Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Adulting 101
Author: Lisa Henry
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Heroes: Nick Stahlnecker/Jai Hazenbrook
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 6 Hours 1 Minute
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Available at: Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Review – Book: This is a very light hearted and low-angst book that involves romance. I say that because – to me – the romance itself isn’t very satisfying – but it has a lot of potential. Most of this story is Nick’s personal growth.
Nick is 18 and scared about the “end of his childhood” and his subsequent move to college at the end of summer. He’s a virgin and he’s determined not to be before he starts college.
Nick meets Jai at work. Jai is 25 and “worldly”. Jai works only enough to fund his travels and that’s the extent of his “plans for the future”. Though it goes against his very nature, Jai actually makes plans to be Nick’s “fuck buddy” for the summer (making that the longest relationship he’s ever had), with the full understanding that it’s just gonna be that. Nick’s going to college and Jai’s heading to Argentina at the end of the summer and the likelihood that they’ll meet again in the future is slim to none.
With that in mind, the two embark on a pretty hilarious summer fling wherein Jai educates Nick in the fine art of sex.
The problem is – at the end of the summer Nick still isn’t ready for college and Jai is questioning his plan as well.
On the one hand, I really enjoyed this. Lisa Henry is a gifted writer and Nick is a great character. He’s naïve, effervescent and enthusiastic, open and really a great guy. But he’s young. Very young. And he doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life. Having him meet Jai helps to shape some of what he wants, but – even by the end – we still don’t know where Nick is headed in life, nor do we really know much about Jai or where he’s going, either.
I love that Jai is still young, but worlds more sophisticated than Nick. It’s almost a May/December romance, but not to the extreme. I love how caring Jai is with Nick and how great they are as a couple. The smexy times were hot and funny at the same time.
What I didn’t like when I read this the first time and what bothered me even more upon listening to it, was how uncertain their ending is. I’m not going to give much of a spoiler when I say this ends on a HFN more than anything else and to me, at least, it was so very unsatisfying.
I’m guessing the point is that these guys are young and this story stops at the end of the summer so life isn’t set in stone for them yet. But I really wanted to know what’s going to happen to these guys and it felt so unsettled where it was left.
If you’re in the mood for a funny, touching and sweet (but potentially unsatisfying) romance- I think you’ll really enjoy this. If you look at this like Nick’s story of growth, it might satisfy. If you’re like me, and you need something a bit more concrete in the romance department– this might bother you a bit.
Impression: I liked it
Review – Audio:
Nick J. Russo was AMAZING. He captured Nick (he he) to perfection! Nick’s joy and self doubts, his tendency to blurt and his enthusiasm were beautifully demonstrated in Russo’s narration. Jai (who isn’t nearly as well-defined as Nick) was well done, as were the other secondary characters. I definitely think listening to this (versus reading) adds another layer of complexity to what is a (somewhat) simple story, and the way to go.
I really enjoyed listening to this, and as an entertaining experience give it 5 of 5 stars.
Impression: It was amazing!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*