Cover Image: Kate in Waiting

Kate in Waiting

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Member Reviews

I love, love, loved this book! Definitely one of my favorites by Becky Albertalli. It resonated with me so deeply as a recently-graduated theatre kid. 

The only minor criticism I have of the book is the amount of teenage slang; it felt like a little too much than what teenagers normally use. To be fair, however, theatre kids are kind of like that, just a bit crazy.
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Many thanks to Balzer + Bray and NetGalley for an early copy of Kate in Waiting! All opinions are my own.

Kate and her best friend, Anderson, have had "communal crushes" before and this time is no different. They both try to date the crush, but then things go awry for both of them. Do they get their happily ever afters? Check out the story to find out!

I enjoyed reading Kate in Waiting. It was a slower start for me and the shorter chapters were really weird at first. I did plow through 79% in one day (only sopped reading because I had to go to work the next morning). I kept waiting for the inevitable kiss between two of the characters. It was long and drawn out, which is not something I enjoy. I'm not a huge fan of the slow-burn writing style. The other thing that bothered me greatly was that the characters seemed very juvenile for juniors in high school. Maybe it's because I'm 25-years old and can't relate to them anymore. Their actions were a little childish at times and I definitely rolled my eyes a few times.

Honestly, none of these are something that Becky Albertalli did wrong. I have loved previous books of hers and will happily recommend Kate in Waiting to teens (probably slightly older teens with the number of vulgar words and sexual innuendos). It just wasn't the book for me even though the summary sounded very interesting.
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We stan Becky Albertalli in this house.

I have really appreciated that Albertalli is able to capture the awkward waiting of adolescence so accurately. I think that her voice is so spot on.

In this one, the titular Kate is a quiet, drama nerd who always crushes on the same person as her best friend, Anderson. As Kate describes it, it's just not as much fun when they don't share their crushes-- sharing lets them be giddy and excited together. This system has worked well for years, but it gets more complicated in their junior year when it looks like their mutual crush, Matt, might actually be a potential relationship for both of them. 

In my opinion, Kate is not the most likable protagonist, but I think she was meant to be likable. From an adult perspective, she was a bit too obtuse at times, and it occasionally felt like it was for the sake of plot rather than a real element of her character. I also felt like Brandie and Raina were slightly underused as best friends. 

However, there were so many other characters whom I just adored. I wish that Kate brother Ryan got more screen time-- his quiet relationship with Kate was just spot-on in how many sibling relationships look. And NOAH KAPLAN. NOAH KAPLAN, Y'ALL. What a baby angel. Seeing him grow and change throughout this story was ABSOLUTELY the highlight and it is worth reading this book for that alone.  Because Noah was my motivating factor in this story, I did think it started a bit slow, but I dashed through the last 50%.

I also will give this book some love for a normal and fairly positive depiction of divorce, some solid cultural Judaism, and a trans character whose identity status is not the only thing we know about.
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The best-selling, award-winning author of Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Leah and the Offbeat is back with her latest YA novel! Kate Garfield and her best friend, Anderson Walker, are high school juniors who have communal crushes. It's their thing. But when their latest shared crush from drama camp ends up as a student at their high school, things get a little uncomfortable. Matt is sweet, funny, and is a theatre fan, just like they are. He's cast in the school production of Once Upon a Mattress as Kate's love interest; he's in the same drama class as Anderson, while Kate is left out. Kate and Anderson realize that this is not a usual passing crush, and have to figure out how to navigate these new waters while still maintaining their bestie status. There's great character development here, and discussions between Kate and Anderson touch on some sensitive points like being gay, out, and Black in the U.S. South; splitting a life between homes when one's parents are divorced, and images versus reality when it comes to "bro culture" (or, as they're often referred to in Kate in Waiting, "f-boys"). The dialogue is wonderful, realistic, and smart; friendships withstand ebbs and flows of daily teen life. It's just an all-around great YA novel that should be a big book this summer. Theatre kids will love the process of seeing a production come together, and teens will love the smart, funny writing that breaks your heart and puts it back together again.

