Cover Image: Thanks for Waiting

Thanks for Waiting

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Member Reviews

As a late bloomer, this book spoke to me. (I'm also an avid listener of the forever 35 podcast so it was fun to learn more about Doree.) I wish it went a little bit deeper, and that she didn't skip over her 20s. It could have delved into more of what she hasn't already covered on her podcast, although I recognize not everyone might listen to that. It's still a relatable read for those of us who feel like we're a little behind in life.
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My first encounter with Doree was through her podcast, Matt & Doree's Eggcellent Adventure, which chronicles Doree and her husband's difficult journey in trying to have a baby at an older age. I then started listening to Forever35, another podcast Doree cohosts with Kate Spencer that interviews celebrities and discusses self-care practices and products geared towards middle-aged women.

Doree has had an unconventional life on an unconventional timeline. In this memoir, she shares her struggles with feeling left behind in terms of marriage, career, and starting a family. The societal and familial pressures she feels are enormous, and the idea of settling for less than she deserves is tempting and distressing. Over time, she is able to come to terms with how she is not "behind," but rather thriving and living life on her own terms.  This is such an important issue that needs to be addressed and shared more often.
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I really loved reading this memoir. I've been listening to the Forever35 podcast for a couple years now and have really enjoyed getting to "know" Doree through the podcast - I find her interesting and witty, and she typically has a fresh perspective on issues raised on the show. So many times I find myself nodding furiously in agreement with what she's saying. So I really appreciated getting to learn more about her life throughout this book and I thought it was an interesting/creative choice to tell her story through the lens of being a "late bloomer". She and I have taken very different life paths so I can't say I relate specifically to her life trajectory, but I related to a lot of the thoughts and feelings she described in the book - the feeling of being left out, of missing some critical piece of information that everyone else seems to have, the feeling of not quite "getting it" when everyone seems to, that was all so familiar to me. Truly for me, Thanks for Waiting was a joy to read and I had that feeling of wanting to hug the book when I was done. What a delight.
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DNF at 29%
Thanks Ballantine Books for the free e-ARC!

This is the recounting of Doree’s experiences as a “late bloomer,” meaning she got married, had a baby, and found job satisfaction in her 40s. I listened to Doree’s infertility podcast with her husband (Matt & Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure) podcast for years, as well as her podcast Forever35.  So, I already went into this knowing some of Doree’s timeline. I was excited to learn more about her and see more of her personality. However, this book is a little boring, and I found myself getting frustrated every time I read it. 
 
While I knew this book was a memoir, I was hoping that Doree’s journalism background would allow her to go just a little deeper about WHY society puts such high expectations on people to finish life milestones within a strict timeline. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how queer people’s timelines often go completely against these heteronormative ideals. So, reading about a straight white woman who just found her footing a little later than her peers (but seemingly still upheld all the same goals as the ultimate objective) wasn’t a very interesting journey for me, and I’m not sure if it was a strong enough concept for a book. But, I know many people will find this book relatable and affirming, so I’m happy it exists for those people.
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Thank you to Random House Publishing Group Ballantine Books for providing me with a copy of Doree Shafrir’s memoir, Thanks for Waiting: The Joy (and Weirdness) of Being a Late Bloomer, in exchange for an honest review. 

Writer and journalist Doree Shafrir’s memoir details her life as a self-professed “Late Bloomer.” Shafrir reflects on her life from her preteen years at camp, when she felt like the last girl to make-out with a boy, to her young-adult years, when she didn’t hit the same life milestones as her peers. 

Thanks for Waiting is a reminder that life often doesn’t follow a schedule, but that also doesn’t mean that your life is less fabulous or somehow a failure as compared with others who seem to be living a more traditional path. Shafrir didn’t not find her husband, Matt, until she was in her mid-thirties and she did not have a child until years later, after many rounds of IVF.  However, I don’t know if this necessarily makes her a “late bloomer.” I think she just blossomed in different areas.

