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

I had seen positive reviews of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Westman on Instagram so when I saw a copy of the book on the library shelves, I brought it home with me.

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary


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 thoughts:

I expected much of this book because of the hype but I was low-key disappointed. Even though references were made to certain books (like Harry Potter), the title of the novel gave the expectation that there would be more bookish imagery. It was interesting for me to note that references were made to popular films (Star Trek and Star Wars) as well as TV shows (Friends).

The descriptions of LA, I do admit to skimming. I have never been to LA and Waxman’s mundane descriptions did not entice me to know more. I guess the writing for these moments were too prosaic and did not create an image in my mind of the streets Nina was walking.

The saving grace of the story is that Nina Hill does grow and develop as a character. She learns that being with the right people can calm her anxiety; and that she can accept the changes that have occurred in her life. She learns that the right people in her life can enrich it and make it more enjoyable. There is a little romance in the story; but the novel is focused on the story of Nina’s personal growth.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill was an enjoyable read; but it is one I will not read twice.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This novel was the 6th novel in my book pledge for 2020)

10 thoughts on “Book Review: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

  1. From the description this book sounds pretty good. Sorry it wasn’t as good as you expected it to be, though.
    What caught my eye was the title. Nina Hill was my aunt’s name before she married! She passed a long time ago, but it was funny seeing the name. 🙂


  2. Interesting thoughts…I have been on the fence about this one. Thank you for the honest review!!! I have only seen people rave about this but never explain why, I like your insight! I may wait a little bit to read this one, thank you for your honesty!


    1. You are welcome. I like to be honest so that readers can make an informed decision about a novel. I picked this one up because of the rave reviews. Now I wonder if they were being completely honest.


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