Hello, hello friends! I’m so excited to be back for another blog tour with @TheWriteReads today for a highly anticipated YA contemporary: Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍
Special thanks to Penguin and @The_WriteReads tours team for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!
Goodreads: Kate in Waiting
Published: 22 April 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
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…
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.
TL;DR: The realness and relatability of Kate in Waiting has left me (giggling and) floating on a cloud of sweet nostalgia and I absolutely love it! This was such a heartwarming and feel-good story that had realistic characters you can’t help but love and root for. Albertalli does an amazing job in accurately capturing the high school experience and the teenage voice. My favourite parts of the story were the friendships, especially Kate and Andy’s ride-or-die-best-friendship, and I also liked how family relationships were explored. The romance definitely wasn’t too shabby either! 😉 If you’re looking for a fast, easy to read and feel-good YA contemporary with a fun high-school musical setting, loveable characters and relationships, and a generous dose of teenage romance, I’d highly recommend this!
I went into this book feeling a little trepidation because in the past I haven’t clicked with Albertalli’s books as much as other people seemed to and I was worried that this one would be much the same. Thankfully, I ended up really enjoying it and the giddy happy high that I felt as this book ended has continued to flow through me each time I think about it—and don’t you just love when a book can make you feel that way?
This was ultimately such a feel good read and everyone in it was just… Precious? 🥺 There was definitely a bit of angst but it’s also high school and so it’s more than a little expected. Albertalli deals with the minimal drama and angst quite well and it was refreshing to see these teenagers have a greater sense of self-awareness, and taking responsibility and owning up to faults when they need to. Needless to say, this might just be my favourite of Albertalli’s books! 😍
The author does an incredible job of capturing the essence of high school life and of being a teenager; as I was reading, I constantly thought about how accurately these teenage voices, thoughts, and emotions were depicted! The friendships, the uncertainty and awkwardness, the many ‘firsts’ experiences—first kiss, first crush, first relationship—were all so relatable and realistic. Considering I left high school many years ago, I found it amazing that Albertalli was able to make me recall those friendships and memories as if I’d just experienced them yesterday—I did a lot of walking, jogging and flat out running down memory lane while reading this!
I loved the friendship between Kate and Andy, and also with Brandie, Raina and Matt. Noah’s character was a welcome surprise and I absolutely adored his sincerity and fumbling awkwardness. I also loved that this explored the complexity of family dynamics. As someone who’s only 15-months younger than my brother, the sibling relationship between Kate and Ryan was so relatable to me, as I have the same type of relationship with my brother. I appreciated how Ryan showed how much he respected Kate by really listening to what she had to say and I loved how he wasn’t afraid to be emotionally vulnerable (despite technically being part of the ‘too-cool-f-boy-crowd’).
The aspect I was most unsure about before I started reading was the romance. I didn’t know what to think about Kate and Andy’s mutual dream crush turned real crush (as it came so close to angsty love triangle vibes for my tastes) but I ended up really liking how the situation was handled. These moments relating to the crush were obviously the most angst-filled parts of the story but I respected how much Kate and Andy strived to put their friendship first above all else. They’re clearly ‘ride-or-die’ besties and their interactions and genuine love and respect for each other was so heartwarming to see! The closeness of their friendship once again reminded me of my own and there were so many laugh out loud moments for me as I realised my friends and I have previously reacted in similar ways, too. 😂
The one thing that had me rolling my eyes as often as the word came up was the very excessive use of the word “fuck boy/fuck girl or f-boy/f-girl”. I mean, I get it—but also, I got really tired reading the word come up in every other sentence? It honestly made me feel a little old… 🤪 It definitely (obviously) wasn’t a deal breaker though cos I still enjoyed this so much! The short ‘scene titled’ chapters made it a very quick and easy read and by the time I got to the end, all I wanted was to keep hanging out with these characters to see where life takes them next.
Have you read Kate in Waiting or is it on your TBR?