Title: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Author: Abbi Waxman
Publisher: Headline Review
Format Read: Kindle
So this was a fun and interesting contemporary read.
Nina Hill works at Knight’s, a bookstore in Los Angeles. She is an introvert, fights anxiety, and is frighteningly organized. Everything she wants to do in a day, she plans. And plans. And plans. So much so that if someone wants to ask her out for dinner, that someone will have to wait. For weeks even, as she finds that elusive free slot in her planner.
She’s also member of a trivia team that participates in trivia battles. Sometimes the team wins. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it gets disqualified because of something Nina says.
Life is all very neat and organized for Nina, until Fate throws a bombshell – she had a father, and a wealthy one.
Naturally, for someone raised by a single mother who was almost never there, the surprise was immense.
“The Bookish Life of Nina Hill” has a lot of things going on at once and I found it entertaining. Nina is an interesting and relatable character who much prefers books to people. Also, her organizational skills, according to her, help keep her life in order. Or were they actually throwing her into a chaotic rigmarole of inflexibility? As for the romance (of course there’s a romance!) it was very interesting to follow Nina’s conflicted feelings. Should she? Shouldn’t she? It leads to some disastrous consequences.
Some of the pop culture references though went over my head. There were many of them, and not all of them were, for me at least, easily identifiable. And Nina likes linking everything to something in a book or a T.V. show or a movie. At times, I had no idea what she was talking about.
And…it did seem she was a bit inconsistent characterization wise. She was supposed to be awkward around people, but when she did meet them, she was remarkably self-assured. Maybe her assumptions were all in her head.
Somehow, this book reminded me of a fairy tale in a modern setting. Sure, there’s conflict and confusion, but not all of it was overly dramatic. And there are some piquant observations on people in general, and bookshops, and landlords who would really, really like their tenants to pay their rent.
All in all? A charming book.