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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  2,336 ratings  ·  361 reviews
After her brother’s death, a teen struggles to rediscover love and find redemption in this gripping novel.

Growing up in Africa and Latin America as the children of missionaries, London and Zach were as close as could be. And then Zach dies, and the family is gutted. London’s father is distant. Her mother won’t speak. The days are filled with what-ifs and whispers: Did Zach
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Community Reviews

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Nov 18, 2012 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: verse

”How can one person leaving change you so much?”

Just to warn you—this review is going to be a bit of a mess. My feelings for this book are all over the map. Let’s ramble! :D

Waiting is presented and packaged as something it is not. I kept going back and forth on whether to even mention this point. In the end, a flip of the coin decided. :) Religion, God, and Jesus play a big part of this story. I realize religion is a part of life, but I don't like to blend it with my YA, fiction, film, or entert

I found WAITING disappointing.

Underdeveloped characters with a hefty dose of melodrama. This is an unhappy family dealing with death. It's told through London's POV, and her brother's death (view spoiler) has left her grieving and trying to pick up the pieces of herself and her family. The problem is that there's never an opportunity to know who Zach was and the story of what happened comes very late in the story. Too late for me to believe it or care about it. (
OH MY GOD. I can't. I am just speechless. I have lost words. This book was just... I don't even know. It got me. It got me good. The style of the writing, the characters and their relationships, all of it was just phenomenal. Under normal circumstances, I would not condone cheating, but that little bit was what made London especially human. London was a living, breathing person. My heart ached for her. And Zach, he was just phenomenal. I didn't read this book for the epic love story. I read it f ...more
Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams is the story of London Castle, a teenage girl who has recently moved to Florida with her former missionary parents. About nine months ago her old brother, Zach, died and since then her family has been falling apart. Her mother no longer speaks to her, her father spends all of his time working and her former best friend ignores her. Then she makes some new friends and develops a crush on a new boy while also questioning her faith.

I felt for London as soon we she wa
Tanja (Tanychy) St. Delphi
This is one of those books you need to think about after reading it. I guess a lot of people will hate it because main character is messed up, her family is messed up. But when you think about whole story there is a reason for all that. I could find logic in it and that's why I like this book. It's so realistic that you can't do anything but ask yourself what kind of person you are and what are your priorities in life. If you set them right then something like this won't happen.
This was really good and so sad! The verse style has nothing on Ellen Hopkins, but it was still very well written and poignant. Full review to come!
Sam, ever present in my life to suggest books, told me today that she plowed through Waiting in three hours and I needed to read it immediately.

Which I did, nervously, because you know how I feel about novels written in free verse, where
the line breaks,
chopped and divided

like a bad metaphor
are somehow meant to convey so much

so much

so much more
emotion than simple paragraph form. ever. could.

But it worked with Waiting, probably because our fearless narrator was so shattered and emotionally all
I’m trying to think of something that I didn’t like about this book, but honestly it’s amazing!!!!!! Since I can’t help it for this book there may be a lot of huge spoilers.

London and her brother Zach were really close, until he dies at the age of 16. Her mother blames her for what has happened, and never once talks to her. Her father talks to her, but they’re not connected as they used to be, and they rarely talk. Then there’s Taylor her brother’s best friend, and her former boyfriend
I just loved this book. For some reason I love books like this one. This is not a happy book, but it does have some happy moments, and moments that will make you smile. It also has moments to make you scream and gasp, and even shed some tears in the end. It is written in verse, and it is about London. She is dealing with losing her brother, and how it has affected her whole family. Your heart will ache right along with hers, and how she mournes and tries to live. I highly recommend to those who ...more
Oct 08, 2013 Exina marked it as to-read
Shelves: to-read-perhaps
5 stars out of 5

"Words fail me to describe how much I’m touched by the story..."

Guest review by Lex on my blog. Full review HERE.
Angela  M
Find more of my reviews at

I started reading WAITING knowing that I was going to be a heart-broken mess by the time it was through. I had already read GLIMPSE by Carol Lynch Williams and I knew that she has a way of taking her verse novels and packing so much emotion, power, and heart-wrenching story into them that it leaves you gasping for breath through your tears.

