Cover Image: Your Driver Is Waiting

Your Driver Is Waiting

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Member Reviews

This novel while being based on the movie Taxi Driver felt entirely unique. 

You really feel the stress and desperation that the main character Damani feels as the plot progresses and you go on that journey with her; even though you know it can’t turn out well. 

I definitely recommend to one to anyone loving books with unreliable main characters or thought-provoking fiction critiquing our society as a whole.
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This has a decent premise, but I just wasn’t engaged by the book. It seemed to want to balance grit with comedy, and I don’t think it did it in a way that worked for me.
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Damani is a Sri Lankan rideshare driver in the city, struggling to make ends meet and being crushed under the weight of late stage capitalism. She's exhausted and jaded, but manages to put on a happy face to her passengers for the sake of her 5 star driver rating. When she meets Jolene, a well meaning socialite, she finds herself enraptured and completely taken in by Jo's charm. Jo offers Damani an escape from the stressors of her life and in return, Damani is willing to put some red flags to the side for Jo. But when Jolene does something Damani can't forgive, an explosive chain of events unfolds

I thought this was great and really thought provoking, though it did take me a bit to get a feel for Damani as far as who she was as a person at her core. As a woman of color, the reader gets a feel for how she is required to code switch between each of her personal relationships as well as her rideshare customers. It gives a very real look at living in poverty or close to it, white saviorism, and "woke" activism. My one critique is that there was a lot of emphasis placed on this one "big event" that happens, and in truth it doesn't occur until pretty far into the book. However, the writing was solid and the plot was interesting and off-beat. 

Thanks so much to Doubleday Books as well as Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book ahead of its March 2023 release in exchange for my honest thoughts!
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Damani, a driver on one of the rideshare apps, is struggling. Not only is her life offtrack- her bills are piling up, her mother is still reeling after the loss of her husband and is stuck in a depressive Episode that keeps her locked inside their dingy basement apartment, and her employer is exploiting her and her fellow drivers- but after meeting a mysterious woman she completely falls for , she must reconcile her attraction to her while pushing the rights of those in the fringe of society forward. 


I found this book entertaining and read through it fairly quickly which is why I gave it 4/5. There was a good amount of social commentary mainly about white privilege and corporations exploiting minorities. I also liked that it had some lesbian/bi representation which is something I’m looking forward to in the books I read in 2023. If you enjoyed MY SISTER THE SERIAL KILLER And THE OTHER BLACK GIRL, this book is for you! Out 2/28/23 !
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Full of gripping social commentary, Your Driver Is Waiting is far less thriller than it is an internal dialogue of that particular anger you get when the world is so clearly stacked against you. It's a look into how dangerous it can be to help people when you have no idea about their situations and experiences. It's a big reminder that even the best intentions can have dire consequences if you stop listening first.