Kate in Waiting has starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and made the Indie Next Great Reads list.
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Very cute romance. I love the (sometimes unrealistic) main friendship. I love the banter and the subtle character growth. I don’t like the f boy aspect (more the overuse of the term and the lack of growth in that aspect)
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This was a bit of a disappointment, and I almost have to wonder if it would feel like that if it weren't written by Becky Albertalli. On one hand, it had some of the great things I love about her writing; a focus on friendship, lovably awkward protagonists, great Jewish rep, moments that were very funny. 

On the other, so much of the plot hinged on Kate and Anderson crushing on and eventually pursuing the same guy. The problem is that the guy in question was just...incredibly bland. I thought eventually there would be some indication as to why this guy is worth ruining a solid friendship over but there just wasn't any. Just two pretty nuanced characters fighting over white bread.

The other thing is that the first time Kate called someone a fuckboy it was pretty hilarious, the second to fifth times were a little less funny and by 6000th time I was ready to scream. 

This was very readable but ultimately unimpressive and even annoying.
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Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins for an ARC of this book.

4.5 stars rounded up

The Good:
-Yeah, theatre nerds!
-Kate and Andy's relationship
-Kate and Noah's relationship 
-Representation matters! A diverse mix of characters where their diversity isn't really central to the story. 

The Not-So-Good:
-Not enough of the side characters. There could have been more of Brandie, Raina, Matt, and other people in the play.  
-The use of the term fuckboy/f-boy was excessive. I don't care about bad language, but this term is used A LOT to describe a particular kind of jock and it just got a little old. 

This is a book for the theatre nerds and I love it! I did stage crew in middle school and really regret not continuing in high school.  There are tons of Broadway references beyond just the musical they are doing. I would make sure you are familiar with Once Upon a Mattress before you read this book so you understand what's happening from the play point of view. 

My one complaint would be that we don't get enough of the side characters. Raina and Brandie are literally described as "the mom friends" and pop into the story sometimes, but we don't really get to know them other than Brandie has a boyfriend and Raina is trans. The communal crush Matt is also just sort of there to create the conflict. It would have been nice to have had some scenes from the summer camp they were all together just to get to know him a little better beyond "OMG he sings pretty and looks like a Coke-Ad model." 

The heart of this book is the relationship between Kate and Andy, two friends who are coping with their communal crush going beyond a crush. How Kate and Noah's relationship grows is also realistic and adorable. I could not put this book down and would love a sequel from one of the side character's points of view. Mostly because if anything happens to the couples from this book I would freak out.
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This book is Becky Albertalli at her finest. While I always say I don't like romance books, I think it's because they don't hold a candle to Albertalli's storytelling. Kate in Waiting is the new standard to which I will hold all romance novels.

Readers meet Kate, the adorably awkward thespian as she begins her junior year of high school. She and her best friend Anderson are anxiously awaiting their drama teacher to announce this year's musical. Just before the teacher emerges to make the announcement, the boy who both Anderson and Kate developed a mutual crush on at summer camp appears and shakes the foundation of what is shaping up to be a very interesting year.

Navigating this mutual crush, rehearsing for the musical, and establishing healthy boundaries between friends and family allows Albertalli to explore the full depth of Kate's character. Kate is endearing, and her awkwardness and painful junior high experiences are something all readers can relate to. It's what helps readers root for Kate as she works her way through the complexities of budding romantic relationships, heartache, and finding her way.
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kate in waiting is a contemporary, ya novel about kate, a teenage girl who ends up falling for the same boy her best friend, anderson, is also developing feelings for.

this book was such a fun read!! it’s an adorable, upbeat story with an intriguing premise. kate is a quirky and relatable protagonist with a diverse group of friends that don’t feel too cliché. 

some parts of the novel began to feel a little repetitive, but during the last quarter, i couldn’t put this book down. although the plot is somewhat predictable, i still felt invested in the story and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. 

