Book Review | The Bookish Life of Nina Hall by Abbi Waxman

Genre : Fiction, Adult Contemporary
Published on : July 9, 2019
Publisher : Berkley Books
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*Huge thanks to Berkley Publishing, PRHInternational/PRHGlobal, and NetGalley for my free advance copy.
This did not affect my overall opinion of the book.

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. (via Goodreads)

A book about a woman who loves to read and obsessed with planning? Count me in!

But first of all, Happy Publication Day to The Bookish Life of Nina Hill!

Nina Hill is an only child. She was mostly raised by her wonderful nanny because her mother works as a professional photographer which requires a lot of travelling. She never knew her father until a lawyer appears one day informing her that her wealthy father has just died and she is included in the will. She has to meet the family she never knew existed and on top of that, she starts to develop romantic feelings for a guy.

I found Nina very relatable. Well she is a hardcore bookworm. She works at an independent bookstore and lives in an apartment with floor to ceiling bookshelves together with Phil, her grumpy cat. She is in a trivia team and hosts various of book clubs. She loves planning and organizing. You can probably guess who is her favorite character. Yes. Monica Geller. Nina is socially awkward and loves being alone. She also suffers from anxiety attacks which affects her relationship towards other people. We get to see how she reacts to unexpected events in her life and how she handles them despite of her anxiety.

I thought the writing style was delightful. The secondary characters were eccentric and fun to read as well and I appreciated the strong female friendships. I wanted to know more about each and every one of the family and how their relationships with Nina develop. Honestly, I was more focus on the insta-family story line than the romance part. I personally didn’t feel any chemistry between Nina and Tom right from their very first encounter. I thought the romance in this book felt flat and cringey at times. Tom, the love interest, was an interesting and a nice guy but there was one incident that he acted like a jerk and it annoyed me.

There were so many things that I loved and enjoyed in this book but somehow I still feel like it’s lacking. The story really started strong but I lost interest towards the end. This was probably one of those “it’s not you, it’s me” kind of read for me.

Overall, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill was still a fun, light and humorous summer read.

My Rating : ★★★☆☆

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