, the maker-of-spreadsheets. She’s the responsible one who always follows the rules – and she plans to keep it that way during her first year of university. Her new share house only has one rule, ‘no unnecessary drama‘. Which means no fights, tension, or romance between housemates. When one of her housemates turns out to be Jesse, her high-school enemy, Brooke is nervously confident she can handle it. They’ll simply silently endure living together and stay out of each other’s way. But it turns out Jesse isn’t so easy to ignore. – Synopsis
Nina Kenwood’s second novel, Unnecessary Drama, is an engaging romantic comedy centred around eighteen-year-old Brooke, who not only serves as the protagonist but also narrates the story. Set in Melbourne, the plot revolves around Brooke’s life in a dilapidated share-house she shares with two others, including Jessie, an old high school friend who was both her first kiss and the source of her past humiliation and pain. Reluctantly, she must coexist with him, despite her lingering resentment, as the house rules explicitly state ‘no unnecessary drama.’ Brooke must navigate the challenges of adulthood in a bustling city.
As it’s the case with most rom-coms, this novel incorporates certain tropes and clichés, which most readers will recognise.
Brooke, portrayed as an anxious and chronic overthinker, is presented solely through her perspective, which occasionally leads to an excess of introspection and, ironically, unnecessary drama.
Nevertheless, the novel offers a light and fast-paced reading experience that underscores the significance of friendships and the importance of letting go of the past and seeing what is there in the present.
Recommended for ages 13+.