by Abbi Waxman
Publication Date: May 17, 2022
Publisher: Headline Review
When Laura Costello arrives in downtown Los Angeles, her life has somewhat fallen apart.
Her apartment building has caught fire, her engagement to her high school sweetheart has been broken off, and she’s just been caught in a rare LA downpour and has no dry clothes.
But when she seeks shelter in Nina Hill‘s local neighbourhood bookshop, she finds herself introduced to the people who will become her new family. And as Laura becomes friends with Nina, Polly and Impossibly Handsome Bob, things start to look up.
Proving that – even as adults – we all sometimes need a little help assembling and re-assembling our lives. . .
This is a good read; I’d have called it a great read if I hadn’t already read The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and The Garden of Small Beginnings, but I have and it doesn’t quite measure up. The snappy wit that made me laugh out loud in the first two books was much more subdued in Adult Assembly Required (a title that doesn’t make any obvious sense after reading the book), and while all three tackled some pretty serious anxiety issues, the first two did it with a level of tension that AAR never achieved. I think I also ‘clicked’ with Nina and Lily, the MC’s of each of the first two books in a way that I didn’t connect with Laura.
Saying that, it really is a good read; I may not have connected with the MC, but holy wow, her parents – well, her mom, really since dad never got any direct page time – was a piece of work. As was her ex-fiancee. I’ve met these people in real life, but I’m sort of surprised in this day and age they haven’t gone the way of the dodo. I really enjoyed seeing the characters from Nina and Garden come back, all slightly further ahead in time; it’s fun to see the ‘after’ part of their happily ever afters.
I’m caught up now with my Waxman reads, but I’ll be on the lookout for whatever she writes next – they’re fun without being horribly shallow, without being stories about a bunch of drama llamas. A fabulous summer read, even if where you live is in the middle of winter.