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Waiting to Exhale (Waiting To Exhale #1)

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3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  12,181 Ratings  ·  400 Reviews
Robin Stokes is a successful insurance professional recovering from a deadend love affair. "They say love is a two-way street. But I don't believe it, because the one I've been on for the last two years was a dirt road." After months of depression, shopping, and dating all the wrong men, she's getting by with a little help from her friends - and still determined to fine th ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 27th 2001 by Washington Square Press (first published May 28th 1992)
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Linda
Aug 08, 2007 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is a case where I actually thought the movie was better than the book. The scene where Angela Bassett's character torches her philandering husband's vehicle with all his worldly goods inside was worth the price of admission.
Nardsbaby Reader
Jan 06, 2009 Nardsbaby Reader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That’s What Friends Are For

I originally read WAITING TO EXHALE in the 90s when I was a teenager. A group of us decided to reread the story to see if it would have the same impact on as mature women. I have never reread a book before. I was under the impression that doing so the story wouldn’t be as interesting and predictable. As key parts of the story, the line up from the movie played out, I could actually hear Whitney Houston, Lela Rochon, Loretta Devine and Angela Bassett’s voices.

Savannah
...more
Tracey L.H.
Feb 24, 2008 Tracey L.H. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to feel a Black woman's pain
I read this book in high school and I was disgusted! Then in African American Lit class for my junior year, we watched the movie, and I still hated it!

But it wasn't until I went to college that the book and its' leading ladies reverberated with my soul and outlook on men, life, and love!

One of my friends, who is Hispanic, said the book was stupid! And I and every other black woman looked at her and said she was crazy as hell! And I vehemently told her she'll NEVER experience what Black women fee
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Aug 19, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
This is the tale of four black women who are friends in early 1990s Phoenix, Arizona. I can't say I found any of the woman all that likable; they're so whiny and man-hungry. We first meet Savannah, never married and without children at thirty-six. She's affluent, doing well in her career in public relations, but tired of being single and of the faults of "buppie" (young black urban professional) males. She tells us, "I worry about if and when I'll ever find the right man, if I'll ever be able to ...more
Sarah
Dec 30, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has so many early 90s moments that I was often laughing as the characters listen to Paula Abdul in their Nissans while committing various fashion and hair crimes. No suede dress or fuschia lipstick is left undescribed.

The detailed episodes of lousy sex that the main characters endure with every possible kind of loser are funny and icky. Also the constant swearing and foul-mouthedness is great. This book has a light-heartedness that is endearing. Things are bought and used for pleasure;
...more
Damara
Jan 30, 2014 Damara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly sure why I read this. I suppose it was entertaining enough, but the writing was atrocious. The dialogue seemed wooden and disjointed (not to mention unnecessarily vulgar at times), but maybe since I was born in '86 I can't properly understand the plight of thirty something black women in the early '90s. Either way it was a quick read. I didn't hate it, but I also was disappointed by the lack of resolution at the end. I may have been better off just watching the movie, lol
Cyndy Aleo
Before the pap that was How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Terry McMillan wrote the brilliant Waiting to Exhale, a story of four female friends and their triumphs and failures in their relationships with men.

::: The New Musketeers :::

As the novel opens, Savannah has just quit her job to move to a new job in Phoenix, where her friend Bernadine lives, in hopes of furthering her career and moving from public relations to television producing. Bernadine herself has just found out that her husband has n
...more
Rena
Dec 30, 2014 Rena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: back-in-the-day, dt
More like 4.5 stars

Waiting to Exhale is one of those books I should have read years ago. Literally every woman and her mama have become familiar with the lives of Savannah, Bernadine, Robin and Gloria, and I did also, but through the movie version (which I love). But now that I've finally read the book, I can say it lives up to the phenomenon it once was back in the early 1990s. Of course, it's much more fleshed out in the book, and I can see how Terry McMillan stirred so many black women and ho
...more
Ari
Jan 22, 2016 Ari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
IQ "I know I'm not going to hear from him. And I hate the thought that I made a fool of myself. That I spilled my guts. Made my most intimate feelings known. How could somebody who acted so since be so insincere? How could he play with my feelings like this? I would never do this kind of shit to anybody." Savannah, 372

^Speak.On.It. It's probably just the frame of mood I'm in right now but those words perfectly capture how irritated I feel right now at placing myself in a similar situation. And t
...more
Crystal
Mar 17, 2014 Crystal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked this book up. I'm trying to read writing with more diverse experiences and points of view, and I have a vague memory of seeing the movie and enjoying it--mostly Angela Bassett's fiercess and that crazy scene where she destroys her husband's car.
So either my memory is faulty or the book is a lot different than the movie. Honestly, I didn't like this very much. And even though I didn't really like this book, I don't know if it's because the characte
...more
Monkeyface
Apr 29, 2012 Monkeyface rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to Waiting To Exhale by Terry McMillan. This book is about 4 ladys. ROBIN STOKES is a successful insurance professional recovering from a dead-end love affair. "They say love is a two-way street. But I don't believe it because the one I've been on for the last two years was a dirt road." After months of depression, shopping and dating all the wrong men, she's getting by with a little help from her friends -- and still determined to find the Real Thing ...
BERNADINE HARRIS has the kids, t
...more
Nakia
Oct 03, 2010 Nakia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my third time reading this novel, but luckily so much time passed since the last time I picked this book up, it was like reading it for the first time.

