Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman
Published by Berkley on May 17, 2022
Genres: Life Fiction, Romantic Comedy
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
When Laura Costello moves to Los Angeles, trying to escape an overprotective family and the haunting memories of a terrible accident, she doesn’t expect to be homeless after a week. (She’s pretty sure she didn’t start that fire — right?) She also doesn't expect to find herself adopted by a rogue bookseller, installed in a lovely but completely illegal boardinghouse, or challenged to save a losing trivia team from ignominy…but that’s what happens. Add a regretful landlady, a gorgeous housemate and an ex-boyfriend determined to put himself back in the running and you’ll see why Laura isn’t really sure she’s cut out for this adulting thing. Luckily for her, her new friends Nina, Polly and Impossibly Handsome Bob aren't sure either, but maybe if they put their heads (and hearts) together they’ll be able to make it work for them.
A young woman faced down death and now wants to take her life by the reins. But, with her anxieties, forceful relations, and a house fire that left her homeless, perhaps she needs a little help from new friends and time to get that adulting thing sorted.
Adult Assembly Required is a standalone women’s fiction with a healthy dose of humor that has ties with two of the author’s previous books, The Garden of Beginnings and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.
Laura Costello wants to specialize in physical therapy, but her brilliant, driven scientist parents want more for her. After a car crash and breaking the engagement she had with a guy she’d known all her life, she determines to take her grad classes across the country in southern California and take some initiative of her own. Then, her apartment caught fire and she has to duck into a bookshop to get out of the pouring rain. She’s fighting PTSD and her anxieties since the crash. It’s there in Nina and Molly’s shop that her life takes a turn for the good, though it takes a while for Laura to realize this for herself.
Molly gets her a place to live in the place she rents that is lovely, but a little sketchy legal-wise. Her fellow renters, a rather fun and quirky lot, become close friends and there is a tingling of attraction for ‘Impossibly Handsome Bob’ a quiet gardener who is gorgeous, but very down to earth and has his own life issues to get straight. She insists they are just friends since she needs to get her life squared away before she wants to attempt another relationship. Laura also finds a place on Nina’s trivia quiz team and learns to cope with her anxieties that were crippling, figure out relationships with found family and friends in the making, and go for her career dreams and not her family’s.
I enjoyed Adult Assembly Required and I was cheering on Laura as well as the others in their side stories. I loved getting a peek in with Nina and Tom as well as the fun surprise of the folks from Garden of Beginnings when Bob took her on a date to the garden.
However, I got distracted a few times and wanted to like it more than I did because the author’s writing style and characterizations have delighted me so much in the past. Partly, this was the way the story zipped from character to character at times so that I got lost, like I can do in a real life crowd of people mingling and talking. And, I liked Laura, but just didn’t connect with her as much as previous book heroines.
All and all, though, the fun antics of this crowd of people and the sweet slow burn of Laura and Bob, and of course Laura coming into her own was an engaging and entertaining read. Those who enjoy the idea of women’s fic crossed with romcom should pick it up and give it a read.
Glad to see you enjoyed this despite some I’d its issues, Sophia💜
Her books put a big grin on my face so a one time disconnect was no biggie. 🙂
I really love the sound of this one. And what a fun looking cover. I’m glad you enjoyed this one, even if you got distracted a few times 😉
Totally worth the little hiccup. I think you’d have a good time with her books. 🙂
OMG that little pug on the cover!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Her covers are cute. 🙂
I do like the sound of this one. I’ve already got it on my TBR list, but who knows when I’ll actually get around to reading it. Hopefully soon. 🙂
I enjoy her books when I want something fun and friendly.
I really think I’d enjoy this but I think I’d read this author in order. Especially since I really want to read the Nina book. It’s been on my list for quite awhile.
I know I got more out of it reading the two previous connected books especially the Nina one since this one puts the main character right back in the same cast of people from the Nina Hill book.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Sophia!
Hey, there Wendy! Had a good time with this one. 🙂
Even if you got distracted it seems that you had a good time with this one. I confess that it’s the first time I hear about it.
I love her books. I could have simply been in a mood b/c I had a good time with it even if it didn’t completely pull me in.
I’ve not read this author, but her books sound cute. Thanks for sharing.
They are humorous, but have a bittersweet quality that brings in some real life. Hope you get the chance to try one.
This does sound like an entertaining read, but I wasn’t a big fan of Waxman’s Garden of New Beginnings, I was in the minority there. I just didn’t connect with her writing. It’s fun when an author ties in characters from previous books. Glad this was a hit even if not your favorite of Waxman’s. Wonderful review, Sophia!
Yeah, once in a while I don’t connect with a writing style either. I had a good time in spite of feeling a little aloof from this latest.
I haven’t read this author but it does sound like this was a good one. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
I think it was Kimberly’s blog where I stumbled over a review of her first book and I was hooked after I tried it.
Oh this sounds wonderful! I have a book by this author on my Audible shelf (The Bookish Life of somebody? I think) that I’m really looking forward to reading and I’m adding this to my list.
Yes, the Bookish Life of Nina Hill is the one this one is a sequel too. 🙂 That was a good one, Katherine.
Would you say it is more women’s fiction or romance? Or does it have enough romance in it that it’s not just women’s fiction? This one sounds good, but if it’s more women’s fiction I won’t race to read it. Still liked your review though, thanks for sharing!
It leans toward women’s fic at first, but there is definitely a solid romance element so maybe it is best described as a crossover between the two. Thanks, Lisa!