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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Title: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Author: Abbi Waxman

Publisher: Berkley

Published Date: July 9th 2019

Length: 333 pages

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Lit

Rating: 4.75 /5

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. 


This is the sort of book you could curl up in your favourite place and forget about the world a little. It’s cute, it’s really relatable to all the bookworms and introverts out there. It resonated with me a lot, too.

Nina Hill works in a bookshop, has a ton of books at home that she’s arranged according to her system, she has a lovely cat called Phil and she’s not exactly dying for company. It’s almost every bookworm’s dream, I think. I loved how real Nina’s life felt while I was reading the book, she has a proper planner and she plans things out because it helps her to a certain degree. She has a proper Pinterest account where she stores all her plans and things she wishes to do. Don’t we all?

She also has friends that she finds are enough for her, there’s the trivia team that she might be tad obsessed about, every week she plays trivia (hopefully, at a bar where they aren’t banned, it’s a thing you really need to read about). Her life, to her, seems exactly what it should be. She has hobbies apart from her reading and she has a few people in her life that she counts as important. Her mother has always been distant but in her own way, loving. As far as life is concerned, Nina is okay with it.

Then, one day, out of the blue, she comes to know that her mother always knew who her father was and just never felt like sharing the information. Why this comes to life, you ask, well, because it turns out her father is dead and she is in his will. As you can imagine, her life is not the same after that. There’s a whole new family members to get used to, there’s the fact that her dad isn’t alive anymore and she might never know him. Before getting the news, Nina never gave it much thought that her father wasn’t around but once she hears that he’s dead, her emotions feel all over the place.

Nina might enjoy adventures of all kind in her books but she does not appreciate emotional adventures in real life, thank you very much. Her life further unravels when she comes to know that the bookshop she works in (Knight’s) might not open for long and that her boss had been trying for months to stick it out.

I absolutely loved the way this book was written, Nina feels so real and almost like a part of me. Not just Nina, all the other characters were well written and felt real and fleshed out. Each one had their own thing going and it was going parallel to Nina’s life, we get glimpses of them throughout the book and I think the author did a wonderful job of it.

The conversations felt real and something I could actually envision having with my own set of friends who are just sassy and snappy as Nina’s friends. It felt real. The friendships, the tentative meetings with her new family felt believable too. What wasn’t quite as good was the romance. It was cute, there’s no doubt about that but it was a bit…unrealistic?

If there’s one thing that didn’t vibe with me, it was just the way romance played out however that’s a tiny thing compared to the whole book and trust me, if you want a comfort read, Nina Hill is the book to read. I loved it and by lucky coincidence, it was exactly what I needed to read at the time.

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