Book 30: Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti
I meant to write a post about editing today, but then I went to the library and checked out six new books (bringing my total number of books checked out to ten), so I figured I should focus on finishing up a book and getting the review out of the way. The editing will continue tomorrow. And now, onto the review:
Title: Waiting for You
Author: Susane Colasanti
Page Count: 320
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Marisa knows she should be happy. She has parents who love her and each other, and a best friend whom she can tell anything to. So when she starts dating the boy of her dreams, she should be ecstatic. So why isn’t she? Why are her parents acting so strange? Why is her best friend getting annoyed with her all of a sudden? And why is she finding herself drawn to the boy she recently rejected?
I had high hopes for this novel. I’ve never read a book about a girl with an anxiety disorder, and I’ve wanted to for some time. I wouldn’t say that I have any such disorder, but sometimes I think I’m as close as you can get without actually having it, so I wanted to see how I would relate to such a character. And there were definitely times like I really felt that I could relate to Marisa. For instance, I loved the fact that she can never sleep the night before the first day of school and how she always gets excited about how she’s going to reinvent herself but never actually does. That pretty much describes every fall for me. I also loved how much she hates confrontation. I’m the same way – I just hold everything in until I want to scream. It was nice seeing that in a character.
Warning: some spoilers follow
Sadly, that’s about the extent of my enjoyment of this novel. Perhaps it’s simply because I just finished another book by Colasanti, but I found the entire plot a bit…boring. Girl crushes on guy – girl gets guy – girl realizes she actually likes a boy who she previously rejected. Maybe I would have enjoyed this one more if I had read it before I read So Much Closer, but as it is, I found this one lacking. There was a while in the middle where I had to force myself to keep reading. It picked up a bit at the end, but I wasn’t as drawn into the book as I have been with others.
I think part of my problem with this book was that everything was just so obvious. Her parents aren’t holding hands anymore and her dad’s side of the closet seems emptier than normal. Gee, I wonder what that could mean. And then one of her parents is cheating, and she assumes it’s her father, even though it was obvious that it wasn’t. And Nash likes her, and she’s taken by surprise. Oddly enough, I thought each of those events (the separation, the affair, the crush) was going to be a “big reveal” at the end – and yet each were revealed fairly early on in the novel. So they were predictable events revealed at an unpredictable time. I guess that’s better than predictable events revealed at a predictable time – such as the identity of Dirty Dirk, which I won’t reveal in this review but which I highly doubt anyone saw coming.
I understand that readers generally pick up on things before the characters do, but it would have been nice if we had to dig a bit to find that information. Maybe I’m just a cynic who is more surprised when her parents are getting along than when they’re fighting, but I just couldn’t understand how she was blind-sighted by so many things.
The last thing that bothered me was some of the language used. I understand that this book is marketed for teenagers, but I got really tired of reading phrases like “and she was all ‘blah blah blah’” and “and he was like, ‘Whatev.’” I have seen such phrases used sporadically in a way that I can handle, but that was not the case this time.
Overall, I mostly enjoyed this book. It wouldn’t be at the top of my recommendation list, and I certainly wouldn’t pick it up to read again, but I can’t really say that I’m sorry I read it at all. Perhaps fifteen-year-olds would be able to relate to it more.