From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.
[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…
Kate in Waiting is a light-hearted glimpse at the complexities of teen dating and the importance of friendships.
What I Liked
The theater kids are extraordinarily relatable. I worked with theater kids in high school for many years, and I could see the similarities between my students and the characters in the story. The character development is minimal, but in-depth character development is unnecessary for understanding them and laughing at their foibles.
The theme of friendship is heartwarming and a good reminder of what’s essential in life. There are many fun quips that friendships are more important than love interests. Still, nothing tells it as beautifully as this story with Kate and Anderson having to fight their way through a contentious situation.
I also enjoyed the vital role of family and the relationship between Ryan and Kate. They are loving and supportive of each other, and neither realizes the role of the other in protecting them throughout their teen years. Not all siblings fight, and even if they do, nobody has their back like the other.
My favorite character is Noah because he’s just so adorable with his intentional and unintentional antics. You can’t help but like him. He is the kind of student I would allow to take more than his fair share from the candy dish because how do you fuss at somebody that unassuming. For as much as I loved Noah, I felt great compassion for Matt. He is in an impossible situation and doesn’t even realize it. I could see that he was trying to make friendships, but the romantic thoughts of others were making that very difficult.
What I Wish
Usually, the plot of this book is perfect for younger YA since I know they want to know more about high school and what it’s like, but the gratuitous overuse of cuss words – one in particular- makes it impossible for me to recommend it for that age group. Even as an adult, it made the story difficult for me to enjoy at various points. Do teenagers use that language? Of course, but not as much as is in the story. Also, I would have loved it if the story hadn’t ended so neatly and maybe had a small piece of reality along with an uplifting attitude toward prospects.
To Read or Not to Read
If you are looking for a light, heartwarming read about teenagers, look no further. Kate in Waiting is just the story you have been waiting to read.
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.