Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What Can(t) Wait” as Want to Read:
What Can(t) Wait
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What Can(t) Wait

by
3.79  ·  Rating details ·  601 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Marissa has smarts and plenty of promise, but she's marooned in a broken-down Houston neighborhood--and in a Mexican immigrant family where making ends meet matters much more than making it to college. When her home life becomes unbearable, Marissa seeks comfort elsewhere--and suddenly neither her best friend or boyfriend can get through to her.

What Can't Wait tells the s
...more
Hardcover, 234 pages
Published March 11th 2011 by Carolrhoda Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about What Can(t) Wait, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ashley I wrote WHAT CAN'T WAIT because my high school students in Houston told me that there was a book they wanted to read but couldn’t find. Brace…moreI wrote WHAT CAN'T WAIT because my high school students in Houston told me that there was a book they wanted to read but couldn’t find. Brace yourselves for the shock of the century: the book they wanted to read was one about them, about their world, about their challenges, about their hopes. WHAT CAN'T WAIT is stuffed full of my students’ stories, and it deals with a concern that was particularly salient to them: how does a driven teen—confronted with the daily expectation to drop everything and help out at home—find her or his own path?

I don’t write for my agent or my editor. I write for my students. I write because Rey Mejia told me to keep it real. I write because I want Diana Alvarez to know that she’s not alone with a senior year that would break a lesser woman. I write because I want Brianda Morales to see how college is for her. I write because I want my students to find books that resonate with their experiences, books that honor their particular challenges, books that remind them that they can chart their own path, books that don’t pretend that life offers easy answers.

(Want to know more? I talked about this over at DiversityinYA: http://www.diversityinya.com/2011/03/...)(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Flannery
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dairy Queen series fans, Simone Elkeles fans, and people who like learning about first gen Americans
When I saw that this book was not only about the Mexican-American experience but that it also included a teenage girl who excelled in math, I couldn’t wait to read it. (the Mexican experience aspect because I find it fascinating and the math thing to stick it to my 5th grade science teacher who told my mom that it was no big deal that I sucked at circuitry because I was a girl and would obviously never need to know anything about it) The only other YA books that I’ve read involving Mexican teena ...more
Vinaya
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I once spent a summer internship volunteering at a women's shelter. I think that was probably the most gut-wrenching two months of my life. It wasn't just the black eyes, and hopeless faces and horror stories. It was the fact that these women, over and over, went back to the same lives, going nowhere, being no-one because they couldn't see a way out. Nothing is guaranteed to make you feel quite so helpless as seeing injustice you can't do anything about. And while I admired the permanent employe ...more
Katya
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book which you completely understand and relate to, even if it's set into another time, dimension, world? Well, this is that kind of book - the kind where the characters are so real that even if you cannot relate to their situation, you understand and love.

Marisa is in her senior year in high school, and finds herself on a crossroad - her parents don't see the point in higher education and pressure her into working more to help the family, while her friends and teachers try
...more
Alex
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
At First Sight: Marisa's life has always been complicated - living in Houston, helping support her family and most often than not taking care of her niece Anita and getting dragged into her older sister's messes - but, during senior year of high school a bit of hope opens up for her since her AP calculus teacher keeps urging her to apply to a prestigious engineering program at UT-Austin.

Marisa knows is a long shot and that her immigrant parents have never cared much about how well she does at sc
...more
America Araujo
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really good because it was about love and whether to listen to her parents or her calcus teacher. Her name was Marisa and she was very smart, her life with her best friend was sad because they got in a fight about she too crazy and she's to nerdy. My favorite part about this book was the ending because she made a good decision of going to the college she wanted to go and listen to her teacher, which in my case I would have too.
may
Nov 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone around 13+
Recommended to may by: courtesy of Netgalley
What Can't Wait deals with a huge number of very important issues clearly and concisely. It was a pleasure to read and I was enthralled even though there isn't much in the way of a dramatic plot. There are, for certain, moments of high tension; these include an accident with a forklift as well as teenage pregnancy. Although this is uncommon for a YA novel, the book is good because it's different and it focuses on Marisa's daily life which is often tough for her to handle at times.

Marisa's life i
...more
Morgan F
Pleasantly surprising. Not great, but certainly better than I expected.
Maggie Desmond-O'Brien
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After a number of disappointing 2011 debuts, I was more than a little worried that my first year participating in the Debut Author Challenge would be a bust. Surely, I thought, they have to have found at least one author this year that we'll remember in ten years. Or even five years. Right? Right, I decided about 50 pages into What Can(t) Wait, and her name is Ashley Hope Perez.

