Adult Assembly Required is heartwarming, lovely, uplifting, and bookish and nerdy fiction with theme of friendship and adulthood that all book lovers and fans of witty entertaining writing will enjoy.
Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman
Publication Date : May 17th 2022
Publisher : Berkley
Genre : Women’s Fiction / Romance
Pages : 400
Tea for this Book : Indian Masala Chai
Spice Factor : 0 – Clean Romance
Disclaimer – Many thanks to publisher for e-ARC via NetGalley.
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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 arrives in Los Angeles determined to start over, and discovers she doesn’t need to leave everything behind after all, from Abbi Waxman, USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.
Adult Assembly Required is heartwarming and lovely women’s fiction that follows Laura Costello who arrives in Los Angeles to restart her life away from her overprotective family and memories of past tragedy, finds an unconventional group of friends who help her overcome her trauma and navigate through the new city and new phase of life. The story is about support, found family, love, friendship, adulthood, recovering from trauma and anxiety, acceptance, and self-confidence.
Writing is fantastic, witty, touching, and fast-paced. It’s written in third person narrative that mostly focuses on Laura but we also see thoughts of every side character that makes them all equally important in story. I love the heartwarming tone that kept me smiling throughout the book. Even though this is fast-paced, I read this slower as I was enjoying every aspect and every chapter and I’m not regretting taking more time with this book.
The synopsis perfectly tells what to expect from the book. This is sequel of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and this includes characters from first book but can be easily read standalone. This is simple old-fashioned women’s fiction or romance that focuses more on friendship than romance. It’s the writing and characters that make the story most fun and fascinating.
Laura is smart and lovely with her Amazonian height that should have made her look intimidating but she is meek and bashful. I felt for her from very first chapter and it was easy to like her. I didn’t like her family for making her want to escape for grad school. I can’t imagine how she might have handled all that petty and hurtful comment and lack of understanding from her own family and that too in time when she needed support most to fight her trauma. It didn’t feel overprotective but more like selfish and low. I admired Laura for making such big decision to move to Los Angeles and taking control of her life. It was amazing to see how all the support and encouragement from her new friends changed her, made her see her worth, her amazing qualities, and get over her anxiety and truma.
All characters she meets in Los Angeles are quirky, relatable, and adorable. It’s hard not to mention them in this review. I loved many characters but Polly is my most favorite and she steal the show.
Polly is super fun. She made me laugh most. Like Laura I admired how lively, confident, blunt, brazen, and unfiltered she is. She will say whatever cross her mind and never regret it. She is liked by most people she meets and wouldn’t care if someone didn’t like her. She lived on her own sphere. I so wish I can be like her. And there is more to her which is revealed near the end.
Nina is the bookish person with whom all bookworms and nerds can relate to. I loved everything about her and like Polly she too is honest but not unfiltered. Her passion and enthusiasm for books and quizz trivia is amazing. Now I sure want to read first book, read her story, and know her even more.
Meggie is most interesting. It was great to read how she lived her old life through her tenants. She is most friendly landlady I ever read in book. She loved meeting new people and knowing their story but her own story is most touching. It was interesting to read what happened between her and her daughter that created huge rift between them and how she is going to mend it.
Bob is lovely handsome gardner. It’s the first time I read a male character who is aware of his looks but never used it for attention or advantage. Similarity between Bob and Laura’s nature is uncanny. I liked him for giving Laura time and space she needed and helped her getting over her anxirty.
Asher, Libby, Anna, Liz are also fun to read. Best part of the book is friendship, banter, and conversations between these charcters. I loved how author talked about serious topics like anxiety, trauma, recovering from alcohol addiction, showing characters’ vulnerability and struggle, keeping it light and philosophical. It is great to see how being among support group of friends makes it easy to deal with anything in life. I also enjoyed all fun facts, and informations about sports, books, science, horticulture and also Los Angeles. There are so many fun, entertaining and hilarious moments. My favorite is Laura admiting her feelings in front of Polly and Nina and their reaction to it was epic.
Romance is like part of the story. We see many scenes with characters’ feelings for each other and their hesitations but I will not say it’s a sole focus of the story and yet it was lovely to see many characters paired up with each other.
Climax is predictable. I expected unwanted person turning up at this point but everything happened after this point is really amazing. I loved this last 30% of the book. I had huge smile plastered on my face. I enjoyed Laura’s attempt of big gesture and the way Polly and Nina supported her, I just want them in my life for real. End is perfectly lovely, uplifting and feel-good.
Overall, Adult Assembly Required is enertaining, heartwarming, lovely, uplifting, bookish and nerdy fiction with theme of friendship and adulthood that all nerds and bookworms will enjoy.
I highly recommend this if you like,
Found Family vibe
Theme of friendship and adulthood
Layer of truama and anxiety
Lots of fun facts and informations
Bookish nerdy books
Many fun and entertaining moments
Witty and Heartwarming tone
My Favorite Quotes
“The only thing better than knowing something is Not knowing something and finding out about it.”
“Sure, who doesn’t prefer a sense of cast-iron certainity and control? Trouble is it’s an illusion, thigns could go kablooey any minute.”
“Someone once told me that anxiety lives in unknown future, depression lives in the unforgettable past, and peace lives in acceptance of the present moment.”
“You convince yourself you’re building a safety net for your kids when in fact it’s a trap they’ll spend the rest of their life trying to get free of.”
“The secret to happiness isn’t always in your head. Sometimes it’s entirely in your hand.”
(conversation between Bob, Laura, Tom, and Nina- My favorite scene)
“You quit your team?” asked Laura.
Tom nodded. “I don’t have as much time as I used to.”
Nina rolled her eyes. “You can make time. I am literally in the exact same relationship as you, I simply moved stuff around.”
“What did you cancel? he teased, his eyes dancing as he looked at her. “Tell normal people what you moved out of your schedule to make room for both me and trivia.”
“Additional reading” said Nina defiantly.
Which was additional to?”
“Work reading,” She said in a slightly quieter voice.
“Which is on the top of?”
“Regular reading.” she muttered.
Tom turned up his palms and grinned at Bob. “That probably answers your question.”
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