Sunday, May 10, 2015

Review: Chipped Black Nail Polish by Nicholas Tanek

A tribute to a different kind of Jersey girl.
In New Jersey during the summer of 1989, an awkward thirteen-year-old who was obsessed with weird music fell head-over-heels in love with the coolest post-punk rock girl he had ever met. Nicholas was insecure. He was a daydreamer, wishing for romance when he was told, over and over, that he could not have it. He was a toy, pulled and pushed, wanted and used, dragged along yet held at a distance. Nicholas fell in with the out crowd, and loved every minute of it. He fell in love and got left behind, but not before she changed him forever.

This is an irrational, emotional love story for the teenager inside all of us. The music is loud, and you’re about to be pushed into the pit.

What some people are saying…

“I should have put you in therapy.” – my mother.

“I can’t believe you’re publishing this. You do not have my permission to use my real name.” – name redacted.

“I insist that you use my real name.” – Kevin.

“Finally, a title that doesn't scare people off. Not like the first book, The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself.” – Kim Gray, publicist


Sometimes I read a book I love so much I don't know where to start. There are not enough words to describe why I love it. This is the way I feel about Chipped Black Nail Polish by Nicholas Tanek The story of first love, teenage awkwardness, music (lots of it), and finding the confidence to be yourself, is the perfect prequel to The Coolest way to Kill Yourself. Set in the summer of 1989, Nicholas is a shy teenager who rides his bike to the record store looking for a new favorite album but instead finds the effortlessly cool, Kim. As the summer rolls on you see Nicholas break out of his shell and fall in love. Kim takes him on different adventures and introduces him to Di, Gina, and Quentin. You will love these people, along with Kevin, Nicholas' friend who always has the perfect thing to say to make you laugh. It is a brilliantly written story, that is smart, funny, and endearing. Chipped Black Nail Polish captures what it is to be a teenager. It doesn't matter if you were a teenager in 1989, because the same feelings of being weird, awkward, the odd one out and first love, transcends no matter what year it is. When you find those friends or other people who accept and embrace you, those are the ones you don't forget.

Nicholas Tanek is one of those few authors that you come across whose words and writing transports you into the story and and makes you feel everything in it. Bike rides, music, punk rock clubs, trips to New York, you are with Nicholas, Kim, Di, Gina, Quintin, and Kevin every step of the way. I read a quote the other day that said, "Some books you read. Some books you enjoy, Some books swallow you up, heart and soul." Nicholas Tanek's Chipped Black Nail Polish is a book that will definitely touch you heart and soul.




  1. Great Review, I couldn't agree more.

  2. Great Review, I couldn't agree more.