The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman #BookReview

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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.

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star three and a half

After last week’s thriller I really needed a book to help relax and loosen my tendons and muscles and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill was the perfect cure. If you’re looking for a novel with a quirky character then Nina definitely fits the bill. It might come as a shock because I read that lots of readers found many similarities in Nina but I didn’t identify with Nina as much as I had expected and I still don’t know if we would be friends exactly.

Nina is a strong, independent woman, whip smart and she really has her opinions. She lives by her calendar (the days were printed between the chapters and I really enjoyed these little extras) and she’s pretty rigid in her timings (ok we might have that in common), and lives with her cat named Phil (ok yes that too only mine doesn’t comment on my behaviour; I haven’t decided yet if that’s a good or bad thing), but for an introvert she does have a pretty full social life, she certainly doesn’t have social anxiety. She leads several book clubs at the bookstore she works, she has trivia night every week and movie nights on her agenda, gym class and there’s also reading time of course. How can a girl still fit in a date with a cute guy with all of that going on?

One day her life is turned upside down when she finds out that the father she never knew died and that he was quite rich. He knew about her though and he left her something in his will and gave her a large extended family as a bonus. Nina isn’t really looking for either and likes her life as it is but it’ll soon turn out that she won’t have a real choice in the matter… some of them look her up and it turns out they do have some things in common. At the same time the boy from a rival trivia team catches her eye and it seems that he might have noticed her too. Can she juggle all of that and let her quiet life become so much more chaotic?

I really enjoyed reading about the new family members and I thought she had much more in common with each of them than with her love interest, who was a lovely boy with lots of patience, but I didn’t really feel the chemistry, especially when she doesn’t find ‘time’ in her schedule to meet him and is still convinced that her future lover needs to read books to be a match. She knows so much and yet she knows nothing at all. Half of us would be single if that were true, right? The love angle was more of a sideplot for me and the focus of the novel was mostly on the new family and the intruiging will, with little sideplots involving the bookshop she worked at and the boy who knows more about sports than her.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is a charming book, easy to read and light-hearted. I enjoyed seeing Nina getting her head out of the books and adapting to the new situations. A great holiday novel if you’re still looking for one!

I bought a copy of this novel at my local bookstore. This is my honest opinion.

28 thoughts on “The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman #BookReview

  1. Brilliant review, as always ❤️ I too enjoyed her getting to know her family. It was really fun. I liked having the feeling I was in Los Angeles too. I could relate to her having so many social activities while getting some social anxiety, actually! She reminded me of me about that. 🙂 I found her difficulty to make time for Tom very interesting. I saw it as a way to protect herself. If you start giving some of your time to someone, you risk getting hurt, being exposed, and God knows what! I am glad you had a nice moment with Nina xxx

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  2. Too bad the love angle wasn’t that convincing, but Nina and her family sound like a great bunch of people. Lovely review Inge, I agree this might be a perfect holiday read. Oh, and are you sure your cat doesn’t comment on your behaviour? Sometimes it feels like cats can convey a message just via the expression in their eyes 😉

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  3. I agree, finding connections with her new family was what stood out for me too. It’s wasn’t a romance per se, more women’s fiction for me, and that’s probably why I loved all the other parts more than the romance. 😀

    Corina | The Brown Eyed Bookworm

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This one sounds like a fun, lighthearted look at families, especially ones we never thought we’d have. It could be fun to read, but I know not to expect too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah I didn’t know ambivert was what she was, but it sounds like it then. Her mother just chose to raise her alone so the father was always out of the picture, until he died… She does get a mental picture of him through what each person of her family tells her though. It’s interesting to see that everyone experiences other people so differently when they are in other stages of their life. I think it’s the type of novel you’d like to read perhaps as well. Thanks lovely!

      Liked by 1 person

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