Review: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

the bookish life of nina hill cover

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Published: July 9th, 2019 by Berkley

Genre: Fiction | Romance | Contemporary

Recommended to: book lovers and those who like character-driven books

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About The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options.

1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

: ★★★★★

There are certain books you read that leave you with a feeling of contentment. This is one of those.

When I read the excerpt, I expected it to be a typical romantic comedy — a light enough read to keep me entertained. What I was not prepared for was how much depth I found in it.

This book is not just about a girl who loves books and being alone. This book is about comfort in solitude, the gift of family, and how sometimes, the best company comes in the most unexpected people.

Nina is not your typical heroine. She likes being alone, she reads and collects a lot of books, and she likes to plan ahead rather than be spontaneous. Honestly, she’s a lot like me.

Surely her purpose in life wasn’t simply to read as many books as possible?

Same, Nina. Same.

What I really liked about this book is the writing style. I’m not sure how to describe it but it feels natural, kinda like being in someone’s head. And it’s clearly a feat because the book is written in the third person and sometimes, the thoughts of each character get thrown side by side.

What I was also not prepared for is how Nina’s anxiety is an integral part of the story. I do not have anxiety but I have friends who do and I like to think this book portrayed it well. I also liked the fact that people around Nina didn’t force her to change who she is and accepted her for who she truly was.

“I don’t want you to change, Nina. I want to take care of you. If you get less anxious, great, but if you don’t, then that’s fine, too, because that’s who you are.”

I could probably go on and on about the things I liked in this book but it would be too long. If you like character-driven books, then this one is for you. Overall, it was a really heartwarming read and at some point, it almost made me cry (I recently discovered crying was difficult with a face mask on). It was hilarious but also cute and sweet. If you see this, do me a favor and please give this book a chance.

A free copy was given to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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