I don’t know if you’ve read it, but The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman was easily one of my favorite “comfort” reads of 2019. But I hadn’t had a chance to read anything by her since then. I was so excited when Berkley offered me the chance to read an ARC of her latest: Adult Assembly Required. And I am here to say, it did not disappoint me! Read on for the synopsis and my review. Then go check it out for yourself, if a quirky cozy contemporary romance set in the more “homey” parts of L.A. sounds like your thing. I know it is mine!
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.
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.
This book can completely be read as a standalone, but I would say one of my favorite things about it is that it is a return to the world of Nina Hill, and since I am familiar with those characters, it was really fun to have them along for the ride. Nina and Polly are so quirky and wonderful, and I just love that they are who they are, and accept others as they come–quirks, faults, and hang-ups included. Our main character Laura fit right in with this crew, and it was so fun to be carried along for the ride as she went from tons of self-doubt and insecurity towards accepting herself and learning to follow her own heart in life. And I’m sorry, the point of view of “Impossibly Handsome Bob” was just about the cutest thing I’ve ever read.
I really enjoyed reading about the house that Polly and Laura and Bob live in, and it’s especially fun that Waxman throws in some little tidbits from the perspective of the pets (cats & dogs) who live in the house. It just adds a little fun and made me smile! Also, Maggie, the owner of the house, was such a soothing character. I would like to have my very own personal Maggie, please and thank you. I loved reading about this quirky group of friends, and how they all looked out for/took care of Laura but also gave her the chance to really spread her wings.
So if you are looking for something sweet and fun, with a swoon-worthy romance, but even more, with a great gang of friends who it’s easy to cheer for, then look no further. This is a great read to kick off the long days of summer. Go pick it up!