And by last I really mean LAST. Two more days left in August and then it’s September. But doesn’t everyone count Labor Day weekend as summer? I’m going to, even as ready as I am for this summer to be over. Thankfully, my end-of-August reading has been outstanding. More about that later, but today I’ve got two easy reading selections, both revolving around subjects near and dear to my heart.
Let’s start with shoes because who doesn’t love shoes?! In A Shoe Story Esme’s post-college plans are derailed by a family tragedy. Seven years later she’s at loose ends, uncertain that her plans to live and work in NYC in the art world are even feasible anymore. When she gets the opportunity to dog sit in a Manhattan apartment for a month she jumps at the chance to recapture her dreams and, hopefully, reconnect with the boyfriend she left abruptly.
This is classic new adult froth with a naïve young woman landing in the big city and meeting an eclectic cast of characters. And discovering that the woman whose dog she’s watching is as much of a shoe fiend as she is. AND says she’s welcome to wear anything she wants. Nirvana. There are the expected twists, but Rosen throws some fresh moves into this rom-com that were the perfect fit.
Adult Assembly Required follows the same premise as A Shoe Story: Sarah arrives in a new city in the hopes of changing her life. She’s all set to attend graduate school at Stanford only to have the apartment building where she lives burn down. She meets a quirky group of women at a local bookstore as she’s trying to assess her options and they offer help. Soon, she’s living in a boarding house of sorts and meeting, you guessed it—an eclectic cast of characters.
The hook in Adult Assembly Required is why Sarah is in L.A. Her family is solidly ensconced in academic research and she was expected to follow suit. She was also supposed to get married. She’s overcome severe injuries from a car accident, but the emotional trauma has left her unable to drive and unwilling to slot herself into the life her mother thinks she should lead.
Part of the fun here is that the book store is owned by Nina, the protagonist in Waxman’s last novel, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, which I loved.
There’s no getting around it, Adult Assembly Required, is sweet, usually the death knell of reading for me. But, as I’ve noted before there are degrees of sweet. This lands firmly in the space of salted caramel—can get sticky, but has a little bit of bite thanks to Waxman’s sly sense of humor and the way she shares her characters’ inner dialogue. Scenes unfold, they converse and it’s mundane, but only the reader gets to hear their thoughts and how often they don’t align with their words. It makes for uncomplicated, fun reading.
How was your summer reading? Anything I missed, but should add to my ever growing list of books to read?
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