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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,921 ratings  ·  434 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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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,921 ratings  ·  434 reviews

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Mar 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Orchita Rahman
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 09, 2011 rated it did not like it

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.
Tanja (Tanychy)
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
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!
From the opening lines to the very last sentence, this book is extraordinary. The format in which it is written is incredibly unique. The characters are extremely well drawn, vivid, and convincing. It's intensely emotional, heart-breaking, and absolutely captivating. To me this book is a masterpiece. Honest, powerful and dark, it's a tale of love and loss, heartache, desperation, losing oneself in grief and healing with the power of love. It's a story of one girl's journey to find everything she ...more
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
Dec 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Ever since I read The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams, I have been interested to check out her other novels and Waiting sounded instantly interesting to me since it not only deals with questions of first love, but also with suicide and the lives of those close to someone who commits suicide.

London is the daughter of a missionary father and a religious mother who spent her childhood traveling around the world. After London's brother Zach faced problems dealing with the horrors they often had t
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angela  M
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
8/27: read and loved.

May 15, 2012 rated it liked it
This book pissed me off - like the WHOLE way through. Review to come - maybe - have to calm down first.
Karla Mae (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
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
Jenni Arndt
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: purchased-own
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
Jun 18, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a short book. It only took 2-3 hours to read because so many pages only had 4-5 words on them. I randomly picked this book up from the library. Had I known what it was about (view spoiler) I would not have checked it out. I have trouble reading about both of those topics. But I liked this book. It's so sad. But there is hope in it, too. It's written well, I think. I could feel what London felt, but the things she thought and did I didn't feel comfor ...more
May 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade: C-

One Word: Emotional

London breathes grief and sadness since the death of her brother nine months ago. She barely speaks, her brat friend dropped her, her mother won't talk to her and her missionary father remains distant. Slowly, she meets new friends and before long she's kissing two boys. But the heaviness of missing her brother is never far away.

London is a sympathetic character, though I had trouble understand the two boy thing amid her depression and grief. I felt her pain throughou
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this because of the rating of a friend, but then found out it is a book club choice for one of my book clubs. There is something about free verse writing that captivates me. Sometimes it is hard to follow, but for this book, it is so appropriate and moving. I loved how it helped give a voice to this voiceless character. This story is so hard to read yet it needs telling. There are so many families out there that seem so functional but are fundamentally dysfunctional. One of the things I l ...more
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Michelle Stimpson
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hazel in John Green's TFIOS says, "Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal."

For me, "Waiting" is like the latter and that's all I want to say about it.
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
London's brother Zach committed sucide 9 months before the book opens, and his death has fractured this family. Worst of all, London's mother blames her for it and has not spoken to her in that whole 9 months. Then Elli enters her life. A transplant from Nebraska, she knows nothing about the London before her brother's death and this friendship is the start of the road back for London. ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The ending 4 14 Oct 26, 2014 12:06AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED: Mother hates daughter, brother committed suicide [s] 4 38 May 16, 2014 02:31AM  
The ending 1 11 Feb 07, 2014 12:16AM  
HI 4 11 Jul 10, 2013 03:42PM  

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Carol Lynch Williams is the author of more than 30 books for middle grade and young adult readers. Her novels include The Chosen One, Never that Far, Messenger and Never Said. Her most recent book is the novelization of the movie Once I Was a Beehive. Carol has an MFA from Vermont College in Writing for Children and Young Adults and teaches creative writing at BYU. She runs Writing and Illustratin ...more

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