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All We Can Do Is Wait
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All We Can Do Is Wait

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,037 ratings  ·  196 reviews
In the hours after a bridge collapse rocks their city, a group of Boston teenagers meet in the waiting room of Massachusetts General Hospital:

Siblings Jason and Alexa have already experienced enough grief for a lifetime, so in this moment of confusion and despair, Alexa hopes that she can look to her brother for support. But a secret Jason has been keeping from his sister
Hardcover, 277 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Razorbill
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Jennifer One of the characters is struggling with telling people in his life that he is gay and it causes him pretty severe anguish & self-destructive…moreOne of the characters is struggling with telling people in his life that he is gay and it causes him pretty severe anguish & self-destructive behavior. In a flashback sequence, you see him a bit happier (really trying to do this without spoilers!) and later in the book some resolution does occur. <spoiler>Jason does find a boyfriend during the family's summer on the Cape but the death of the boy sends Jason reeling again. And Jason does finally come out to his sister before the end of the story.</spoiler> This is one storyline among the several.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,037 ratings  ·  196 reviews

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Larry H
3.5 stars here.

It seemed like just another day in Boston. And then, without warning, the Tobin Bridge collapses, with about 100 cars on its span at the time. These were people just going about their business—students, parents, families, people racing to work or school or home or to some other obligation or exciting occasion.

"It was hard to say who was less lucky, the ones who fell into the water or the ones who fell onto Charlestown, debris tumbling on top of them. Was it better to be swiftly c
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
this was a very well-written book but, unfortunately, there wasnt really any plot. i think the lack of story was why i failed to feel any sort of connection, which is a shame considering the emotional content.

3 stars
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Beautiful cover, heartfelt premise, good writing and teen angst that director John Hughes would have lapped up like a cat with cream. But I felt a whole lot of nothing because as exciting as the premise sounded, there was way too much backstory and I was a bit worn out by it all.

I usually devour YA novels and I am sure that some of my students would love the story. I do appreciate the lack of insta-love! It just failed
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was like super super super well-written? Like, if this is how debuts are going to be for 2018, I might be finally able to break my rating slump because this was super good. It was raw and real and just exactly all the heartbreak and emotion that I thought it was going to be.

To explain the book, you have to think of it not as a linear format. I like to think of it as a collection of moments in these people's lives brought together in a bridge collapse. We have two things going on at the sam
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.8-4 stars.


So this was quite a heavy book, but also quite lovely in its way. I really liked the characters (my favourite point of views was definitely Alexa and Jason though), and as I got to know them I started dreading but also really wanting to know exactly what had happened to their loved ones. There was character growth and I even feel like I've learned some things about myself and my own family now that I've finished this. It feels wrong to say I enjoyed this because it is quite a sa
Jan 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
Such a disappointment. Didn't enjoy his writing style at all - kind of pretentious and feels the need to over-explain the narrative to the reader. Would have been better in more capable hands.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. review to come
Brittany Petersen (thecontinuingchronicles)
After a bridge in Boston collapses killing and injuring hundreds, a group of teenagers find themselves drawn together in the waiting room of the local hospital as they wait to find out the fate of their loved ones. Throughout this time we learn more about each teen and their history with the loved ones they may lose.

Though I enjoyed this story for the most part, I feel that so much more could have been done with the plot of this book and that it was wasted on a 277 page YA novel.

First, there was
Neville Longbottom
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, lgbtqia
All We Can Do Is Wait is a novel that focuses on a group of teenagers who are waiting in a hospital to find out the fate of their loved ones after a tragic bridge collapse. It is not a fast-paced adventure or survival story, but rather a character study of how different people react to tragedy. Most of the story is takes place before the bridge collapse and you learn who these characters are and what has happened in their past leading up to them waiting in the hospital.

I see that some of the cr
Ida Lo
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Its been a long time since I cried this much because of a book but HERE WE HAVE A GREAT FUCKING REASON TO BAWL YOUR EYES OUT
very diverse characters with important side stories
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
2 stars from me. Why? Because I have no idea what the actual plot of the story was. Was this supposed to be about 5 "strangers" that come together in a hospital waiting room to find out the fate of their loved ones, only to realize they are all actually linked together? There was so little about the actual event that brought them to the hospital and a metric ton of backstory that is slowly pieced together to give a lack-luster reveal. The character backstories felt like they were shocking and ov ...more
Ally (book__ventures)
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
For All We Can Do Is Wait being Richard Lawson's debut novel, I was blown away. Lawson tackles a horrific story full of so much relatable pain and turns it into a beautiful, heart-wrenching story line.