 As I read Thanks for Waiting, I viewed Shafrir as a woman focused on her education and career, both of which led her to incredible opportunities, including working for Buzzfeed. She mentioned the frustration of getting older and not owning property, yet she was living in New York City and Los Angeles. I’m Shafrir’s age and I lived a majority of my life in Los Angeles. I can count on one hand the friends in our age group that own homes. It’s an incredibly expensive city and certainly not a mark of failure to be a renter. 

I think the “women having it all” is a bit of a myth. Happiness is certainly possible, but there are situations in everyone’s life where they have to make choices or give-up something to have something else. Shafrir compares herself to other women who seem to “have it all,” those who had career/marriage/babies/houses, all figured out by the time they were thirty. I suspect that most women compare or have been fed the cultural idea of a “time line.” We get anxious when everyone around us seems to be getting married or having babies. We are told that something is wrong if we deviate from the timeline. It’s a message that is hard to shake.

Although Shafrir admits to her anxieties of not hitting those milestones at the appropriate times and of being a “late bloomer,” in the end, it really doesn’t matter. The stress of her twenties and thirties, gives way to a new career, a loving husband, and a baby boy. She might be an older parents and her concept of her dream job has changed, but she is happy and thriving. 

I enjoyed Thanks for Waiting, primarily for Shafrir’s honest writing. As someone who has also taken an unusual life path, I could relate to many parts of her memoir. It’s a strong reminder that life doesn’t always go according to plan and that’s okay.
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I had heard about this book in several corners, and was glad to receive an ARC. The writing is smart and thoughtful, and the author is often funny and insightful; but if I am honest I found the tone and ultimate conclusions quite difficult to accept. It felt like the author was explaining away, excusing and apologizing for her so-called lateness; I never got the sense that she'd ever owned where she was and learned to be okay with it, only that she was constantly chasing down something that she felt seemingly everyone else had except her.  I didn't get a sense of her growth or her increased responsibility to herself as a person, so much as her near constant awareness of what everyone else in her life was doing, and I think that was just hard to read. 

What I had been hoping for, as a woman squarely inside her target demographic (single, childless, approaching midlife), was a refusal to submit to the notion that she was "late" at all. Our lives are what they are; with few exceptions (egregious moral and ethical failures, perhaps) shame is unhelpful in our quests to discover who it is we are supposed to be in the world. We will get wherever we're supposed to be whenever we arrive there, and that's not for society to define. But by the end of this book I was left feeling *still* behind, because the author's message wasn't really "It's okay to be you" so much as it was "There's still time to catch up." I think a much stronger message, which still could have stayed aligned with the truth of her life, would have been "Just do you. Screw everyone else." Regardless of my own feelings, though, I can feel the love and care that went into the writing of this book, and I hope that there are others whose hearts this does speak to.
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Book Review- No Spoilers

This is a memoir written by Doree Shafrir, a former journalist, current author and podcaster. I vaguely knew about Doree from listening to a podcast several years ago that had her husband in it.  He had mentioned her first book, “Start Up”, which I bought but never read.  Well, I’ll read it now, because I love how Doree writes.

The book is presented as Doree’s experience being a “late bloomer” in life.  She is amongst the last of her friends and family to hit certain milestones, including getting married. Doree is brave to speak openly about guys she’s dated from work, as people in her wider circle will certainly be able to figure out who she is talking about, but isn’t part of growing up not caring about what others think?

So much of her story is relatable.  For instance, this part about a hot guy that she tells herself she doesn’t have a crush on:  “And, third, it wasn’t exactly a crush; I mean, I barely knew the guy. It was more of an appreciation. I could appreciate Luke’s attractiveness in the same way I could appreciate that Brad Pitt is attractive!”  Or when she described her teenager style evolution as “between the phases of looking like I’d walked off the set of a John Hughes movie and onto the set of a Nirvana music video.” And as she turned 40, she was more interested in looking like a funky art teacher.  Same! Also, we are both part of that in-between generation of Gen X and Millennial.  

