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!
Kate in Waiting is on sale everywhere book are sold on April 20, 2021.