I received an eARC of the book from the publishers as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.
Genre: Contemporary Age Range: YA Star Rating: 4 stars Series: Standalone
Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. 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. 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.
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
I rarely read contemporary, even less books about romance, because that’s just not my cup of tea. Therefore, despite Becky Albertalli being a bit of a Juggernaut in YA, KATE IN WAITING was my first book by her. It was an absolute ball.
It’s a very funny story. The situation itself could go either all tragic pining and drama (which would probably have made me roll my eyes) or the way of melodramatic to the point of giggles. The book choses the second path, without losing any heart. I kept smothering snorts of laughter at the conversations and not so smooth attempts at romance.
I love the theatre group of friends, all their in jokes and having each others’ backs. It absolutely felt like they were a real group of friends, tight knit and with their own rituals. They were such a wholesome group, not internal tensions or “not quite friends” issues. Other than the one romance issue at the heart of the book, they were just really lovely friend. AND I loved that Kate and Andy were consistently trying to ensure they were friends first.
Given the book was in first person, a lot of the in jokes couldn’t be explained without breaking POV, but it didn’t matter. In fact, not knowing the exact reason but instead seeing it as a long past that was too complicated to explain and that it wouldn’t make sense unless you’d been along for the whole 6+ years only made it feel more authentic. I certainly would struggle to explain my friendship group’s references, and it still wouldn’t make sense to anyone else.
This is a book stuffed full of reference, most of which I only caught because my sister loves musical theatre and has coerced the family into watching more than I would ever choose (sorry, but it’s just not my thing). To my surprise, the play the school is putting on is actually a real one – I thought it would me made up (nope, just a really old one that’s out of copyright). Despite not being keen on musicals, the book has actually made me curious to watch it, quite an impressive feat!
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