I found myself completely lost in the commentary, this is a story told in tangents and biting metaphors. Somehow all wrapped together to make a cohesive story. Delightful!
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This one was just ok! A re-telling of TAXI DRIVER for the Uber generation, perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I had actually seen the source material. It's a very interestingly written novel by Priya Guns. It takes some time to get into the flow of the writing, and to understand what our heroine Damani is all about. It's a tough book - Damani is stuck driving for a ride-share app similar to Uber, but also in a futuristic/other worldly time where protests are happening constantly in this un-named city. She is also trying to keep her life afloat, as well as taking care of her disabled Mother shortly after her Father's death. It's a mood read, as there isn't too much plot, but the book does pick up once she meets Jolene and starts a brief but ultimately doomed affair with this passenger of hers (that she first meets after hitting her with her car). Off-beat and different, this book isn't for everyone but your patience may be rewarding if it speaks to you.
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Intense, gritty, and fast-paced. Loved all the side stories of her passengers. Such an interesting format. It wasn't what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it and think it had important and relevant representation that needs to be shared.
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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of Your Driver is Waiting!
This story is about Damani, who is a ride sharing driver and her adventures with the passengers. 
There were topics discussing social and political issues that were touched on and brought a powerful meaning to the novel. 
I loved the sense of humor in this book, had me cracking up!
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I did not finish this book. Ultimately, I think that this book wasn’t for me. I didn’t enjoy the humor, and the pacing was meandering.
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Tense, fast-paced, and darkly hilarious, Priya Guns' debut will drive you wild. Your Driver is Waiting is the perfect satire on today's gig economy.
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I couldn't finish this one. It was well written enough from the quarter I read, but I guess I was expecting something darker given the description of a contemporary, gender-flipped Travis Bickle. It felt more dark comedy adjacent than gritty. I do think the premise is great, the concepts are super relevant and worth exploring (the unrelenting grind for people living paycheck to paycheck with people depending on them, performative allyship, and so on). 
 It just didn't pass the vibe check for me.
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A struggle for me to want to push through after a point (which might be on me for picking this to cross off over the holidays). Damani kept me in this, but for whatever reason it is so much harder to see the same irrationality I might display in a straight relationship when it is played out in wlw romances. Not in my lesbians, my heart cries, even though I know we all make these bad decisions through hormones sometimes. Anyway, solid enough contemporary not-romance, with a bit of a messy ending. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced digital copy.
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This book started off strong for me--Guns' strength lies in her character and world-building. I instantly "got" Damani, her grieving mother, and her group of activist friends who were more like family. This novel is definitely a product of its time--filled with people scraping by paycheck-to-paycheck who will give what little they have to help the community they've built for themselves, all while advocating for a more just world. There's also the white allies, who mean well but do nothing to affect actual change. Whose performative activism masks the fact that they don't reeeallly get it. 

SPOILERS AHEAD

The story started to fall apart for me when Damani takes Jo, her new girlfriend, to meet her friends. Jo dons her white savior cap, refuses to listen to people of color who have experienced the oppression she claims to fight against, then gets their safe haven raided. For some reason, this does not dim Damani's lust for Jo, and Damani threatens everything she loves by stalking her now ex-lover, breaking into her house, and making reckless decisions that could leave her and her mother without a roof over their heads. 

As I looked at the page count, I wondered how Guns was going to wrap up the story with so little real estate left. Surely not everything would be resolved, but there would be some finality, right? I could suspend belief that Damani's mother, left incapacitated by her husband's death, was able to recover enough to help her daughter once her daughter could no longer help herself, but inserting Jo back into the narrative to relieve all of their financial stress didn't track. Wasn't this the same person sobbing in the arms of a police officer twenty-ish pages earlier after Damani nearly ran her over with her car (again)? It just felt like Guns needed a tidy ending, but it didn't feel earned.
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Your Driver is Waiting is a fierce and powerful read that is absolutely invigorating. This is a book that isn’t afraid to tackle racism, twisted politics, and performative allyship. Damani is a Sri Lankan driver for a rideshare app that is predatory and inflicts terrible demands on its drivers. As protests rock the city, Damani meets a beautiful rider named Jolene. Yet when the heat turns up and the protests become personal, Damani is left struggling to deal with the fallout from one pivotal night. 

This book is an intense whirlwind. The writing feels gritty and realistic; Damani felt like a relatable and genuine character. I really enjoyed the writing style; it was darkly sarcastic and poignant. Damani is in a losing battle and she knows it; she must fight every day simply for the right to exist. She doesn’t even have time to properly mourn her father, who died suddenly while working at his job. This was heartbreaking, especially when another character compared Damani’s loss to the loss of her dog. And yet, we all know someone like this! Jolene is performative, narcissistic, and relates everything to her own pain. There was such bitter irony when Jolene organized protests for the rideshare drivers and yet Damani was unable to attend. She literally could not stop driving in order to take care of herself and her mom! 

Priya Guns did an excellent job of weaving in Damani’s relationship struggles with her mother. They often fight due to her mother’s disapproval for LGBTQ+ people and Damani's choices, yet find themselves united in bottomless grief. Damani must take care of her mother when her mother struggles to leave the apartment and perform daily tasks such as feeding herself. Despite these intense struggles (caretaking is a second job), Damani always does her best to take care of her mother at serious cost to her own well-being. I enjoyed how Damani came to terms with and explored her relationship with queerness (especially her haircut!). 

