This summer, I have discovered my love for romance novels. They’re such quick, fun reads and I’ve been devouring as many as I can. When I came across The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, I knew I needed to read it. I can’t resist books about books.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
(From Goodreads) 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 don’t think I’ve ever identified with a character quite as much as I do with Nina Hill. Because I also love books more than pretty much anything else and am in possession of a brain full of
useless random facts. (Did you know Alaska is the only state you can spell using only one row of the keyboard? Or that Abraham Lincoln was afraid of dentists? I could go on for a very long time, but I’ll stop.) She also suffers from anxiety and is a pretty serious introvert. Which are two things that definitely have a big impact on my life, and I enjoyed seeing them in a book. If I worked in a bookstore and had a crazy family situation, we’d basically be the same person.
The story itself was really fun and interesting. There was more to it than the traditional romance, and I think that was what I loved most (even though I definitely enjoyed the romance). I thought all the side characters were great as well. I have a soft spot for Peter (you’ll have to read the book to find out who he is, I won’t spoil it). It makes a big difference if a book has a great cast of secondary characters, and this one definitely did.
As for the romance itself, I enjoyed it. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I can definitely identify with how being an introvert with anxiety can influence your social life. That’s just not something I’m totally comfortable with, and I really liked seeing Nina go through that as well. It’s always nice to see yourself in books, especially when your experience is not what is normally portrayed. However, I do wish there was a bit more of the romance. I liked Tom a lot, but I don’t think we get to know him as well as I would have liked. My biggest complaint about the book is that the ending, in regards to their relationship, felt a bit too abrupt. Having read more romance than is my usual habit lately, I think that might be characteristic of the genre, but it still felt a little unsatisfying.
★★★★☆ – Overall, I really enjoyed The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. This is contemporary romance for bookworms, which is right up my alley. I liked the story, and I loved seeing a character who is so similar to me. If you’re into romance or looking for a fun summer read, I would definitely recommend this one!
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill will be available in bookstores July 9. If you’re interested, you can order a copy on Amazon now.
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose The Bookish Life of Nina Hill as one of your two free books.
This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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