Bookstagram made me buy The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, but the amazing writing and characters kept me reading. I seriously cannot tell you how much I loved this book. It is SO GOOD. SO GOOD. So good you have to repeat yourself just to be sure you make complete emphasis about how GOOD it is. Haha, if you can’t tell, I really enjoyed it.
I picked it up after seeing literally all the accounts I follow on Instagram posting about it, and I was not disappointed. This book has great characters, an engaging, dynamic plot, and good humor. What more could a reader wish for?
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 I think 🗣️
I’ll be the first to say that humor in books doesn’t usually make me laugh out loud. But there were one-liners in this book that really had me cracking up. It also just had such a unique plot. Here’s a bad one-sentence summary, just for you: Nina’s life is just how she likes it, and then everything gets turned upside down by a new-but-dead dad and a super cute love interest and it gets real crazy.
Maybe not my best one-sentence plot, but you get an idea of it. This book is so original and creative and features some of the best character development I’ve ever read. Like, even the secondary and tertiary — wow, that word was hard to spell — characters develop incredibly throughout the book. Abbi Waxman is skilled.
In addition to the characters, even the language is beautiful. Seriously, if you want a peek at how lyrical the language in this book is, just take a peek at the quote below. There were so many amazing quotes like this, I wish I could include them all. You’ll just have to read the book (*cue dramatic sigh*).
Waxman has full control over everything that’s happening in this book, and it’s been a while since I’ve read a book that is as brilliantly executed as this one. Even the romantic gesture Nina makes at the end is amazing. Hint: it involves a quiz bowl. You probably get the point after all my adjectives and capital letters, so I’ll leave you to add it to your Amazon cart.
I really, really want you to go get The Bookish Life of Nina Hill ASAP. I’ve hyped it up, but I promise you won’t be disappointed. You’ll also learn a bunch of random trivia facts, which is fun. An extra bonus, if you will.
“It was Sunday, and they were busy working up their enthusiasm for the coming week. Each morning they would face possible disappointment (no callbacks, no job interviews, no call from the Academy) but would march themselves to lunchtime yoga and drink a green juice and look forward to the next opportunity to Break In or Go Big and Make It Work. Maybe this week they would meet The One. Los Angeles runs on youthful optimism, endorphins, and Capital Letters.”