Your Driver is Waiting is a fervent and passionate shout into the world. This would be such a good book club pick; I definitely found myself wanting to discuss it and wondered what happened next to the characters. Your Driver is Waiting releases February 28, 2023. Thank you to Priya Guns, Doubleday, and Netgalley for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Your Driver is Waiting is filled with rage, societal issues, and a taste of dark humor. I love how Priya Guns wrote the character of a Sri-Lankan female driver. On the other hand, Jolene, a self-proclaimed woke "ally", is someone that we have come across once or twice in our lives. Although Jolene is objectively unbearable, she is a worthy character for making me laugh due to her ignorance. The start was a bit slow but finishing it is worth it.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC!
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Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of Your Driver is Waiting.

I remember watching Taxi Driver at an age when I shouldn't have been watching a movie that dark.

Your Driver is Waiting is nothing like Taxi Driver, and I know I shouldn't make comparisons.

It started out well. Damani is a struggling rideshare driver, doing her best to keep her family intact. Her dad is dead. Her mother needs constant care and looking after, and the city is social and politically divided, charged with rallies and protests nearly daily.

Then, Damani meets the woman of her dreams. And that's when the narrative turns silly. Like YA silly.

The writing becomes sugary sweet, using phrases to describe Jolene as the sun and all the corny prose to describe how in lust Damani is.

I get it, sexual chemistry exists. But the way Damani lusts after Jolene is just silly, especially when the narrative is supposed to be serious.

I wasn't surprised at Jolene's betrayal. What do you expect from someone you barely know? And Damani barely knows this woman.

I soon lost interest in the narrative, nor did I care about Damani. I did sympathize with her mother, but recently I've read quite a few novels where the main character needs to step up because a spouse is deceased and the remaining wife or husband has fallen apart.

The writing was fine, but the narrative didn't pull me in like I hoped I would.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to read Your Driver is Waiting.
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This was as delicious as a good sweet and sour meal!

The biting commentary on her passengers had me almost in tears! I am all about dark humor and this was dry and right on the nose with the political thoughts.

I only wish the romance bits weren't included because they bogged the rest of the story down imo.
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This book was fast-paced, unique, full of witty satire, and had my attention from the beginning. I’ve never seen the movie Taxi Driver, but now I feel like I have to watch it lol. Damani was such an entertaining MC and I loved the blunt train of thought you get from her the whole time. 

Damani drives for a ride share app and you see time after time how much BS she has to deal with on a daily basis. From the asshole passengers in a hurry to the endless microaggressions. You really feel her struggle of being absolutely overworked, undervalued, and underpaid. While at the same time the customers are thinking they’re being ripped off because their ride is $120 - but she’s only making $30 and guess what, mom needs a banana and some tea! 

The reality of tallying up the cost of necessities and thinking about how much of your time, body, and mind you have to trade for it… These components of the story would have been enough to hook me, but when you throw a passenger-turned-love-interest into the mix, things really got intense. 

Jo seems perfect and understands Damani, until she shows her true colors and does something unforgivable. I don’t want to give away anything more, so just read this one for yourself! Thanks so much Netgalley and Doubleday for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review!
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This novel was biting, rageful and a critique of woke "allies" and the actions they deem as "revolutionary," whilst policing how people actually effected handle their protests and strikes.

Full of grief, rage and overwhelming responsibility, the novel follows main character Damani, who is struggling to support herself and her mom following the sudden loss of her dad.

Torn between having to work every minute she can and being part of the change she wants to see, she is critical of white allies who are out protesting "for change."

There are hints through out the novel that let you know something big and horrible is coming but wow does Damani take explosive to a new level. Hers was a snap heard round the world.
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The marketing department did a hell of a job here -- the cover and blurb instantly caught my attention. Unfortunately, I am not the right reader for this book. I wanted something dark and gritty and instead got a ride share driver who masturbates in her car between jobs. I'm sure there's something I'm missing here, but this just wasn't the book for me.

On the plus side, I now know I never have to watch Taxi Driver.
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