The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Panda Rating:

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. 

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill was just as quirky and relatable as I expected and I enjoyed every minute I spent with Nina Hill and the odd mix of characters we encounter in this book. This was one of the more hyped books in the last few months on bookstagram, which intimidated me for a while (hype and I have a love/hate relationship), but I’m glad that I took the plunge and finally read it!

“It also meant she thought of books as medication and sanctuary and the source of all good things. Nothing yet had proven her wrong.”

I’m not sure what expectations I had going in, but the writing style was very different to what I expected, though not necessarily in a bad way. It definitely enhanced the quirkiness of the story and fit it quite well, but I’m not sure if I’d prefer or enjoy this style in a different book. As this was a character driven story, there wasn’t much in the way of a plot. We follow Nina as she navigates having her perfectly structured world turned completely upside down with the introduction of family members that suddenly appear in her life, difficulties at work that could lead to the loss of her safe space, and Tom: #1 trivia nemesis turned potential love interest. The writing was simple, engaging and infused with great humor, which had me speeding through the pages and made it an even greater pleasure to read.

There was so much friendly banter between all of the characters and it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, as as much as I was constantly smiling and laughing at their interactions. I really enjoyed meeting Nina’s many siblings and nieces/nephews. Peter was sassy, smart and I loved how he so readily embraced and accepted Nina. I also ended up really liking her brother Archie, but especially sweet little bookish Millie! Although I was initially unsure of how I felt about Nina’s character, she quickly grew on me, as did most of the others, and by the end I don’t think there was one I disliked (surprisingly). As a fellow bookworm and appreciator of all things bookish, but also as someone who really appreciates structure, it felt at times that Nina Hill’s story was picked right from my own life; obviously I related to her a lot. What I enjoyed most about Nina was that although she preferred being alone with her books, she still kept up a very busy and active social life — trivia nights, book clubs, yoga etc., and even though she was an introvert she never actually shied away from doing things that I personally would’ve panicked to get out of (i.e. go to a wedding alone). I really admired those traits in her and it was a refreshing perspective to see in a fellow bookworm!

“Being with you is as good as being alone.”

The romance aspect of Nina’s story also had me in giggling fits! The interactions between Nina and Tom were sweet but incredibly awkward at times. I loved that we got to see both of their thoughts during these interactions because it made it all the more hilarious and it endeared me even more to their characters. Their relationship is really a case of where opposites attract, and I thought Tom was such a sweetheart of a character. I do wish we got more personality from him, but he seemed like a really sweet guy that I wanted to give endless hugs to? I found it really adorable how he was so smitten by Nina!

“Being surrounded by books was the closest she’d ever gotten to feeling like the member of a gang. The books had her back, and the nonfiction, at least, was ready to fight if necessary.”

I was thoroughly entertained throughout Nina’s story. I honestly didn’t look too much into the believability and ease in which things happened because of course, life never falls so seamlessly into place as it does for Nina. BUT I still loved it because who doesn’t love a story about a character who’s so much like yourself? Especially when they get happy endings! Overall, this was the perfect fluffy read that I know many book lovers will get a kick out of reading.

Have you read The Bookish Life of Nina Hill? What did you think?
Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I stayed up well into Sunday morning (the sun was out and the neighborhood coming to life) in order to finish reading The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata and then managed to catch a few hours of zzz’s before finishing getting up to finish The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked. For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable.
What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

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 are you currently reading?

This last week was ridiculously busy. Mum was over and left Saturday morning at the butt crack of dawn and I drove her to the airport and then I came home and fell asleep for way too long. Oops? After that I went out to the cinema for the first time in ages and watched Abominable with my bestie. It was ADORABLE! I had no clue what it was about other than it looked cute and exactly what I needed! I loved that it was set in Asia (China) because it’s still so rare to see diverse mainstream movies, especially cartoons. DreamWorks definitely delivered all the cuteness and laughs that I was looking for and I left the theater feeling giggly and buoyant!

