Hello hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Kate In Waiting, organised by The Write Reads, and with beautiful advanced copies so kindly supplied by Penguin. My thanks to both of them for everything as always.
Due out for puplication tomorrow, this young adult book is a cross between a traditional romcom and a story of finding yourself in the midst of a group as well as in your own skin.
Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. Carpooling to and from theater rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient. Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment. Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.
But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off script. Matt Olsson is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.
Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship.
The overriding descriptive of this book is ‘cute’. Between the theatre group of friends and and the running stream of constant private jokes, it was an example of how a healthy high school time can go, with also taking time to acknowledge cyberbullying as well.
I felt this book tried its best but also felt a bit try hard at times. Things like ‘casually’ dropping in that there was an accessibility lift right near where they happened to be standing (also, as a wheelchair user, you can totally just call it a lift without fear of wheelchair riots). When representation feels like it has been a point on a checklist to tick off, it takes away from the validity of what it should have been achieving.
That said, despite the storyline being somewhat predictable, it really was a sweet little book, where Kate goes through a shift in herself as much as anything (with back up from Anderson, of course), to seeing that it’s okay to let go of what’s been holding her back, and find her place in their little world, even if it doesn’t match up exactly with her best friend. Maybe especially so.
Finding yourself is hard when you’re a teenager, and finding yourself when you’re a theatre kid who is secretly terrified of everyone and does theatre specifically so they can be someone else for hours at a time? Yeah, that was a throwback. But in this case, watching the show play out with multiple happy endings was the perfect level of cheese needed to support the book.
There were moments that made me laugh out loud, and it was a nice break in between some of the heavier reads I’ve got going on at the moment. I can see this being hugely popular with the intended audience.
About The Author
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.
My thanks again to Penguin for sending me an early copy of this truly lovely book.