In WAITING London is spiraling down a hole of depression. Her mother has not said a word to her since the deat
Reading a book by Carol Lynch Williams is like slipping into someone else's skin, walking around as her, breathing her air, and, especially, feeling what she feels. In the case of WAITING, we're inside the skin of London, a teenage girl who's lost her brother and whose family is crumbling because of his death.
London's skin is not a comfortable place to be--and yet, I didn't want to leave. I wanted to know more about her and to stay long enough to make sure she would be okay. And when the story
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a wonderful story about dealing with loss, all kinds of really hard loss. Williams places the reader inside the head of a sensitive, wounded young woman who is struggling to deal with the loss of her older brother and with the collateral damage his suicided caused to her family. It's a moving, gripping read.
This book pissed me off - like the WHOLE way through. Review to come - maybe - have to calm down first.
8/27: read and loved.

Jenni Arndt
I read two of Carol Lynch Williams’ books last year and I quickly became a fan of her as an author. This year I decided to venture into her verse stuff at the urging of Bekka from Great Imaginations. Since opening myself up to verse novels much more over the holidays I was more open to the idea and I am so happy that Bekka recommended this one to me.

Waiting is the story of London’s life in the aftermath of her brother’s death. The novel starts with a very bleak feel and I felt so sad as we look
Karla (Reads and Thoughts)
When the best part of a family dies, everyone falls apart.

My first Carol Lynch Williams novel. I'm pretty much hyped to start reading this but also having second thoughts since it seems to be very sad and depressing and I'm really not in the mood for some sappy sad stories at that moment, but then I see that its not that long so I decided to start it.

The cover of the book seems to tell it all for me. As I started reading this, I'm still caught off-guard because I realize that I'm still not that
Also Found On: A Book and A Record

There is something that you should know about Waiting. It is written in that weird free verse sort of way that Crank is written in. I did not know this before reading it. And I think that pertains in part to why I did not like this book. Waiting was hard for me for a number of reasons.
Reason 1: The love triangle. SERIOUSLY! Why?! Love triangles are completely ridiculous and should be banned from ya books. Since when have girls like London become the object of gu
Reading Teen (Andye)
Carol Lynch Williams has written a very powerful and moving story about a young woman's struggle to regain her footing in life after the suicide of her brother. The book is structured in a very unique way that adds to the intensity of it. The story is told in first person by London and is put together in short, choppy chapters -- sometimes only a few sentences -- which conveys the drama that the main character was experiencing.

The structure of the book and the intensity of the story make it eas
Chelsea Groves
Waiting is a beautifully written novel about love, loss, and moving on. It is a touching story that sticks with you long after the last page has been turned.

London is lost, confused, and alone. She is not a happy character. She not only lost her brother but she also lost the rest of her family. She doesn't know how to make things better at home and school is even worse. Things only begin to get better when two new kids, Lili and Jesse, start at her school and become her friends. Lili and Jesse a
It wasn’t my first book from the author, and I bet it isn’t the last one either. She has an incredible talent to stir up people’s feelings, to hold your attention from the first word to the last one, to squeeze your soul and to shatter your heart. But than she helps you move on the road to recovery.

The novel is written in a very simple style; there isn’t any frippery, just the facts and the people and the feelings. Therefore, it’s a really heart-stirring story. And I like that she wrote it like
Rebecca Birkin
After I finished WAITING last night, I couldn’t sleep. Some books change you, and WAITING did this for me.
This isn’t the typical grieving story, which is a good thing. Rather than an overdramatic focus on the dead brother, the plot centers on London, the main character. Through skillful word choice, the author tells us precisely enough for each moment, each scene. As a master at showing rather than telling, the author describes a younger Zach and London discovering all the hidden Christmas prese
This book. It's heartbreaking. But fabulous. You learn about the characters throughout the book. I felt that this added so much more to the story and it let you ease into their lives. Since everything could sink in one at a time, I seemed to have so much more sympathy towards these characters than if I was just thrown details from a character's life.