I know I've ranted and raved about how every PoC/diversity book these days seems to be an issue book, and I stand by th
...more
Mayara Cristina
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenagers and foreign

Genre: Realistic Fiction WHAT CANT WAIT
Ashley Hope Pérez


Marisa had seventeen years old when she came with her family to United States. They comes to Houston from Mexico, her family worked hard and expected that she worked hard too, but she is a teenager girl, she need go to school. She is excellent in calculus; she should study hard, because she will take the AP test, and get into engineering college in Austin. Some days she think that will be possible go to the college, and others days she d
...more
Cheree Smith
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Marissa wants to be more than what her family expects her to be. Her family expects her to marry, work hard and stay around her family to help them out. Marissa wants so much more. She tries hard at school and is even taking AP calculus to get into a good university to become more than an assistant manager at the local grocery store. With all her family and work obligations, Marissa finds it hard to keep up with her advanced classes and sometimes she even thinks that she will never be able to ac ...more
Erin
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As an inner-city public school teacher, myself, I found that What Can(t) Wait rang true in so many ways. Ashley Hope Perez has written a realistically strong yet conflicted main character, Marisa. An academically talented high school senior, but the daughter of parents who do not seem to value education, Marisa must decide what type of future she wants for herself--an engineering degree from a prestigious college, or a manager's position at the local grocery store where she already works evening ...more
Via Love
Mar 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have to be honest: when I first read the description for this book, I was kind of hesitant to read it. But, I decided to read it anyway. And this is the first time I've ever been glad that I second guessed myself.

Lately, I've been reading a lot of crap books, but this was not one of them. The characters were so realistic (which you have to both love and hate). Also, the heroine, Marisa, was just so strong and brave. She's one character who I can look up to. No matter how tough things got for
...more
Jodie
Dec 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
The rating is actually 3.5/5.
Please check my blog for individual ratings.

When l got this book on Netgalley l had the impression it would be a very simple,easy and relaxing book to read with a straight forward storyline, a nice change from paranormal which l enjoy every now and then.
Well l was wrong, even though this book doesn't have the most complex story line and it is quite a easy read this book does tackle many difficult situations and problems which many teenage girls go through day to day.
...more
Soraya
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
In a way, I was inspired by this book. I can't really expain it other than saying that this book made me think whatever you're going through, there is a way to get out so never give up; everyone has problemas. And that's what this chica had. She had to tackle school along with watching her 5 year old niece and still have a little fun on the way. Her family really didn't care about the education part even though she almost had straight A's and didn't even care for anything else other than watchi ...more
Janet Frost
Jul 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was an incredibly poignant story. The heroine is a young girl struggling to get through her senior year of high school. She is the youngest daughter in a Latino family in Houston. Her dream, to pass her AP Calculus class/exam and progress on to the prestigous Univ of Texas in engineering is sabotages by almost everyone in her life.
I work with young gifted Hispanic students and this book broke my heart. It reminded me that I won't ever truly understand the uphill battle these kids fac
...more
Beth
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: high-school
This book really took me back to my days in Houston, where I taught inner-city students who were much like the characters in this book. I think high school girls from any background would enjoy this story. Maybe boys too.
Janiya Campbell
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I Think this book was a amazing, but i didn't know what was happing during the ending but other wish i would recommemd i to a lot of people
Lindsay
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this to prepare for a book club I will be facilitating next year in a youth detention center. I loved how it shows so many struggles that teens face. Marisa faces so many choices and challenges. So much realistic tension between family and future. I already know this will be all too realistic and familiar to the teens.
Raimy
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it


What do you do when your family is so far removed from your aspirations in life they won’t back you up when you try and get there? Marisa is 17, the same age her sister was when she got pregnant and married her good-for-nothing ass of a boyfriend. Over the years there has been rarely anything but an A on her report card but her father can’t read and her mother doesn’t want to look at them. She is expected to graduate from school, get married, have a baby, and work at the local store for the rest
...more
Liza
What Can(t) Wait cuts at your raw nerves without any remorse and tells the story of a young Mexican American girl living in Houston. The schools they mentioned, Chavez and Lamar also happen to be real schools in the Houston area. As a current teacher I just wanted to run up to Ashley and hug her. One of the most awful things about education is that while many students come from difficult backgrounds, we're told not to discuss these issues at conferences. There are so many uncomfortable issues, w ...more
Bree
Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: galley-grab
http://breesabookworm.blogspot.com/

This is a Galley Grab review...Thank you Lerner Publishing Group for the opportunity to read and review this book!


I like books that tell about a persons life, where there is no moment of great climax, but many small moments of meaning. This book is very meaningful, interesting, and hopeful.


Marisa is Mexican, her parent's are from Mexico and moved to Texas later in life. She is bilingual and very very smart. But because of her parent's culture, her life is diffi
...more
Tara
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Pérez was not an easy read. There were parts that broke my heart. Seventeen-year old Marisa is the daughter of Mexican immigrants living in Houston. This is a novel of figuring out how to balance the expectations that others have for you against the expectations and hopes that you have for yourself. This was definitely a windows book for me. I grew up in an environment that prioritized education. I now teach in an environment that, while incredibly diverse, is also ...more
Rabiah
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at: http://iliveforreading.blogspot.sg/20...

