Reviews tagging 'Mental illness'

Adult Assembly Required, by Abbi Waxman

6 reviews

samanderson24's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I’m wishing I had Polly, Nina, and Maggie as friends in my life. I love that there was a huge focus on platonic relationships as well as the developing romantic relationship between Laura and Bob. 

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mswarning's review against another edition

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emotional lighthearted slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25

It was really sweet, but not a lot happened. It's definitely a slowburn with little payoff. The ptsd portrayal was nice to see and pretty realistic so at least there's that.

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ncoletti's review against another edition

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funny hopeful lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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cassielaj's review

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emotional funny inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

It’s stupid how much I loved this. Actually, I’m not surprised, because I’ve been obsessed with everything Abbi Waxman writes for the past two years. No other author makes me laugh like AW does, with her dry humor and quirky characters. She balances hilarity with some truly lovely emotional moments, and I love how she gives every character a point of view. This one was more romance-forward than her others, but it was still balanced with personal growth and new friendships, which AW explores so well. 

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effthecanon's review

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emotional hopeful lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

First all, I love Abbi Waxman's work and was really looking forward to this one and all in all it delivered. I loved the "found family" feeling, but I did find myself frustrated with the omniscient narrator. This isn't an uncommon narration style for Waxman, but I just felt like it bounced around to so many people and there are so many asides for comic relief that are cute, but I felt a bit pulled away from who I was supposed to care about.

I also found myself frustrated with how slow Laura's character development happened. She's clearly dealing with a lot and I absolutely love how Waxman approached what she's facing, but I would have loved to see glimmers of growth throughout the story, rather than it all just being suggested at the end.

SpoilerI also feel like the clearly toxic and frankly abusive relationships that Laura deals with are glossed over in exchange for just saying that Laura doesn't like confrontation.


It was nice for all of the characters from Waxman's previous LA books to come together, I just felt like by focusing on everyone else, I lost my focus on Laura who I was hoping to really partner with throughout the story. But the romance was sweet, the friendships are top-notch, and Waxman is a master of writing animals which is a skill that should be more appreciated.

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theespressoedition's review against another edition

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funny inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Typically, I wait a few days before writing a review after I've finished reading a book. However, I'm making an exception for Adult Assembly Required because I loved this book so much I couldn't wait longer than five minutes before putting my thoughts into words.

First of all, Abbi Waxman never fails me. I have absolutely adored every book I've read by her so far (and I only have one left to catch up on from her backlist). This is a feat that not many other authors have been able to accomplish - yes, even my favorites. So thank you, Abbi, for always knowing exactly what to write. Your books feel like a giant hug or comforting mug of tea or something else equally cozy and heartwarming.

While Laura may be portrayed as the protagonist of this book, I'd vouch that there is no true "main character" and that's what makes this book so lovely. Unlike so many other books that follow just one person per chapter, Adult Assembly Required was like standing in the middle of a room filled with people and being able to hear all of their thoughts at once. Okay, terrible example because that sounds like an awful experience. I'm trying to say something good here!

The book is written in the third person, but no singular individual is the focus of any chapter. Instead, at any given moment, you have the chance to understand what's going on from Maggie's perspective, or Polly's, or even Bob's, and it's lovely. It provides a really atmospheric feeling to the entire book and makes you feel like you're just one of the many members of the household. Rather than reading about lounging by the pool, I was dipping my toes in as well. Instead of just reading about a car ride, I was in the passenger seat. It was so immersive and unique and I loved every minute of it.

In addition to the creative method of storytelling, I loved that we were able to sneak a peek into the lives of characters from Abbi's other books! Oh, how this made my heart jump for joy. Whether it was the first moment of hearing the name "Impossibly Handsome Bob" again or witnessing Nina in passionate fact-vomiting mode or even hilariously outspoken Claire introducing herself for the first time, it just made me feel the warm fuzzies all over. This wonderful cast is so precious and no matter who you are, you'll find yourself relating to at least someone!

Of course, as always, I appreciated the wonderful representation of anxiety and how it was navigated.
While it was super frustrating to hear the way that the people in Laura's previous life talked about her, belittled her, gaslighted her, and generally made her feel as though she wasn't worthy of feeling her feelings, I was grateful for how other stood up for her and helped her get to a better place. Everyone had their own struggles throughout the book, whether it was social anxiety, alcoholism, estranged relationships, or something else - they were, each and every one of them, so real and relatable. The camaraderie in the house and the support of each person was so special and made me tear up while laughing aloud. The best combination, if you ask me!

I could truly go on forever about how sweet this book. Do yourself a favor and give it a read!

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