Book Review – The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

“She enjoyed people—she really did—she just needed to take them in homeopathic doses; a little of the poison was the cure.” 

Title: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Author: Abbi Waxman

Publisher: Berkley

Publication date: July 9th, 2019

351 pages

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

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. 

Review

Being with you is as good as being alone.

abbi waxman, the bookish life of nina hill

Nina works in a bookstore. She has her routine and her planners, and doesn’t accept the unplanned or unpredictable. She loves her friends and trivia night, but isn’t great with exercise or eating normal meals. Her whole life is turned upside down when her unknown father ends up dead but she is listed in the will. She finds herself with several siblings, nieces/nephews, cousins, grandnieces and nephews, etc. It’s very overwhelming for her. Also, her bookstore can’t pay the rent and she may be falling in love with her trivia rival. Basically her life is crumbling into the unpredictable, and what is a rigid and routine loving girl to do?!

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is delightfully funny and sweet. Abbi Waxman has a way of writing that invokes deep emotion while being laugh out loud funny. Her writing style felt real and genuine, and the personality she gave the characters was second to none. There were times when you got the POV of both within the same character through thoughts they were both having about what was transpiring and it was so well done. I love when romance novels have more than one POV because I also want to read about the man falling in love with the woman.

I love how the story line with her long lost family played out, and how she went through this journey mostly by herself, mostly successfully. Her life flipped around a lot during the story but she was able to learn from the experience and be more open to life than she had been. She also has a remarkable number of friends for someone who says she doesn’t like people. She seems to make friends with everyone she meets.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. Abbi Waxman was able to create a story that was gripping and very funny. Go check it out!

Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – The Bride Test

“Don’t forget to apologize. First with words. Then with your tongue.”

Title: The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2)

Author: Helen Hoang

Publisher: Berkley

Publication date: May 7th, 2019

296 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love. 

Review

In a split second, she redefined perfection for him. His standards aligned to her exact proportions and measurements. No one else would ever live up to her.

Helen Hoang, The Bride Test

I absolutely adored The Kiss Quotient when I read it a few months ago. I didn’t end of reviewing it on here, otherwise I would link it. I truly adore that both books feature a main character with autism – because everyone deserves a sweet and sexy love story. The Bride Test is a companion novel to The Kiss Quotient.

The Bride Test follows Khai Diep, a young man with autism who is really not looking for a girlfriend and Esme Tran, a young mother from Ho Chi Minh City. Khai’s mother travels there to interview potential brides for Khai and to bring the best candidate to America to win him over. Esme jumps at the chance to provide her family a way out of poverty. However, Khai is seriously not pleased with this development and does everything he can to ignore his new roommate, who doesn’t make it easy…

*swoon* Man, Helen Hoang really knows how to make me laugh, my heart pound, and cry all in one books, sometimes multiple times each. From start to finish, I loved these characters and their interactions with each other. Their love is so unique and fun, began neither of them have any clue what they are doing. It is so eye opening to read from the perspective of someone with autism – the rep is done beautifully. Khai goes on such a journey in the book, you can’t help but be proud. And the same can be said for Esme! She makes the most of her opportunity in America and takes adult education classes on TOP of trying to seduce a man who doesn’t want to be seduced. Talk about overachieving.

The first sex scene (and the aftermath) if my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PART of this entire book. Picture this: it’s 1 am, I couldn’t sleep, I’m sitting outside my bedroom on the floor with a flashlight (so as not to wake up the fiance), and I’M DYING of laughter. It is a pure gold scene and I’m here for it. If you’ve read this book, you know what I’m talking about.

Anywho, this was amazing. Go read it ASAP pronto mucho. Read The Kiss Quotient first if you haven’t (it’s not necessary, it’s just also a freaking awesome book).

Happy reading, folks!