This week was (unsurprisingly) super busy with lots of family things because mum was around. We also had some old family friends visiting, which meant more late nights with dinners and socializing after work. It left me completely drained of energy at the end of every night, so I think I really needed a weekend doing as little as possible. I just realized that October is going to be a really busy month with next week being the only one I have to myself until the end of the month. I have some besties coming to visit me for a little over a week and I’m planning to take a few days off from work to spend time with them. After that the office is having the second round of annual meetings and then the month will be over. I’m finding it ridiculous how quickly time is flying!

Reading & Blogging Recap

It was a pretty meh week on the reading and blogging front. Most nights I would normally spend reading was spent out socializing and when we got home, it was spent chatting with mum. It’s moments like these that I miss living closer to my parents (even though only live a short flight over). As it usually is with mothers and daughters, it got a bit rocky sometimes (especially with mum staying over with me in my tiny flat), but it was nice having her around even if it meant I was reading less. The only books I managed to finish this week are the ones I mentioned above. I’m still going on with House of Salt and Sorrows but I haven’t read anymore since Friday night because it’s a lot spookier than I expected and now I’m alone at home and not sure if I can tuck my chicken away and continue reading at night? I’ll bring the book to work and see if I can finish it over my lunch breaks in the coming week!

Despite how hectic the week was I’m impressed that I still managed to post every day, even if it was only one post per day, this week though! Here’s a quick recap of what I posted, in case you missed it:

Top 5 Saturday: Books with the Scariest Covers!
Friday Favorites: Favorite Characters That Other People Hate!
First Lines Friday: 04 October
Summer Bucket List Book Tag!
September Monthly Wrap Up!
WWWWednesday: 02 October
Review: Two Weeks Notice by Whitney G
#TopTenTuesday: Books with Numbers in the Title!
Down the TBR Hole – 02
Goodreads Monday: 30 September

I’m leaving you with one of my favorite (if not my favorite) tracks from TS’s latest album, Lover. I’m still obsessed with this album and it’s kept me company in the background as I read all day today!

How has your week been? Hope everyone has/had a great weekend!
Let me know how you’re doing in the comments and let’s chat, friends 🙂

#WWWWednesday: 02 October

It’s time for another WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What did you read last?

🎉I FINALLY FINISHED PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE LAST WEEK! 🎉

Excuse the all caps because I was SO excited that I managed to finish that hunk of a tome before the end of September. I was so certain that I’d be reading it straight through to October. I still haven’t written my review for it because I’m still not really sure how I feel about it. I enjoyed reading it and when I had it in my hands I would be speeding(ish) through the pages; but when I put it down I didn’t feel compelled to pick it back up again. I knew that I couldn’t have set it down to just read any other book too as I’d probably never come back to it 😂But I still enjoyed it. I think? Anyway, my review will hopefully be coming soon! I binged The Perfect Moment (review coming soon) and Two Weeks Notice (my review for Two Weeks Notice). on Friday night/Saturday morning (yes, both in one night lol) because my soul was craving something super light and fluffy after Priory, and I had no regrets staying up all night reading!

What are you currently reading?

I was feeling restless not knowing what I wanted to read after binging on two contemporary romances after finishing Priory last week, but I ended up choosing The Bookish Life of Nina Hill on a whim the other day and I’ve been speeding through it! The style is not at all what I expected and I wasn’t sure how I felt about Nina at the start, but the style and characters have grown on me. There’s a lot of quirkiness going on in this book and I’m actually really here for it! I’ve laughed aloud countless times since I started and it’s giving me some lightness that I need right now.

What will you read next?

Okay y’all, I have TONS of books outside of my ‘possibility pile’ that I need to get to this October before even turning to look at the ones I want to read! These definitely fall in the ‘must read’ category because they’re eARCs. I’m gonna give priority to several eARCs that are well overdue (I’m sorry pls don’t judge me) and ones whose pub dates are very quickly approaching! I’m actually pretty annoyed at myself for thinking the Shadow Frost pub date was later this month when it was actually yesterday! 🤦🏻‍♀️Epic fail, Dini! I’ve had this e-ARC for a while so I’m annoyed at my ability to push things off until they’re overdue. Someone tell me, why isn’t this a skill we actually need in life?! Lol

What are you currently reading? How’s your week going?
Leave me a comment and let’s chat 🙂