My stop on the Kate in Waiting Blog Tour! What a treat!
Title: Kate in Waiting
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: April 21st, 2021
Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. Carpooling to and from theater rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient. Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment. Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.
But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off script. Matt Olsson is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.
Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship.
Oh man, oh man, oh man! This book was EVERYTHING! I had been a little disappointed with some of Becky Albertalli’s books in the past, but I definitely found my new favorite. From the great representation—Jewish! Trans! Bi!—to the excellent backdrop of high school theater, I am smitten.
This is ultimately a love story between two best friends. Yes, there is some swoon worthy romance—Noah, anyone?—but in the end, it’s the relationship between Andy and Kate that is central to the story. Andy and Kate feel like two genuine best friends in how the act and talk together—half conversations that you can only do with a best friend, finishing each other’s sentences, practically living at the other’s house. They try to always remember that through everything, their friendship is most important and for a while this works, but when they find themselves in new gray areas, they don’t know how to cope. This is such a real experience that teens find themselves in when romantic relationships start to infiltrate friendships and Albertalli does a phenomenal job telling this story, while staying true to her characters and tone of the story.
Really all the relationships are dynamic and genuine. Kate says it best in the book when she refers to the cast of a show is one big dysfunctional family, whether you like them or not. Kate’s closeness with her older brother was really authentic—being so close in age while also experiencing something traumatic together like divorce gives them a connection that can never be broken. Kate’s discovery of her own romantic relationships is really important too. She thinks she can only like someone if Andy does too, but the feelings she has with Matt are pure infatuation, no true substance. Now, Noah, there is history and an established friendship, plus he pretty much adores her. It may take some time for her to see that, but she gets there in the end.
Kate in Waiting is such a joy and I can’t wait for more people to pick it up. As much as I love the Creekwood gang, and the surrounding characters, I’m excited readers are hearing from some new teens, especially this cast of characters. Highly, HIGHLY recommend.
ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.