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

The Blurb:

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. 

My Rating: ★★★★★

My Review:

What a truly enjoyable read! Laugh out loud funny, heart-warming and completely captivating – definitely one of my favourite reads this month. Perfect for bookworms who, like me, love quirky characters, pop culture references, list making, cats and a little bit of romance.

I absolutely adored Nina. She and I could easily be kindred spirits. Both of us finding immeasurable joy in all things bookish; highly organised; routine driven; socially anxious and introverted. Both of us having an affinity for cats – hers named Phil; mine named Smooches Charles. Plus she has my dream job – working in a real bookstore – the smell of paper and ink, access to new releases, authors and book clubs…..yes please!!

I loved reading the way Nina’s mind worked – her unquestionable knowledge of all things (except sport); her bookish snobbery; her rationalisation for why she is the way she is; her insecurities; her anxieties. I loved her dedication to planning…right down to planning Thursday night ‘Nothing’ – reading and cuddles with Phil…something I think Smooches and I can get behind.

Supporting Nina’s story are a number of well-written characters each with their own quirks and relatability.

There’s Tom, the team captain of a rival trivia team who is drawn to Nina without understanding why at first and predictably becomes her love interest. And while their romance is sweet, for me, equally important are the relationships with her work colleagues, her trivia team, the young girls from the book club and her newly found dysfunctional family.

I thoroughly enjoyed the back and forth between all of these characters; how they supported each other and how Nina found herself within her family; discovering she wasn’t all that different from them. – genetics is a funny thing. I loved watching Nina come to terms with possibly missing out on wonderful things if she stayed ensconced in her own bookish world; a slave to her routines and introversion. I loved her bravery and resolve to try to change her life and let people in.


Not only a romance, The bookish Life of Nina Hill is a fun story of connections; of relationships and of growth. A warm and fluffy read with all the feels; perfect for nights curled up under a blanket reading.

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