Book Review: ‘The Bookish Life of Nina Hill’ by Abbi Waxman

Whenever I find myself unsure what to read, I always search for a book about someone who loves books and reading as much as I do. I think it’s the unconscious desire to remind myself why I am so passionate about books. So, after slumping hard for quite some time, I was ready to start 2020 off with a guaranteed winner. Enter The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman, a cute contemporary romance that spoke to me on so many levels.

Synopsis: 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 allβ€”or mostly allβ€”excited to meet her! 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?

This book appealed to me for two reasons:

  1. Anything about a bookish girl finding love is going to be added to my reading list immediately.
  2. Nina’s suddenly discovered half-siblings resonates deeply with me because I recently found one of my own missing half brothers. (More on that in my Sunday Post)

Nina Hill is such a wonderfully quirky bookish character. She definitely falls into that “almost on the spectrum” level of intensity because she has some serious control issues when it comes to her schedule. Of course, that’s why the story works, because without her reticence to try new things it wouldn’t have the same level of drama. She’s shy, introverted, and has anxiety issues which cause all sorts of problems when she is confronted with a bunch of new people in her life.

“Soda makes me fart.” Then she closed her mouth tightly and promised herself she wouldn’t say anything else. Possibly ever.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

I had some truly laugh out loud moments while reading this, which I think is the marker of a good rom-com. The sexy bits weren’t too sexy, so I would feel comfortable giving this to my mother-in-law without blushing. She enjoys some good smut as much as the next woman, but I don’t need to be the one recommending it to her. πŸ˜›

I think my favourite parts of the book came when Nina recognized herself in her new-found family. One with anxiety, another loves books, another is great with trivia… each of them sharing this crucial part of her identity that makes it impossible for her to walk away easily.

I am definitely going to read another book by this author. I like the tone of her writing and the way she doesn’t overdo describing characters. It’s easy to put yourself in the shoes of these characters and understand their motivations.

Have you read this book? What did you think? Would you, or have you, read another book by Abbi Waxman?


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