The Bookish Life of Nina Hill: Girl is Given an Unexpected Gift


Author: Abbi Waxman
Publication Date: 2019
Publisher: Berkeley
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary, Women’s Lit, Chick Lit
Source: Publisher provided e-ARC – thank you, Berkeley!
Rating: ★★★½

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill Review | Abbi Waxman

STORY | Raised by her nanny as the only child of a jet-setting mother, Nina Hill grows up to be something of an introvert. Now, as an adult, Nina works at a book store; her life and schedule are curated to suit nights in with a book. Just when she meets a boy she might crush on, things in Nina’s life go from comfortable and safe to anxiety ridden.

You see, the father she never knew she had has recently passed away. Though he’s now gone, he leaves Nina more than a material bequeath. Much to Nina’s surprise, instead of him, he leaves her a rather large family she knows nothing about! What’s an introvert to do?

REVIEW | Penned by an author I’ve never before read, ‘Nina Hill’ is nothing if not unexpected. The title suggests a story that’s all about a bookish character, which is always a draw for any reader given that we basically live in this kind of a self-diagnose state of mind.

bookish life of nina hill
BOOK REVIEW | By Your Side – Unexpected Love Blooms in Library

In the world of Nina Hill, she’s a loner who schedules life around her reading – even if it means losing a date with a cute guy! You see, that’s where she’s comfortable, and if the introvert inside of her doesn’t protest this fact, then her anxiety is. In a nutshell, we find a character easy to relate to even if her story isn’t always the best.

Unfortunately, this novel loses some of the charm in the early chapters. Things start off really well, however I can’t give you the proper term that is the style of this narrative (it’s as if a narrator pipes up now and again), before what is a sweet moment then gets ruined. How this happens is thanks to the rule of “this is secular fiction so x, y and z is appropriate to include.” As a reader, this is a pet peeve of mine (content put in place of quality story telling just because the genre says, “go for it”). That said, I do think this story is, as a “bigger picture” a charmer.

Flaws and all, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill has its moments. The romance is cute, and the idea of a woman finding a family she didn’t know existed may seem like chaos, but Abbi Waxman does the plot in style.

Content: there’s some sexual conversation, and implications, and some profanity.

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bookish life of nina hill review

Sincere thanks to Berkeley for kindly provided an e-ARC copy of this in consideration of review; all opinions are my own.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I’m reading this right now and the way the story is surprising. I don’t know what I was expecting but it was definitely not this style (also don’t know what it’s called). I feel like it does take some getting used to, and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming, but I find that I’m actually really enjoying it right now! ? Nina is quite relatable although sometimes painfully awkward, but I have gotten a lot of laughs out of this story so far! Great review, Rissi ?

    1. Right? I just did not expect this “type” of read. I mean, it’s still cute, but in the end, just wasn’t my cup of tea, and kind of fell a little flat. SO glad you’re enjoying it, and yes! Nina is 100% relatable. All the awkward, bookish-ness for the win. :D Thank you for reading.

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