After her brother, Zach, commits suicide, London's world is ripped apart. The friends she had don't speak to her, her mother blames her for what ha
In the hands of another author, this would've been terrible. Its storyline is common as muck in YA and NA nowadays, and could've been a love-triangular, manipulative mess that would've left readers eye-rolling and yelling at the characters.

But Carol Lynch Williams is an author of immense skill. Writing a novel in verse is risky - there's a thin line between pretty writing and purple prose. Luckily for us, the author avoids cliché, and instead goes for the unpleasant truths. The emotions ring tru
Jolene Perry
At about 10 pages in, I was thinking it was a little over-dramatic, but she's a teen and she did lose her brother, so I kept going.
by 30 pages in, I was a bit hooked, by 50 pages, I knew I was going to stay up to finish it.
At page 150 I thought there was NO good way out.
As I neared the end, and realized it was going to be over, I felt this weight settle in knowing that I was almost done.

I love Williams' writing, and I love the topics she chooses to write about and I love her stories, and I love
DNF at 8%.

I couldn't bring myself to read on, because the writing is awful and headache-inducing, and the melodrama on the first few pages alone too much for me to stomach. If you'd like an imitation:

Here's how it goes--
You try to read on. Really try. Focus.
Force your eyes to keep moving.
Will yourself not to stop. Concentrate.
Until you have to concede.
It's no use.

Yes, the entire book is written in this manner. Sad, because the blurb sounded quite intriguing, and I was actually excited.
With a format and voice that will resonate with teens, Carol Lynch Williams offers a poignant story of strength and healing, all bound by the power of love and friendship. This is YA at its very best! I've not had such a good cry over a book since reading BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA so many years ago. The voice, characterization, and powerful story, all strengths of Williams, are blended together to make this one of the most moving books I've ever read. London and this wonderful tale will truly live wi ...more
YA Book Recommendations
My reaction in one gif:

Full review:
This book was interesting for me.

I was very sympathetic to London at the beginning, because I’ve seen and heard what losing a sibling so young will do to someone, and then the parental problems on top of everything else was so incredibly sad. Working through the grief without any support and spiraling through that journey would clearly be difficult for anyone and not lead to very smart decisions, so I could stay sympathetic with London. The use of the verse rea
After the tragic death of her brother, London is broken. Her mother blames her for the death, and her father is distant. No one at school will talk to her, as they fear this tragedy is contagious. It isn't until she meets Lilli, a new student full of life, that London begins to step out of the fog and wonder if she can ever feel happy again. Written in verse, this story is a powerful depiction of the impact of tragedy and grief on a family.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The ending 4 9 Oct 25, 2014 03:06PM  
What's The Name o...: SOLVED: Mother hates daughter, brother committed suicide [s] 4 33 May 15, 2014 05:31PM  
The ending 1 8 Feb 06, 2014 03:16PM  
HI 4 8 Jul 10, 2013 06:42AM  
  • While He Was Away
  • Fingerprints of You
  • Counting Backwards
  • Perfect Escape
  • Wanted
  • All These Lives
  • The Summer of No Regrets
  • When You Were Mine
  • Miracle
  • Never Enough
  • Personal Effects
  • The Waiting Sky
  • Life is But a Dream
  • Being Friends with Boys
  • Kiss the Morning Star
  • Jersey Angel
  • Pieces of Us
  • The Summer My Life Began

About the Author: Carol Lynch Williams, a two-time winner of the Utah Original Writing Competition, is the author of several books for children, including two novels about the Orton family of New Smyrna, Florida: Kelly and Me and Adeline Street. A starred School Library Journal review of The True Colors of Caitlynne Jackson praises Williams as she "again demonstrates her facility at mood and chara

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“Time has this way of slowing down and speeding up,depending on how it feels.” 12 likes
“An accident you're in? It marks you on the outside, maybe. Scars your face or your skin-breaks bones,crushes skulls,leaves the body changed.

An accident witnessed? You're different on the inside. Maybe there's no cut someone else can see, bu there're always injuries on the inside.
Those take a long time to heal.”
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