Such a brilliant book to end my week with, this one really lifted my spirits.
Kate in Waiting
[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 fantastic book, it just made me so happy and nostalgic in the best way. I can’t actually believe how quickly I read this book, I was just enjoying it so much that I flew through it and definitely had that one more chapter feeling so much so that I stayed up way too late just to see what would happen.
There was just so much to love about this book, the friendships, the musical, the love interests, the LGBTQ+ representation, I have to say I actually kind of loved that Kate and Anderson’s shared crushes because I remembered that it was often the same for me and my friends and it just brought back so many funny memories, although we never went beyond crushes so luckily we didn’t have the drama. What I really loved about this book though was even though it was really fun it also didn’t shy away from the more difficult aspects of the story, it didn’t hold back when it came to the issues that popped up in Kate and Andy’s friendship because of the crush, and it was nice that even though romance was involved this book definitely had a lot more focus on the relationship between Kate and Andy.
I did love the relationship between Kate and Andy, how supportive they were of each other, how close they were despite people maybe finding that closeness a little weird at times, but I also loved that even though they both knew that really liking the same boy was going to end in disaster they both put themselves first and navigated the jealousy and feeling left out in a way that tried not to cause too much upset to the other person, even though it didn’t always work. There were some other notable characters in this book, Noah was definitely my favourite, cheeky but in a cute way and forward but in a loveable way, the kind of character that I couldn’t really figure out at first but ended up totally enthralled by. I like how his friendship with Kate blossomed throughout the book in a way that felt very natural, and I loved their witty banter back and forth, every time they had a conversation I had a huge smile on my face.
Matt was lovely, it was hard to get to know him much past the crush that Kate and Andy had on him, a lot of what the reader knows of him is portrayed through Kate’s thoughts or experiences but he still made a lovely impression and I feel a lot of affection toward him because he was in the middle of two friends and that can’t have been easy. I did wish that we got to know Raina and Brandie a little better, they were part of Kate and Anderson’s squad and they were interesting characters but I feel like there was a lot more that they could have contributed to the book, surely they noticed that things were becoming awkward between Kate and Andy and would have had more of an opinion on this.
The fact that the characters were putting on a musical was kind of the cherry on top of the cake, another thing that brought back lots of happy memories, and I could feel the nervous excitement from the characters, also it very cleverly played into the dynamic between Kate, Matt and Andy. Add to that all the emotions I was going through with everything going a bit wrong between Kate and Andy and then something else unexpectedly happening, it made for an ending that made me feel tense with a few little tears and then filled me with a lot of joy.
I loved Kate in Waiting and I would highly recommend it, although I would give a small warning that if you are sensitive about a lot of swearing you might have some reservations but overall it was a book that had a lot of wonderful characters, some very cute romance and left me feeling so infectiously upbeat.
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.