Ready for a fun YA novel in 2021? I might have just the thing…
Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Penguin Books
Date Published: 22 April 2021
Print length: 400 pages
[PRINCIPAL CAST LIST]
Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:
Carpooling to and from theatre 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.
Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson
He 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…
I haven’t read Teen/YA fiction in so long but after reading – and quite enjoying – Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda, I jumped at the chance to get involved with the blog tour for Kate in Waiting, Becky Albertalli’s latest release.
The book follows Kate Garfield and her best friend, Anderson “Andy” Walker as they navigate their communal crush against the backdrop of the school musical.
Initially, I was quite sceptical of the premise and the characters — finding Kate slightly annoying and I just thought why can’t one of them just fancy someone else!? —- but, as I carried on with this one, I grew to really like it.
Once again, Albertalli nails friendships. Though I do wish Raina and Brandie were fleshed out — and included —- a bit more, the friendship which did take centre stage (that of Kate and Andy) was gorgeous. They had sweet, tender moments with little sprinkles of drama which I lapped up, despite the fact I haven’t read Teen/YA Fiction in ages!
Another thing I really liked was the relationship between Kate and her brother, Ryan. Quite often YA/Teen Fiction tends to blab on about how annoying and gross male relatives are so I was pleasantly surprised by the close relationship the siblings had, though I do wish we got a bit more of an insight into his character.
Whilst my experience of drama is very much either sat in the audience or less than fond memories of whimpering out lines, forgetting lines altogether or some kind of costume malfunction, it was interesting to read about the work that goes into a performance- even one as basic as a high school play. I was initially quite reluctant to delve into this environment, probably due to my less than pleasant memories attached to it, but Albertalli writes about this part of school life with such warm and a great sense of community even drama sceptics can get behind it.
I also loved the romance in this. Albertalli hits the nail on the head about crushes, they’re exciting, they’re nerve wracking and – for the most part – they’re a massive pain. Though there were moments I wanted to grab Kate or Andy by their shoulders and give them a wobble, I think this communal crush was a great way to push the characters forwards and towards the sweet, if a little predictable, romances. The growth was brilliant and there were so many gorgeous moments between the characters. My heart couldn’t take it!
The only thing that bothered me was the repeated use of the word “f boy”, “f girl”, “f person” etc. I’m not someone who swears (at least not aloud!) but it doesn’t bother me. Saying that, though, I just found the repeated use of these terms a bit annoying and I wish this would’ve been reigned in a bit.
Regardless, Kate in Waiting is a sweet, fun story about friendship, communal crushes and drama.
A Few Thank Yous
I wouldn’t have been able to read this book – or participate in this Blog Tour- without a few people, who I’ll thank now.
Thank you Dave and the team at The Write Reads for my spot on the tour. Also a big thank you to the publisher, Penguin, and the writer Becky Albertalli for my E-copy of the book via NetGalley. I enjoyed reading it and I hope others will, too.
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.
Kate in Waiting is available to buy here.
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