Whenever You're Ready

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Pub Date Sep 10 2024 | Archive Date Sep 24 2024
St. Martin's Press | St. Martin's Griffin


"Is it okay to say that Rachel Runya Katz's characters are always so hot to me? The slow burn tension between Jade and Nia was off the charts." - Alicia Thompson, USA Today bestselling author of Love in the Time of Serial Killers

After reconnecting on a road trip, two friends must decide if love is the ultimate risk worth taking in this funny, emotional sapphic romance.

Nia and Jade had been inseparable ever since their best friend, Michal, introduced them at her tenth birthday party. But now it’s been three years since Michal died of cancer— since the brutal fight Nia and Jade had in the weeks after— and they're barely on speaking terms.

Until Nia reads a letter Michal wrote for her 29th birthday, asking her and Jade to go on the southern Jewish history road trip they'd planned before she died. To add to the complications, Michal's then-boyfriend and Jade's twin brother, Jonah, joins the trip. Despite the years apart and Jade and Jonah’s strained relationship, any awkwardness quickly disappears as it becomes clear how much Nia and Jade have missed each other.

Unfortunately, old issues soon arise. Nia has been in love with Jade since they were teenagers, and Jade has been so committed to their friendship that she never let herself consider something more. As the stops pass, tensions mount, running high until Nia and Jade are forced to confront what happened three years ago, their feelings for one another, and even their respective relationships with Jonah.

Rachel Runya Katz’s Whenever You’re Ready is about family, friendship, and the kind of first love that could last a lifetime—if only you are willing to take a chance.

"Poignant, tender, and swoony, Whenever You're Ready is an instant favorite from an auto-buy author." - Alison Cochrun, Lambda award-winning author of Kiss Her Once for Me and Here We Go Again

"Is it okay to say that Rachel Runya Katz's characters are always so hot to me? The slow burn tension between Jade and Nia was off the charts." - Alicia Thompson, USA Today bestselling author of Love...

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ISBN 9781250888334
PRICE $18.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 42 members

Featured Reviews

I absolutely loved "Whenever You’re Ready" by Rachel Runya Katz! This book dives deep into the friendship between Jade and Nia, who reconnect after losing their close friend Michal. It handles heavy topics like grief, antisemitism, and racism in America while weaving in a slow-burn sapphic romance. The writing is touching and captures the intensity of their bond beautifully. The road trip through Southern Jewish history adds a rich backdrop to their emotional journey. This novel is a heartfelt tribute to lasting friendships and the courage to embrace love. Five stars! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

If you liked this book, you should definitely check out Katz's debut, "Thank You For Sharing."

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My heart. I absolutely loved this book. Rachel Runya Katz truly shines in exploring the unique experience of being a mixed-race Jew in America. She captured this beautifully in her debut novel, "Thank You For Sharing," and she delves into it once more here, along with a profound exploration of grief.

This book is not only a meditation on the enduring power of grief and the complex history of race relations between Black and Jewish communities in America but also a romance. However, it defies all typical romance tropes. It's kind of, but not quite, a second-chance romance. It's sort of, but not exactly, friends-to-lovers. It's a romance that feels like found family, where two people who are destined to be together actually find their way to each other.

Unlike many contemporary romances, there's a unique twist to the usual third-act miscommunication. Instead of a simple misunderstanding, there's an explosive moment—a secret revealed in anger that threatens to derail everything. Yet, our two female main characters move past it swiftly. The third act break occurs because one of the leads knows exactly what she wants and refuses to compromise her boundaries.

In summary, I adored this book. It can be a bit heavy at times (the premise and trigger warnings are clear in the summary), but it's beautifully written and a wonderful tribute to the enduring power of childhood female friendships. Five stars. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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ARC REVIEW: Whenever You're Ready ✨

I absolutely loved Rachel's debut "Thank You for Sharing" so I was truly beside myself when I saw she was coming out with a sapphic novel! I am so happy to have gotten my hands on this early because it's that much longer that I have this book in my life.

What a beautiful story about grief and platonic friendships. I loved the way Rachel emphasized how important our friendships are and how they're constantly looked at to be second to romantic love. You could really feel how much Nia, Jade, and Michal loved each other through the flashbacks and the present chapters in their grief.

I loved Jonah and Jade's relationship and I think this had one of the best sibling relationship dialogues I've ever read in a story. That reconciliation scene had me crying so hard; how fucking beautiful. (Side note: Rachel, I'd pay good money to read a follow-up Jonah book. Just sayin!)

And now for romance: I love me some sad angsty gay and bisexual pining!!! All the looks! All the touches! So many one beds! You could feel their love for each other during every interaction. The flashbacks, the pain from the years spent apart, the joy they bring each other. I loved every dang second.

I love the setting of the roadtrip and the Jewish History tours were fascinating. It's not the aunties job to teach us about minority history and suffering but I appreciate the work Rachel put into this story.

Thank you SMP and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I absolutely adored “Whenever You’re Ready” by Rachel Runya Ratz! I thought the writing was so good and beautifully done throughout the book! While the book does handle very heavy topics such as grief, antisemitism, and racism in America, Rachel does a really nice handling the topics with sensitivity and care. Rachel did a nice job balancing the romance while still leaving room to explore these other topics. The romance between Nina and Jade was so beautiful, the dual time allowed so much depth to be added to their relationship. I love how the book focuses also on the importance of platonic love between friends being just as important and impactful as romantic love between partners. This is definitely a book I would recommend to others!

Thank you so much to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
My review is currently on Goodreads and Instagram!

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This is a perfect book. Rachel Runya Katz is a master at crafting stories that twine grief with the absolute hottest romance under the sun. This story is both hilarious and heartbreaking, and every character is so vividly drawn, down to the absent but so so present Michal. This is a book that will stick with you, and you will want it to.

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What if the crush was never unrequited? “Whenever You’re Ready” by Rachel Runya Katz is a captivating sapphic romance that explores the complexities of friendship, love, and second chances.

Meet Nia and Jade. The once inseparable best friends drifted apart after the loss of their mutual friend, Michal. But fate intervenes when Nia discovers a letter from Michal, urging her and Jade to embark on the southern Jewish history road trip they had planned together before Michal’s passing.

As the two friends reunite on this emotional journey, old wounds resurface, and buried feelings come to light. Nia has secretly loved Jade since their teenage years, while Jade has always prioritized their friendship over anything more. Their chemistry is undeniable, but can they risk their precious bond for something deeper?

Katz’s writing is both tender and witty. She deftly navigates the complexities of relationships, weaving together moments of vulnerability, humour, and heartache. The road trip setting adds an extra layer of nostalgia and adventure, making the story feel like a warm hug on a chilly day.

The characters are beautifully fleshed out. Nia’s vulnerability and Jade’s steadfast loyalty create a magnetic pull between them. And then there’s Jonah, Michal’s twin brother, who joins the trip, adding another layer of tension. As the trio grapples with their shared grief and unresolved feelings, readers will find themselves rooting for love to triumph.

The pacing is spot-on, with each stop on the road trip revealing more about the characters and their past. Katz’s prose is evocative, painting vivid landscapes and emotions. Whether it’s the sun-drenched beaches of the South or the quiet moments in a roadside diner, you’ll feel like you’re right there with Nia and Jade.

“Whenever You’re Ready” celebrates the power of friendship, the courage to take risks, and the magic of love that transcends time. Katz’s storytelling is a breath of fresh air in the romance genre, and Nia and Jade’s journey will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. This is a gem of a book that will leave you smiling, wiping away tears, and believing in the transformative power of love.

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and St. Martin's Griffin for a temporary e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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