The beginning started off sketchy. All of the characters had my side eye ready to explode, but as I delved deeper into the story, I grew closer to them, and better understood their pain and plight. I saw a lot of the old me in all of these women, which at some points made me sad, and at other points made me extremely happy that I'd learne
...more
Antonina Sh
Wonderful reading - sweet and easy, but leaving a taste of solitude on the tip of your tongue. I found bits of myself here and there in every female character, as I'm sure every woman who reads it does. After all, as different as we are, most of the time it's about the same things: solitude, first moment excitement when you seem to have found The One, disappointment, passion, fireworks, bitterness.... etc.

Huge thanks to the author for leaving it without all those cheesy happily ever after ending
...more
Linda
Nov 24, 2007 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those in between relationships
Shelves: chick-lit
I started and finished this book on Thanksgiving day 2007. (My parents work Holidays so festivities were bleak) I think I'm going through a breakup? Dude completely stopped calling. Great book to read if you want to speed up the recovery. Reminds you some men are just pansies and you're lucky if you have good friends to take the edge off the stings.

Twas a therapeutic experience.

Funny because I watched the movie for the first time 2 years ago after a more substantial breakup and it was one of m
...more
Noelle
Mar 29, 2011 Noelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Silly,silly but funny too. An African American version of Sex in the City but nowhere near as good (but what could be as good as SATC??)An interesting point of view, enjoyed the 80's and 90's references to pop culture, and a fairly happy ending too. The book was just a celebration of female friendship and to that I can relate as I have been blessed with wonderful girlfriends who are like family to me :)A quick, entertaining read filled with lots of "oh no he didn't" and "damn girl" hahahaha
Marina Maidou
A book that gives the fresh spirit of 90's about the hopes, the fears and the dreams of four 30 something women. Nice writting about to find Mr. Perfect but as the most of the books I've read at the end there is a sudden stop. Happy end of course but so sudden like the writer was in a island and the paper finished and she hasn't where to continue. Pity again!
Vanessa
Jan 08, 2017 Vanessa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sorry but this book is disappointingly stereotypical in its portrayal of the black female experience. We're not all bitter depressed single mothers / overweight / airheads. We fit into more diverse categories and are more complex than the four characters here pigeon hole us as.......and we don't all hate white women :)

I appreciate this author, just not this book.
Joe
Nov 21, 2007 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Re-reading this after 15 years in anticipation of the sequel I realized this is a really bad book. It's poorly written, the characters are 2 dimensional, there's too many coincidental cliches and it's very dated.

It was good back in the '90s when it was first released but it doesn't hold up well now.
Stella
Aug 30, 2013 Stella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, fiction
A bit 'soapy', but interesting all the way through. Now I can finally see the movie!
Roberto
Oct 15, 2007 Roberto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
420 pages

I enjoyed this story of four black woman that struggle and prevail over life, careers, men and love.
Wonderfully written and you will fall in love with the protagonists.
Danita Brown
Nov 28, 2013 Danita Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books by her.
Kathleen
Mar 09, 2013 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I want to watch the movie. Although one of the principal villains is a 27 year old white woman named Kathleen. I was a 27 year old white woman named Kathleen when this book was published. Yikes!
Horace Derwent
May 24, 2016 Horace Derwent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
friendship is also love
Alicia Duff
Jul 23, 2014 Alicia Duff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One must discover how connected humanity is. Everyone has individual longings to be loved. In this book I saw four women embody this notion. Through their companionships, conflicts, and life changes the plot grows. People who share there lives together in a truly loving relationship have a fulfilling life, opposed to others who don’t have anyone that cares about them.

Savannah is an attractive and intelligent 36 year old woman. This woman has been asking God to send her a decent man. She isn’t, p
...more
pxincess
Okay, yes, I know, I normally wait a day after I finish a book before I start reviewing it. But I'm going to change that now because I usually have fresher and better stuff on my mind the day I review it.

Okay. So, as a woman, especially a black American woman, Waiting to Exhale was one of those things that I was mentioned often. In most cases, it was referencing the movie. But still. Whether it was the car burning scene or the scene where Glora meets her new neighbor. This book/movie was someti
...more
Kemesha Gabbidon
This book was okay for me. I enjoy McMillan's style of writing and really wanted to love the characters. I rooted for their stories but struggled to care once I realized that their lives were so focused on men with little resolution, they were desperate and needy and I couldn't identify with any of them. There is just so much more to life than men and it seemed almost that the characters didn't enjoy anything else. I will say I enjoyed the sisterhood but there is so much more for them to experie ...more
MaryAnn
Jun 01, 2017 MaryAnn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was insightful at first, but then seemed to drag on and the crassness got old.
Michelle Kornberger
I enjoyed the book, however, it was not as good as How Stella Got Her Grove Backs.
bravebird
Jan 14, 2017 bravebird rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Immaculate OST for a so-so novel-turned-movie. But the stories of four heroines were very realistic for women of the age and I enjoyed flipping throughout the book as a whole. Glad to be reminded of the wonderful OST from my old school days at each scene of the book.
Tracy
Jan 12, 2017 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A pretty fast & easy read it but, meh, it never got any better.
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Terry McMillan is an African-American author. Her interest in books comes from working at a library when she was fourteen. She received her BA in journalism in 1986 from the University of California at Berkeley and the MFA Film Program at Columbia University. Her work is characterized by strong female protagonists.

Her first book, Mama, was self-promoted. She achieved national attention in 1992 wit
...more
More about Terry McMillan...

Other Books in the Series

Waiting To Exhale (2 books)
  • Getting to Happy (Waiting To Exhale #2)

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