Hello everyone! I hope you all are happy and that your week has started in the best possible way! Today I am back with a review, and I can say that it was hard work. My mood lately has been all over the place, I think I am feeling the change of the season (or I am getting old, one or the other, I can’t find other explanations here!) and so at the moment I am the quintessence of “indecision”. I didn’t know which book to review today, once I made the hard decision I didn’t know what to write about it, and so on… Quite nightmarish, on one hand, but on the other also quite a fascinating process. Anyway, let’s see what I did!
Title: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Series: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill #1
Author: Abbi Waxman
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.
I loved this book. And I loved it from the first page. I loved Nina. I loved the small corner in Los Angeles in which the story took place. I loved all the secondary characters. I loved the romance. I loved the judgmental cat, Phil. I loved the love interest. I loved the planner pages we see in the book. I loved all of it! So yeah, I think you get the idea, right?
It was also the right book at the right time, I think. But I devoured it and it left me with a happy smile for a while. And this is a marvelous gift for sure. Nina is an amazing character, she is unique and yet also relatable. Sure, I don’t have her passion for Trivia, and for sure I don’t have her memory (but I’d love to have it, really!), but she has a beautiful job, and she is quite happy about it. She works in a bookshop, an independent one, and she has an amazing relationship with the owner and with the other girl who works there. It is such a nice place! (And okay, working in a bookshop like this one is just a dream!) And I really love when we get to see characters that love their job! It’s a thing that I appreciate immensely.
And she is not really a social butterfly, she has her friends, she has a lot of human interactions, she is not a solitary person, but she is not an extrovert, and she can be socially awkward. And she is quite happy. Sure, she misses a love interest, and she is used to being quite alone. She is an only child, her mother is not really the motherly type and she had a nanny that raised her, and the nanny is more a mother than the biological one, and no other family (or at least, that’s what she thinks), but she is in no rush to really change things, but things are not waiting for her to be ready.
A possible love interest arises, and a family is found. A big and complicated family who appears out of nowhere. Okay, they were there all along, obviously, but she wasn’t aware and the shock is quite big. And on top of that, her work is at risk because of money problems. So her nice and straightforward life is now upside down, and she has to learn and navigate this new and really populated world.
And we have also the mental health theme here because Nina suffers from anxiety, and all these new developments are quite a big challenge. But I loved how she can stand up for herself, and ask for what she needed. Sure, is not always done in the best way possible, and the thing would cause her some problems along the road, but the fact that she asks what she needs, and the fact that she stands for herself was pretty awesome!
Nina is the main character, and we follow the story from her POV, but she is not the only amazing character in there. We have a lot of interesting characters, and I have to include a couple of kids in this list because we have also some pretty amazing children in there. They were adorable! And a lot of the grown-ups we meet in there are pretty amazing too. The first thing first, and the most unexpected for me, was that almost everyone was quite easygoing. And it was just so relaxing! I loved it! And also we have a lot of supportive characters. Sure, every one of them has his or her own voice and personality, so the support can have so many different forms. And all of them were precious and awesome.
It is a heartwarming book and it is like warm broth. Comforting. And so good!
And we have the romance part, too, that I appreciated quite a lot. But the best part was that this was not the main point of the story. Sure, it is an important part of it, but it is not the only one, and I just loved how the author developed this part.
This is an amazing and heartwarming book, with a ton of supportive and easygoing characters, that I’d love to meet too, and such relatable things that it was like a comfy blanket and a hot mug of tea while it’s raining outside.
And that’s all for today! What about you? Have you read this book? Or other by this author?? Let me know!