kate in waiting is definitely one of my favorite becky albertalli books, and i definitely recommend it!
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Becky Albertalli's writing is incredible and can turn a phone book into the best YA book of all time. This book started off so strong and I got bored for a hot second but that's because I got in a lull due to my mood but it was so wonderful and I could feel every emotion Kate had and was able to put myself in her shoes. I will never not read a book from Albertalli.
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Becky Albertalli. Do I need to say more? This book was flawless. I thought Simon would always be my favorite Albertalli but Kate is my new love! 
Kate in Waiting follows Kate and Anderson who are best friends and have a crush on the same guy from camp, Matt. Out of nowhere, Matt’s the new kid at their school and they’ll all be in theatre together. And then we get ~350 pages of Kate and Andy flirting with Matt and all the drama of best friends falling in love with the same guy. There were several times I stopped reading because I was anticipating certain events and I just wasn’t ready. When I finally accepted that it was bound to happen and started reading again, I died anyway. I was Kate and I was Andy and every emotion they felt, I felt. It was a rollercoaster of emotions and an amazing ride and I’m sad it’s over.
Also, this is probably the most relatable book I’ve ever read. The descriptions of emotions like humility, heart break, embarrassment, longing, and love really had me feeling like I was the MC. I wanted to cry and vomit for her so she didn’t have to go through it. And the vocabulary (can someone count and tell me how many times fuckboy was said?) was top tier. I’d never read a book that says “I stan” before but I fucking stan you Becky and I will forever read everything you write.
Thank you sooooooo much NetGalley for providing me with an arc of this masterpiece to read for an honest review!
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I really enjoyed this! It's a fairly quick read and one that feels a bit small in scope, but as with her past work, Albertalli's writing is strong and witty and feels accurate to current teens, and the characters are fully realized and portrayed with significant detail - the relationship between Kate and Ryan was a particular highlight for me. Kate as a main character felt relatable, I always love Albertalli's Jewish references, there was a lot of warmth in the portrayal of high school theater programs, and I really liked the development of the romance. I did think that the climactic argument was a bit too easily resolved - it certainly showed flaws in Kate but I didn't necessarily feel that they were really dealt with completely.

There are plenty of love triangle books or two friends crushing on the same person stories, but this one had such a bold and poignant appreciation of the friendship itself that in a lot of ways it felt more like that was the focus over the romance, so along with fans of Amy Spalding and Emma Mills and YA contemporary in general (and those for whom the Upside of Unrequited is a favorite), certainly recommend for readers looking for strong friendship narratives.
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Even having been a theatre kid myself, I thought his was a little too overly dramatic and trying-too-hard. Kate and Anderson's friendship is not believable, and I'm really tired of the love triangle trope pitting supposedly ride-or-die friends against each other.
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Becky Albertalli must have been a theatre kid herself, because this writing is SCARILY accurate. I did theatre all throughout high school and I can vividly remember myself in the rehearsals and set design spaces as these characters. It's honestly almost cringeworthy at times, how much of myself I see in Kate! The plot itself is sweet. Haven't all of us girls in theatre at some point had a crush on a boy in the cast who probably wasn't straight? I get how it feels, and that must be why I found it so easy to root for Kate.
I will say that the way the chapters are broken down (into "scenes") made it feel like forever before the story really got moving. Once things did pick up, of course I was invested - it just took me awhile to get there. Beyond that, Kate in Waiting had a lot of elements that I'm a sucker for: love triangles, good representation, pop culture references of all kinds. I loved it!

I also posted this review on Goodreads:
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I want to like her books; I really do.  But I just don't like them.  I cant' get into them.  I've heard her speak a few times, and she's a sweetheart, but I just don't like her books.
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Katie in Waiting really speaks to *this* former theater kid. It is a bit of a departure from Albertalli's previous books but not so much so that fans of the Simonverse won't also enjoy this fun book! 
Kate and Anderson claim to not be codependent, but they definitely are, Their intense and complicated friendship   is totally relatable.
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I will preface what is going to be a 4 star review by saying I’ve enjoyed every Becky Albertalli book I’ve read, but they’ve never really “blown me away” or changed my life. Her latest one, Kate in Waiting, didn’t change my life either. But I laughed, and I cheered when two characters kissed, and it made me miss theatre, and that’s pretty much exactly what I needed. I don’t need a book to change my life—I just need it to make me feel SOMETHING for 300 pages.

