The Bookish Life of Nina Hill meets Younger in a heartfelt debut following a young woman who discovers she’ll have to ditch the “dream job” and write her own story to find her happy ending.
At first glance, Must Love Books looks like a light-hearted and fluffy read. And in some ways, it is that. In most ways, however, it isn’t, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. There’s a depth to this book that I did not expect, used as I am to covers that sort of give away the game. What can I say? Darker covers often mean darker books, that’s the name of the publishing game.
Deeper, however, doesn’t mean bad. It also doesn’t mean this is a hard book to read, not at all. But it is the kind of book I didn’t – couldn’t read in one sitting. There’s something about sitting in the uncomfortable feelings a book brings out. And, I think, Nora’s troubles will look increasingly familiar to an entire generation that just went through a pandemic and had to rethink their soul-sucking job and the depression that both the world we’re living in and the aforementioned job bring.
Perhaps, a year ago, when I was Nora, when I felt like her, this book would have been too much for me. As it is, the book was a level of catharsis I did not expect in a read I picked up because I enjoy both Women’s Fiction and romance. And though I’ve focused a lot on the heavier parts, because I think they’re important, I will say that the book treats all these topics with care, and that as heavy as the topics are sometimes, there’s always the right balance of humor that will allow you to sort of laugh at yourself.
That is, of course, if you’re at the point where you can.
Because I feel like that’s the thing that will make or break the book for you. Must Love Books deals candidly and frankly with depression, not as an afterthought, but as the main issue affecting the life of main character, Nora. For some, that will be refreshing. Entertainment has a way of sweeping mental health issues under the rug and bringing them to the forefront can only be good for people who are there and don’t know how to put their feelings into words.
However, some will also look at this book and find it is not the escape they wanted – perhaps needed. That is understandable too. No book is for everyone. No book should be for everyone. Trying to please every person is the only surefire way of please absolutely no one.
Me? I both enjoyed, and at times, felt called out by Must Love Books. It wasn’t what I expected at all, but what I found in these pages, a story of pushing yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone, wasn’t a bad story. I might not have picked up this book had I known it was going to end up being what it was, and that would have been a loss.
There are a lot of romances – good ones, out there. There are very few books willing to look at depression the way Must Love Books does. And, whether that’s what you want to read right now or not, that’s still a win.
Must Love Books is available now wherever books are sold. You can check out the full synopsis below:
Meet Nora Hughes—the overworked, underpaid, last bookish assistant standing. At least for now.
When Nora landed an editorial assistant position at Parsons Press, it was her first step towards The Dream Job. Because, honestly, is there anything dreamier than making books for a living? But after five years of lunch orders, finicky authors, and per my last emails, Nora has come to one grand conclusion: Dream Jobs do not exist.
With her life spiraling and the Parsons staff sinking, Nora gets hit with even worse news. Parsons is cutting her already unlivable salary. Unable to afford her rent and without even the novels she once loved as a comfort, Nora decides to moonlight for a rival publisher to make ends meet…and maybe poach some Parsons’ authors along the way.
But when Andrew Santos, a bestselling Parsons author no one can afford to lose is thrown into the mix, Nora has to decide where her loyalties lie. Her new Dream Job, ever-optimistic Andrew, or…herself and her future.
Your next book club read touching on mental health, happiness, and the peaks and perils of being a young woman just trying to figure it all out. Nora Hughes is the perfect heroine for anyone looking to get past their own chapter twenty-something and build their storybook life.