Also, I’m a late bloomer too. But that was one of the parts of the book that was the least relatable, and it was how the book was presented and marketed- a woman’s memoir of being a little behind the curve when it comes to life. Reading about a person who has had a successful career at multiple media jobs, obtained advanced education and has lived in expensive and cool cities is hardly relatable to the common person, never mind one who has trouble keeping up with their peers. But maybe that’s partly me trying to make her even more relatable to me, when clearly she has had a different path than her peers.

Though I was disappointed by the examples of being a late bloomer, I enjoyed Doree’s writing and viewpoints. Aside from adding her first novel further up my reading list, I will definitely be checking out her podcast, Forever35.  

4.5 stars
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4 stars 

Most readers who come to this memoir will have a sense of who Doree Shafrir is because she has been so public and forthcoming about major aspects of her life for several years now, and I think this group will get what they are hoping for: a clear through line in a known voice. Folks who are new to Shafrir have a lot to look forward to, as well. 

While this was a slow start for me (I read Part One in small chunks over a couple of weeks), I read the remainder of the work in one sitting. Some of the early chapters include memorable scenes and moments that certainly set up the essential flow of the work: the development of the "late bloomer." Readers will find cultural touchpoints and rites of passage in these early chapters, and if they - like me - are close in age to Shafrir, these insights may provoke some fun nostalgia. But what makes Shafrir's life and this work stand out are the events in the second half of the work, including her descriptions of meeting her future partner, going through IVF, and grappling with the details of new motherhood. As a person who has NEVER seen the appeal of having my own children (quite the opposite over here), even I found the sections on fertility and new motherhood profound. Folks who have had experiences similar to Shafrir's should come to this piece with self-care in mind. While many readers - like the podcast listeners Shafrir references - may find these discussions healing, empowering, and uplifting, others may find this content extremely difficult to manage. What most readers should experience is that Shafrir takes a forthright approach to her truths. She does not shy away from disappointments or tough realities, even in the face of others' harsh judgements (including, potentially, readers of this work). This is a particularly powerful aspect of the memoir overall. 

Shafrir's experiences may be relatable to many readers, but what resonated with me most is how she confronts critical moments and milestones in her life and presents them in ways that - assumedly - reflect her realities versus societal expectations.
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I really admire the vulnerability and honestly behind this memoir. I do think I would have appreciated it more if I had listened to Doree’s podcast.  The beginning was a little slow for me with it being centered so much around her dating fails. But I really felt her story behind fertility and IVF journey was one that so many can relate. There was in ease in her writing and I did really feel was authentic.
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Great concept but repetitive. 

I'm not a listener of Forever 35 and I imagine if you are, you'll love this. I requested an eARC because I related to the idea of being a "late bloomer", as I didn't seriously date until after college. Shafrir has a lot of insights about her early years, but the book felt too long and without a prior relationship to her work, the book didn't quite land for me.  

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for this review.
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I was an early listener of Forever35 because I've been a fan of Kate for years and Doree, I knew of from her work at Gawker. I've stopped listening after awhile, for a variety of reasons, but I still follow both women via social media.

Doree reminds me a lot of myself. Her struggle to "adult" is so familiar to me. Part of it might be the delayed adulthood that NYC allows, and the other part is just the oddness of being an adult. Are we all on some timeline that I didn't get? Did I miss that day at school?