Kate Garfield is a theatre girl, and she and her best friend, Anderson, are basically inseparable. They’re so insperable they even often have communal crushes: a guy that both of them have a crush on. Because Anderson is gay, but that doesn’t stop him and Kate from gushing over a cute boy. Cue: summer camp, the cute vocal consultant, and the eternal ‘what ifs’ because neither Kate nor Andy have the cajones to make a move.

On the first day of junior year, they’re supposed to be focused on the announcement of that year’s school musical, but they quickly get distracted when the doors open and guess who walks in? You guessed it, the cute vocal consultant, Matt. When all three of them–plus their squad a few others–get cast in the musical, things get complicated. How does a communal crush work when one of you has a scripted kiss with them? What about when he moves into your house due to a freak accident? And how do you balance friendship with flirting?

Of course, that’s not all–Kate’s a fascinating character, nerdy in the best ways but still a bit judgemental, who finds herself having to re-evaluate the “f boy” label she’s been applying to all of her brother’s jocky friends, because maybe he, and one friend in particular, aren’t as bad as the label may imply.

This book was CUTE! The school does Once Upon a Mattress–which is adorable, and it was fun knowing the show as it plays out on the page! Kate’s a fun character, even if I kind of hated Anderson at times. IDK, the friendship overlap felt exploitative to me at times. Like he didn’t like Kate growing into her own. Obviously, It all works out in the end, but there were times where I rolled my eyes a lot.

I won’t reveal who kisses who, but there was some real SWOONING throughout. Loved some cinnamon roll moments, ya know?

This book is a sweet little love letter to theatre and friendship and crushes, and I give it 4 stars!
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This book was adorable.  Kate and Anderson are friendship goals, and their interactions were honest and hilarious.  Albertalli did a great job of creating teen characters that actually behaved like teens.  Kate and Anderson's relationship with each other and their families felt realistic while being entertaining.  Kate and Anderson's romantic adventures are perfectly written to make the reader root for the couples while given enough misdirection that it wasn't obvious from the beginning who the final pairings would be.  The book is a fast-paced, fun, and funny read that I can't wait to recommend.
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Disclaimer: I was a pretty big theatre nerd in high school, so I might have some deep bias about this book.

I LOVED this book. I don't remember the last time that I have stayed up late reading a book because I simply had to finish it. It is very rare for me anymore. Rarer still: I would read this again.

I thought the character development, setting, themes, emotional range, dialogue and just about everything felt accurate and realistic. And it was frankly refreshing to just have a book with a happy ending-I needed a happy ending. I shall stop my comments here so I don't descend into spoilers.

Side Note (possible SPOILER warning-or an un-spoiler): I'm apparently becoming a bit of nervous while reading YA books. At the end, when Anderson and Kate get in the car together, I was totally expecting a car crash/death. I think the more 'harsh' YA authors have broken my spirit.

For Libraries: Yes-please buy it!
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This book brought me right back to being a theater kid in high school-it's clear that Becky Albertalli was also a theater nerd because everything about this book was just so realistic and relatable, and I loved it so much. 

Granted, I'm not a teen myself anymore, but I've always thought that Becky Albertalli is fantastic at writing teens and teen dialogue realistically. Kate frustrated me a lot in this book, especially at the beginning when she is so judgemental about all the "f-boys" and everyone else in her school who isn't involved in the arts-but I know my dumb teenage self also had a lot of those same thoughts. Her character develops really well and really realistically throughout the novel, and I absolutely adored her friendship with Anderson. 

Another one of Albertalli's strengths is writing romances. The two in this book were so adorable, and I honestly couldn't get enough of Kate's LI. 

Definitely pick this one up when it's released! 

*Thanks very much to the publisher for providing my copy of the book in exchange for my review!*
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