Advanced Review by Kristie: Adulting 101, by Lisa Henry

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Adulting 101, by Lisa Henry
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: August 15, 2016

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


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.


M/M Pairing
Gay Character
Bisexual Character
New Adult
Coming of Age


I read a good portion of this book on the bus, during my commute home from work. To say that I had a number of people stopping me and asking what I was reading, well, it would be an understatement. You see, Adulting 101 made me laugh. I’m talking “laugh out loud” laughter. The kind of laughter that had me crying because I could not hold it together. Because of this, it also took me longer than it should have to finish the book, what with people stopping me and asking questions. Otherwise, I would have devoured it in one sitting… probably in about 2 hours.

Adulting 101 is a wonderfully easy story to read about growing pains. These are the kind of growing pains any teenager goes through. The growing pains of that first kisses, first sexual experience, deciding what to do in life, how to live, to go to college or not, how to communicate to your parents, and so much more. It’s a story that took me back to the times in my life with I had similar growing pains. Reflecting over the stumbles in the road where I was at a loss for words, confused about what path to take, and wondering how so many other kids already knew what they wanted.

Between both Nick and Jai, I found myself smiling at the ridiculous jokes, the silly pop culture references, and Lord of the Rings fanboying. I laughed hard when Nick verbally vomits his thoughts with zero filter. I giggled incessantly when Nick’s internal musings, at very strange times, would go on and on and on. I’d sigh when Jai would listen to Nick talk about the things troubling him and love every minute of it…take it in like a good friend would. I loved the way Jai would really listen to Nick, and understand him, see him. My heart clenched when things didn’t go the way either of them wanted, and at times when things went horribly wrong. But the roller coaster ride would take me back up again with more laughter and smiling and a feeling of total complete bliss when things would go right.

So this is to say… I had so many feels.

With well meaning but intrusive families, friends that are incredibly wonderful, both Nick and Jai figure out what’s grown up and adult enough for them. Growing up is hard to do. I’m not sure I’m there yet, but I’m pretty sure I have enough figured out, finally, to get through life happy. One of the things I’ve figured out is that books like this one, books that make me laugh and reflect on life and living it, are a thing of beauty. With that, I highly recommend this for anyone looking for laughter, smiles, seriously good times with nerdy references and poetry so bad that it will have you in stitches… in the best way possible.


Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Connect with Lisa:

Twitter: @lisahenryonline

You can pre-order Adulting 101 from:
Riptide Publishing
Barnes & Noble

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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