The memoir is full of honest looks at relationship, marriage and infertility. Doree's open about everything, and it's refreshing! It's nice to see someone in my age group doing things on her own terms and timeline.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review.
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I have been a faithful listener of Forever35 since the beginning and was excited to read this book, but I have to be honest that Doree did not do it justice, it was great! She wove her personal story through the chapters magically. It was gripping, relatable and a reassurance that we are all "normal" even if we think we are markedly different than other people on the outside. This book was a breath of radical self-love fresh air, and I just know that I will think of her words often when I am feeling down on myself, because we will get where we were meant to be and we will be the people we were meant to be even if the dream we set for ourselves looks different in hindsight. Will recommend this book to all the women in my life, it is a must read!
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Wow! I loved this book so much! It's refreshing to read about someone who didn't follow exactly when society said to do things and felt
Like they weren't succeeding. I'm sure this is a pressure more people have including myself! Great read!
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Doree Shafrir, the older sister I always wanted. (Apologies to my actual older sister.) 

If you've ever felt behind in life, or a little delayed in all of those "shoulds" society lays on your shoulders? You have to read this book. From interning, to dating, to becoming a mother, Shafrir weaves the tale of her life in a way that will make you feel honored to be in such esteemed company as a late bloomer yourself. Not to mention, god, it feels good to know you're not alone. 

In the current landscape of hustle culture, and going viral before you leave your parents' house? Doree Shafrir provides a much-needed reminder that you don't have to be a wunderkind or a prodigy in order to lead a wonderful life. No matter how long, or what roads, it takes you to get there.

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine for advance access to this title!
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As a sometime listener of Forever35 and hearing her pop-up as guests on other podcasts, I was vaguely aware of who Doree was, but this delightful book opened a door into her life. I related to many of Doree's stories and struggles, from surviving the 2008 financial crisis to figuring out her career as a woman in media, to finally having a family of her own. As an also self-described "late bloomer" felt I found a kindred spirit! While it took a bit for me to get really get into the book, when it hit it's stride I didn't want to put it down.

While I received an ARC of Thanks for Waiting from NetGalley for free, this had no bearing on my rating and review.
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I am (I think) a late bloomer, too, and this book was very satisfying for that reason. The author has lived a very interesting life and the perspective that comes along with that is enjoyable to read.
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I liked this book, which essentially has two halves -- before she meets the guy, after she meets the guy. The second half is better! Maybe just because Shafrir was so ready to get good guidance from a therapist, who asked her a few key questions, and set her in a direction to join a relationship and be a good partner. Once she outgrows her youthful (and tiresome, for the reader) immaturity on constantly seeking validation from her latest, she grows up. Her infertility journey was very well described, and we go on all her ups and downs, including eventually giving birth and how hard the early days of newborn parenthood can be! Shafrir is funny and engaging and likeable. I liked the journey .
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I very much enjoyed this book. I thought the second half became a little too 'journal'-y meaning linear without too much unique self-relfection, which is why I enjoyed the first half so much. I think Doree's journey, and thoughts, are relatable to a mass audience, whether or not you can relate to the specific moments in her life.
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THANKS FOR WAITING topped my list of most anticipated releases in 2021, and it did not disappoint. Doree Shafrir, longtime Buzzfeed journalist and podcaster extraordinaire, manages to retain the voice so many of us choose to tune into each week. Shafrir has written the ode to the late bloomer: she has given those of us who have historically struggled to find our place in the world a written account that - spoiler alert - has the happy ending we strive to meet. THANKS FOR WAITING is poignant and relatable, especially for those of us who constantly struggle to meet the expectations we’ve been conditioned to set.

Most notable for me was Shafrir’s retelling of her IVF/infertility journey, which was transparent and honest. We need more literature in circulation that grapples with these hard topics that we historically fail at talking about. Shafrir doesn’t sugarcoat her journey, but raises visibility surrounding the pressure women face against our own biological clocks, and the struggles that 1 in 8 face when trying to start a family. It is challenging to write an account of infertility while remaining simultaneously candid and uplifting, and Shafrir does both masterfully with the same candid vibe she and husband Matt bring to their weekly infertility podcast.
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Started off a little slow, and didn't know if I would like this book. So glad I stayed with it, I really really loved it.
I enjoyed reading about her adventures  in dating, and then marriage and baby. 

Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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