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Book Review: Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

Publisher’s description

From #1 New York Times bestselling author and rom-com queen Becky Albertalli comes a buoyant new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life, and, yes, theater.

Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. Carpooling to and from theater 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.

Amanda’s thoughts

As always with books by Becky Albertalli, this was a total delight. This may even be my favorite book by her. I loved the rapid-fire dialogue that only best friends can really pull off. This book is funny, sweet, a little bit sad, and totally authentic.

BFFs Kate and Andy love having communal crushes. It’s more fun that way. And, I mean, what could go wrong? Enter Matt, their communal crush from theater camp, who suddenly moves to their town and throws everything into chaos. They both keep crushing on him, unsure if he’s straight or gay, though it doesn’t really matter, but communal crushes don’t necessarily go anywhere or turn into anything. But when it turns out that both Kate and Anderson really like like him, they make a pact to be happy for each other if something comes of it and to not do something silly like let a boy come between them.

You see where this is going, of course. But the predictability of that part of the story doesn’t ruin anything. They’re all such great characters and have such interesting interactions. And even though it may feel like the story is just about “oooh, we both like the same boy, what will happen?” it’s about so much more—the love in an intense friendship, changing relationships, surprise crushes, families, divorce, siblings, theater, and more.

I finished the book wishing I was part of Kate and Anderson’s best friends’ gang, reminiscing about my own communal crushes, and totally satisfied with how Kate and Andy’s stories wrap up. My new favorite Becky Albertalli book? I think so.

Review copy (ARC) courtesy of the publisher

ISBN-13: 9780062643834
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/20/2021
Age Range: 14 – 17 Years

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