Yasmin Rahman always does an extraordinary job of handling fragile issues in a sensitive manner. It is an excellent book about being under pressure constantly and mentally strained, especially by those you know and not being able to cope with anything well.
Why is Nobody Laughing has a plot that deals with very serious issues. Ibrahim Malik is a young Asian teenager who wants to do stand up comedy as a profession. The problem is that his family hates the idea of comedy. On top of that, his family don’t speak English and rely on him for everything. When he signs up in a comedy competition with his best friend Dexter, he has a panic attack on stage. He meets Sura, who teaches him to keep the panic attacks away. But can he cope with everything?
I really enjoyed this book as I feel that a lot of people could relate to it.
This book touches on suicide and mental health in an accessible way. It also touches on the fact that kindness can go a long way. I really enjoyed this book as I feel that a lot of people could relate to it. It felt very accurate what depression was like and feels realistic on the pressure that can be exerted on you without others ever realising.
The friendship between Ibrahim and Dexter also is quite touching. That friendship can really help and always ask whether your friends are okay as sometimes they aren’t coping well either, just not showing it better.
The plot was quite good with nearly all the characters touched on with great detail. My favourite part is at the end of the book when a mystery is revealed and still keeps in theme with the rest of the book.
The book was making Sura seem very mysterious. The way she shows up whenever Ibraham needs her but disappears when he doesn’t need her anymore is really interesting. We never know if she was real or a figment of his imagination. But Yaasmin doesn’t go with one of the default paths for Sura and chooses something outside of the box.
Overall, I would give the book a 4 and a half star rating as it is really good with a satisfactory ending and all the characters being touched on in detail. I feel that due to the topics of the book it is 12+ and you should be warned about being triggered about the panic attack scenes of the book and some darker ones.