THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P. by Adelle Waldman
You know when your boyfriend does something so fucking stupid you actually can’t see straight and then he tells you to read The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance or some shit so you’ll understand where he’s coming from? That’s, like, the whole fucking point of THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P. by Adelle Waldman.
NATHANIEL P. follows Nate Piven,
unemployed writer and rising star in the New York literary scene as he tries to navigate through both his career and his love life. After years of trying to prove himself in the writing community he suddenly has his pick of both magazine assignments and women: Elisa, his sexy AF ex-girlfriend (whom Blake Lively would totally play in the movie), Juliet, see the definition of Side Chick; and Hannah, a Nice Girl.
The book particularly focuses on his relationship with Hannah. After meeting at a mutual friend’s party he immediately dismisses her as plain and boring (GTFO Nate, you ain’t special) until they go on a date. They bond over red wine and their sad writing careers and proceed to kind of fall in love.
Nate’s career really starts to take off and Hannah gets more attached to their relationship because she is a human with feelings, and then just as he gains some notoriety Nate dumps her BECAUSE OF COURSE HE DOES. Le sigh.
Reading this book is a little like living inside the mind of Dan Humphrey as he sits down to blast a bunch of bitches on GG.
Nate is the definition of a Williamsburg hipster right down to the craft beer he probably brews himself in his $2,000+/month loft. His lack of self-awareness is probably the best aspect of this story though. He spends much of the novel having high anxiety about being perceived as an “asshole” and then acts like an asshole. Similar to any Bachelor contestant ever, he is completely shocked that fucking around with multiple women will actually blow up in his face.
Even though Nate lite-weight makes me want to set fires, the story itself is actually pretty damn good. Set against the amazing backdrop that is lower Manhattan, the story feels very honest and very now. Plus Waldman’s writing is so on point she’ll make you want to fall in love in city but also cry over your Bumble messages (#NotAnAd) and grow old with your cats.
So if you’ve ever wondered why the guy you were seeing suddenly stopped calling and deleted you off SnapChat (looking at you, Tinder Alex) then you should read this book. It’s an in-depth look at fuck boys, too real at times, and hilarious in an if-I-don’t-laugh-I’ll-blow-my-fucking-brains-out kind of way. So read it or don’t read it. Either way love is dead.