REVIEW: ABBI WAXMAN – THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL

REVIEW: ABBI WAXMAN – THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILLThe Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
Published by Berkley Genres: Women's Fiction, Chick Lit
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Berkley
Buy on AmazonBuy on Audible
Narrator: Emily Rankin
Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
Goodreads
four-stars

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

by Abbi Waxman

I love a quirky heroine. I LOVE when they are bookish and nerdy so after some not so gentle prodding by my bestie I was ready to meet Nina Hill.

Nina is a neurotic, bookish (duh!), geeky young woman who enjoys being alone more than the company of people, especially when she has one of her debilitating anxiety attacks. Change is something she doesn’t handle very well and when her father, a man she has never met, passes away, she inherits a whole new family. All of a sudden she needs to talk to strangers and that is pretty overwhelming for her.
She has a couple of faithful friends and she isn’t what I would call an introvert but she’s also not an extrovert. Nina is somewhere in between. She knows random facts, lots of them and loves to go to trivia contests with friends. Which is where she meets Tom. She pretends that she doesn’t like Tom, because…stranger. And she’s had enough of those in her life lately.

“You are a complete lunatic, Nina Hill, and I doubt I will ever have any idea what’s going on in your head.”

Tom on the other hand wants to get to know Nina, to him she is incredibly beautiful and super-smart. He is a really good guy, patiently trying to understand this wildly interesting creature who first doesn’t give him the time of day and then keeps pushing him away (oooo that rhymes). Anyhoo. And here is why the romance part of this story didn’t work for me entirely: I didn’t understand why Tom liked Nina. While she was endearing, quirky and hella smart with her friends, she was nothing but rude and abrasive with Tom for the majority of the book. I didn’t like the way Nina treated Tom, making him feel expendable and sometimes even a little uneducated when he wasn’t that at all.
Their connection only made sense to me on a physical level. I have to hand it to Tom that he didn’t give up cracking Nina’s shell until he couldn’t stand it anymore and then he made her grovel. Which I loved. With that being said, I still liked them together in the end.

Nina nodded, liking the way Tom was always ready to be silly. Silly is a highly underrated quality.

Nina’s new family was as quirky as she was. Through their eyes she gets to know her dad. I loved most of them, especially Peter and Archie. I loved how Nina was with her youngest sister, Millie. One member of her new family was deeply unlikable from the start, yet I found myself liking her a lot in the end because, like Nina, she was incredibly smart and hilarious. And don’t get me started on Nina’s boss, Liz, and her co-worker Polly. Their scenes were the epitome of weird but funny.

One thing that absolutely worked for me is the humor and Abbi Waxman’s writing – they are as quirky as her heroine. I was grinning and laughing throughout the whole story. The love for Los Angeles Ms. Waxman has also shines through every word about this city.
This book isn’t categorized as romance and rightly so because it’s taking a backseat. There isn’t a lot of Nina-Tom interaction so if you’re here for the romance only, this probably won’t work for you. However, if you want to read about a strangely endearing, a little crazy, nerdy heroine you will be entertained for hours.

About Abbi Waxman

Abbi Waxman was born in England in 1970, the oldest child of two copywriters who never should have been together in the first place. Once her father ran off to buy cigarettes and never came back, her mother began a highly successful career writing crime fiction. She encouraged Abbi and her sister Emily to read anything and everything they could pull down from the shelves, and they did. Naturally lazy and disinclined to dress up, Abbi went into advertising, working as a copywriter and then a creative director at various advertising agencies in London and New York. Clients ranged from big and traditional, (AT&T, Chase Manhattan Bank, IBM, American Express, Unilever, Mercedes-Benz) to big and morally corrupt (R. J. Reynolds) to big and larcenous (Enron). Eventually she quit advertising, had three kids and started writing books, TV shows and screenplays, largely in order to get a moment’s peace.

Abbi lives in Los Angeles with her husband, three kids, three dogs, three cats, a gecko, two mice and six chickens. Every one of these additions made sense at the time, it’s only in retrospect that it seems foolhardy.

Feel free to drop her a line, she readily welcomes any excuse to stop working and do something else.

four-stars

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