In the hours after a bridge collapse rocks their city, a group of Boston teenagers meet in the waiting room of Massachusetts General Hospital:

Siblings Jason and Alexa have already experienced enough grief for a lifetime, so in this moment of confusion and despair, Alexa hopes that she ca
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Stories about disparate people coming together and telling their stories from multiple perspectives are my favorite kind of stories, which is why I was so intrigued by and exited for this book. And I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint. The characters are each so interesting in their own way and their stories are well fleshed out. Their backstories are parceled out in a way that compels you to keep reading, which is why I read it in two sittings and refused to put it down until I was done. The p ...more
Overall, this was a good story of strangers being forced to sit with each other and bond over a bridge collapse while they wait to hear the fates of their family and friends. It ends suddenly, and a little predictable, but I would use it as a way to teach empathy in classrooms or schools.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It was so bad!

The character was so rigid and unnatural. It was also prediclebal
Shelby Smith
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was really heartbreaking, I loved the way the author put so much emotion into each and every characters story. It also really changed my perspective on how I view the world, it really made me realize that your life truly could change for better or for completely worse at any moment. I highly suggest reading it!
Shanyn (Chick Loves Lit)
This book is told from multiple POVs which I like from time to time, as it gives you an insight to more emotions and stories that hopefully weave together a bit in the end. And while the stories do start to make sense in this book, I found the narratives of each to be a little dry.

There were definitely bits of each chapter that I was interested in, but the majority of this book is in a telling vs showing narrative that didn't keep my attention much. I understand (and appreciate) when a characte
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This touched me so much, I loved every page of it and couldn’t put it down. The characters were all so relatable and lovely in their own way.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow.
Kacey Vanderkarr
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I fell in love with the idea behind this book, the raw, aching moments of waiting to find out bad news. It seemed like hit! There were a lot of things I liked, the use of backstory, the multiple points of view, the fact that the author didn't shy away from things like abuse, drug use, and sex.

What fell flat for me was the follow through. The ending, while technically "full circle," left me unfulfilled. Though we see all the character complete their arcs, I just wasn't...satisfied.

I found Alexa
Vivian Stevenson
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
It's actually a 3.5/5.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
An interesting concept that would have worked better as a short story.

If you're going to have a novel that is 80% backstory, then those backstories had better be solid as hell. I think Jason's backstory fit that bill, but the rest of them were underwhelming and underdeveloped while simultaneously slowing down the story with too much frivolous detail. I felt like every chapter just rehashed the same information over and over. Scott's story didn't belong here at all, and who the heck was Morgan?
John Shannon
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Lawson: I have an idea for a book about teens waiting in a hospital room after a devastating disaster.

Publisher: Wow, that sounds like there'll be exciting confrontations, emotional confessions and maybe even some dynamic set pieces!

Lawson: There won't be!
Caleb Roehrig
Review TK, but this is an incredibly moving and poignant story about interconnectedness and learning to face the world.
I chose to read this book because it takes place in my home state and I thought it would be fun to read because I could envision Boston easily in my mind, I was excited to read this at first because it was easy to imagine myself in this situation. I could picture the bridge, the traffic, and the city which made it feel real to me. This book is about five teenagers who are waiting in a hospital for news about their loved ones that were in a terrible accident. As the title of the book blatantly st ...more
Karen Barber
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sometimes a book just comes along at the right time. Perhaps on another occasion I’d have been irritated by the pacing of this or the endings for some of the strands, but at this point it felt like a rather cathartic experience.
Five teenagers end up in hospital in Boston after a major disaster. Nobody can do anything but wait. And as they wait, they talk and share stories about their lives. Each is caught up in their own story - with their own suffering - but there is a commonality to their expe
Laura Mauro
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book blew me away. I adore stories about strangers meeting and and a story based around that. I thought this book not only had a cool concept but also such a cool narrative and way of telling the story. I loved how past and present was used to to tell these five characters stories. I was equally invested in all the various POV and raced through it. It was a more emotional read and def tugged on my heart strings. I really enjoyed it and would rec. you get this book when it comes out in Feb. ...more
Anna K
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
More like 2.5 stars, but I'm feeling generous.

I feel like this book was trying to be all capital-I Impactful, but it didn't really work. It was melodramatic. I didn't care about Alexa's rich-girl struggles and tbh, even though I felt like I should have empathized with Jason, I just didn't. I kind of liked Scott, but then ... THAT was revealed, and I was just like, dude. What? Why? I never fully understood Morgan as much as I feel like the book wanted me to. The only character I really liked was
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a very powerful book about grief and loss, and in its own quiet way, it will stay with me for a long time. That being said, I hate ambiguous endings, so I deducted a star for not knowing what happened. I liked the style, going back and forth between perspectives, as well as between the past and present in each characters lives. It was a cool way to get backstory, and there were more than a few twists to go around. Definitely recommend.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is quite solid and affecting. I sat down to skim a few pages and ended up reading a third of it without thinking. Even though I saw a lot of the twists it's got really good writing. I'm not in love with the backstories being misty watercolored memories while the characters sit in a hospital waiting room but it's the structure - whadaya gonna do. [side note - unrelated to the story, can I just say I hate almost all the names of the characters? Is that weird? To each writer their own characte ...more
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