Title: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Author: Abbi Waxman
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Fiction
Publication Date: July 09, 2019
Review Date: Nov 14, 2022
Number of Pages: 333 (paperback)
My Rating: 5/5
What a brilliant book. My only complaint is I waited too long to read this super book.
The writing is spectacular, and the book is fast paced, as we expect from the genre. The plot and prose are both fantastic and I learned so many little bits of trivia, too.
The author of Other People’s Houses and The Garden of Small Beginnings delivers a quirky and charming novel chronicling the life of confirmed introvert Nina Hill as she does her best to fly under everyone’s radar.
Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.
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.
What a brilliant book. In fact, my only complaint is that I waited too long to read this superbly written book.
I relate so much to Nina Hill, in so many ways – and I’m sure many readers would too! After all, one of the defining traits of her personality is the fact that she absolutely adores reading, much like me and very likely you too, since you’re reading this review about books! By the way, if you’d rather listen, we have a podcast too, where I similarly ramble on, so give it a shot.
Back to Nina – she loves books, trivia, being organized and solitude. By the end of the book, she’s still the same in many ways, but she’s grown so much in some other ways.
She found a new family and a cute boy, and found some undiscovered parts of herself in the process too. The writing is spectacular, and the book is fast paced, as we expect from the genre. The plot and prose are both fantastic and I learned so many little bits of trivia, too – but I’m sure I’ll forget many. Nevertheless, it was super fun to read and learn these tiny things. And I also got a lot of book recommendations from this book, which hello, what a great added bonus!
Waxman has a special skill for description, both of the happenings in the book as well as the musings of Nina’s mind. The ice cream trebuchet and the ice cream street war (both separate things) were hilarious. Oh, and there was a wedding Nina attended, and it was unique and touching, with fun elements but never flippant, and I think that’s difficult to do. Another difficult thing to write is children. How they talk, how they think, how they behave – it’s so hard to get right, especially ensuring they’re saying and doing things that a child of that age might reasonably do. So yes, I think Waxman is super great. If I have successfully managed to convince you to read this book by now, I’m sure you’ll feel the same way.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is for people who like books, reading, trivia, books, planning things, bookstores, Los Angeles, books, romance, family relationships, and books. Did I say books yet? Because books.