Unnecessary Drama (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

At the start of her first year of college, Brooke moves into a house with two roommates and only one house rule: no unnecessary drama. Brooke’s anxiety makes her more of the rules in a color-coded binder (or possibly a spreadsheet) type, but she’s trying to disguise herself as chill and fun. But that all goes out the window when one of her two roommates turns out to be Jesse, the high school friend she awkwardly kissed at a party four years earlier. His clumsy and very public denial that he might actually like her romantically left a scar so painful that Brooke never spoke to him again. To keep their no-drama roommate Harper from kicking them out, they pretend to get along in front of her which leads to laugh-out-loud moments of misunderstandings and even some fake-dating. The enemies-to-lovers trope is well played here, and the side characters are a delightful bunch, including an ex-boyfriend, a failed blind date, and Brooke’s wild older sister, the cheerful one who everyone loves. Brooke is such a relatable character that I found myself thinking over and over, “Yeah, that would totally happen to me.” Teens will love Brooke and her gang of friends, but don’t miss out on the hilarity and drama just because you’re a grown-up!

— Jenny Chou


From the award-winning author of It Sounded Better in My Head comes a deliciously entertaining enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about two high school nemeses who end up sharing a house together their first year of college

Eighteen-year-old Brooke is the kind of friend who not only remembers everyone’s birthdays, but also organizes the group present, pays for it, and politely chases others for their share. She’s the helper, the doer, 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 college.

Her student housing only has one rule: "no unnecessary drama." Which means no fights, tension, or romance between roommates. When one of them turns out to be Jesse, her high-school nemesis, Brooke is determined 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.

With Unnecessary Drama, Nina Kenwood perfectly captures the experience of leaving home for the first time, dealing with the unexpected complications of life, and somehow finding exactly what you need.

About the Author

Nina Kenwood is an award-winning author living in Melbourne, Australia. Her debut novel, It Sounded Better in My Head, was a finalist for the American Library Association’s William C. Morris Debut Award, has been published in six languages, and was optioned for film. Unnecessary Drama is her second novel.

Praise For…

"A fun, breezy read that feels lighthearted but is multilayered, this one will appeal to YA and new adult readers, especially those ready to begin college. Enthusiastically recommended." —SLJ, starred review

"A romantic comedy that brings the rom and tons of the com . . . sidesplitting comic writing and an appealingly messy protagonist to root for." —KIRKUS, starred review

"Teens learning to trust again and discovering that drama is sometimes necessary for growth populate this sunny rom-com. . . . Brooke’s high-intensity personality, amicable chatter, and hyper-independence propel the narrative through its believable and hilarious goings-on." —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY


William C. Morris Award Finalist
2021 Rise: A Feminist Book Project List
Nominated to YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers List

“I am all-caps OBSESSED with this achingly insightful, utterly charming, beautiful heart-punch of a book. Instant favorite.” —Becky Albertalli, author of SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA

“With candor and affection, IT SOUNDED BETTER IN MY HEAD captures a teenager navigating the final moments of one stage of life and the first moments of the next.” —BOOKPAGE

“An authentic coming of-age story that perfectly captures the awkwardness and self-doubt many young adults feel. Teens will see aspects of themselves mirrored in Kenwood’s debut.” —SLJ

“I love, love, loved it.” —Melina Marchetta, author of JELLICOE ROAD

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250894441
ISBN-10: 1250894441
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: August 8th, 2023
Pages: 304
Language: English