**This is a review based on an ARC. The text may change!**

It was really fantastic to see how an immigrant to the US from Mexico copes with family, school, a job and learning to live life. It's also pretty much a coincidence how my last post (below) is of Illegal by Bettina Restrepo, which also deals with a family from Mexico.

It was different to see how Marisa lives her life. I mean, I can't imagine ever living like that! But obviously
...more
Katie
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recap:
Marisa is the good daughter: cooking for her father and brother, babysitting whenever her sister asks, giving half of her paycheck to the family each month.

But Marisa dreams of going to the University of Texas to study engineering, and ber calculus teacher thinks that Marisa is actually smart enough to make it happen.

But her father has all but forbidden her to go to college.
Her mother doesn't want her to leave home.
Her sister needs her to be a full-time babysitter for her niece.
So college
...more
Alyssa
What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Pérez

I was really eager to start this and totally enjoyed everything I read. Miss Pérez is absolutely an author I’ll be on the lookout for in the future, especially if she keeps writing stories just like this one!

"“Another day finished, gracias a Dios."

Seventeen-year-old Marisa's mother has been saying this for as long as Marisa can remember. Her parents came to Houston from Mexico. They work hard, and they expect Marisa to help her familia. And they expect her t
...more
Ari
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
How do you choose between your duty to yourself and your duty to your family (hmm I wonder what Kant would have to say about this. We are currently studying him, how timely!)? I read this book in a state of incredulity, I just couldn't fathom a family not wanting their child to go to college. I can understand when parents want their teen to pick a more affordable college, but to not want their child to go at all? Unfathomable and it near broke my heart. What's even worse is that at first, Ms. Fo ...more
Katelyn (Tales of Books and Bands)
It is not uncommon that I end up reading a lot of books I love; What Can't Wait is no exception. I have always heard people say "I felt a big connection to the main character" or "I just wanted to jump right into the story and comfort the main character." While in the past I have fallen in love with many characters and grown a strong connection with them, none can compare to Marisa, the main character in this novel. I have never felt so compelled to console a character during their hard times. B ...more
Sara (Just Another Story)
Review first posted on http://unautrehistoire.blogspot.com/

I don't know how I feel about Ashley Hope Perez's debut novel What Can't Wait. I liked the writing, and I liked the characters-mostly- but something bothered me about this book.

Marissa is a great girl. She works hard in school and at her job, she also works hard to please her family, even when her family seems hell bent on destroying her future. I think that's what bothered me about What Can't Wait; here was this girl, who was smart and
...more
Alicia
This is an every teenager story, but more specifically it represents Mexican culture with a strong sense of duty and loyalty to your family. This resonates with my students who are doing the same things that Marisa must-- ignoring their education for the sake of babysitting, working to support the family, and not finding enough time for them to truly explore themselves. How can any teenager decide what they want to do when they have everyone else telling them for them? Marisa's father wants this ...more
Sarah Maddaford
When I first got to a Spanish phrase I couldn't google and figure out, I was a little ticked off. I'll admit to being a complete gringa despite growing up in Texas with a mother who speaks Spanish and a sister who majored in Spanish. At first, all the Spanish phrases were a bit frustrating, but then I got into the flow of the story and they started to be a part of the flavor of the story rather than a barrier to understanding Marisa. Part of Marisa's situation was being mired in a world where no ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Illegal
  • This Girl Is Different
  • Jazz in Love
  • Crossing the Line (Border Town, #1)
  • Orchards
  • If I Could Fly
  • When the Stars Go Blue
  • Brooklyn, Burning
  • Now Is the Time for Running
  • The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez
  • Bitter Melon
  • My Favorite Band Does Not Exist
  • Ten Miles Past Normal
  • What Comes After
  • Girl Wonder
  • Bronxwood (Tyrell, #2)
  • Lost in the River of Grass
  • Strong Deaf
140 followers
When I’m not reading, writing, or teaching, I hang out with my husband Arnulfo and our two boys, Liam Miguel and Ethan Andrés. In the scraps of time that remain, I also like to run (I did the Houston Marathon in 2007 and the Chicago Marathon in 2009), bake (but let’s don’t revive the “Cookie Girl” nickname, please), watch movies, work in my garden, and destroy my mom in long-distance games of Scra ...more
“I just sit there. I should be running after her, trying to patch things up, but the thing is that I’m scared to be in the rush of people in the hall. I can’t stand to feel all those bodies move against me. I don’t want anybody to touch me. Because there’s no way to know what they’re thinking, what they would do to you if there was nothing to stop them.” 0 likes
“Mrs. Garza made us read this poem in class that said “April is the cruelest month.” Everybody else thought that was stupid, how was a month going to be cruel? But to me it makes perfect sense. It’s cruel because the whole world turns pretty and green while everything in your life is going sour. And you can’t blame anybody but yourself.” 0 likes
More quotes…