Title: Adulting 101
Author Name & Publisher: Lisa Henry (Riptide Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: August 15, 2016 – 231 pgs
The struggle is real.
Nick Stahlnecker is eighteen and not ready to grow up yet. He has a summer job, a case of existential panic, and a hopeless crush on the unattainable Jai Hazenbrook. Except how do you know that your coworker’s unattainable unless you ask to blow him in the porta-potty?
That’s probably not what Dad meant when he said Nick should act more like an adult.
Twenty-five-year-old Jai is back in his hometown of Franklin, Ohio, just long enough to earn the money to get the hell out again. His long-term goal of seeing more of the world is worth the short-term pain of living in his mother’s basement, but only barely.
Meeting Nick doesn’t fit in with Jai’s plans at all, but, as Jai soon learns, you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to have the adventure of a lifetime.
This is not a summer romance. This is a summer friendship-with-benefits. It’s got pizza with disgusting toppings, Netflix and chill, and accidental exhibitionism. That’s all. There are no feelings here. None. Shut up.
Nick is 18 years old and has just graduated high school. He is not your typical 18 year old. In some ways he is so much younger and in other ways he is more mature then other 18 year olds but not by much. Nick is spending his last summer at home and is supposed to be working and learning responsibility but instead he gets fired and gets a boyfriend out of the deal. Which is not what he expected. He is freaking out about college because he knows it is not for him but hat is what his parents want and they are not really hearing him when he in his round about way tells them he is not ready to go.
Jai is 25 years old and never expects to connect the way he did with Nick. Jai thought it was just summer fun but it is life changing for him too. He has never had a boyfriend and never expected him to be younger then him but there is just something about Nick.
College is the big obstacle for Nick and deciding what path he truly needs and wants to follow. As the summer unfolds and Jai and Nick how closer and fall in love with each other things finally start to come into perspective for both of them. Time will only tell how it will end, that is if it ends.
I really enjoyed this read. It was so funny and Nick and Devon and their antics made this book. But Jai and Nick are who I fell in love with. There summer together is what I picture a lot of people’s summer being like before starting college. It is was a wonderful read and I hope many others think so also.
While there is a little bit of romance in this story, there is also a refreshing acknowledgement that at 18, Nick is probably not looking for a HEA. The heat in this story is low, sex is awkward and interrupted and neither Nick or Jai demonstrates much emotional depth.
I loved the quirky cast of characters – Nick’s friends are fantastic and Jai’s family adds some heart to the story. The pressure on Nick’s bond with his best friend Devon as they both start adult life is the focus of much of this book and I love a well developed friendship storyline.
There is more humour than depth in this story and surprisingly little romantic angst – Nick has enough angst in his life as he attempts to become a grown up. Part time work at the pizza place made me nostalgic for my own high school summer jobs.
Ultimately, this playful take on new adult m/m romance is refreshing and welcome.
I like to tell stories. Mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters. They gotta work for it though. No free lunches on my watch.