Jessica's Reviews > Kate in Waiting

Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
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really liked it

This was sweet, if hella predictable. (This is another one where I went, "Is this supposed to be a plot twist, or are we just supposed to know something before the main character does?") It's a romance, but it's also a celebration of friendship, though with an exploration of how romantic relationships can sometimes strain those friendships. This book had the hallmarks of what I love about Albertalli's books: First, genuine diversity that isn't self-congratulatory, and second, a reminder of the best parts of high school — in this case, being part of a theater production. Albertalli also perfectly captures the awkward and painful parts of that age, like Kate constantly being reminded of the time she was cyberbullied in middle school, but the overall tone is ultimately joyful, with close friendships, requited (and unrequited) crushes, and the anxious excitement of putting on a musical.

I wasn't super keen on the constant use of "fuckboy"/"f-boy" in the book; I think Albertalli makes gestures at critiquing Kate and her friend's judginess, and I thought Kate was ultimately going to decide that that term was unfair and judgmental, but instead she mostly just decides that a couple of people don't actually fit that label like she thought, rather than deconstructing the entire category. Additionally, I got derailed a couple of times by inconsistencies, mostly around Kate's weekly schedule: She tells us clearly which nights of the week she's at her dad's house, but then she seems to be in the wrong place a few times with no explanation. But those weren't huge detractions from the book as a whole.

This wasn't quite as good as some of my favorites of Albertalli's books, but it was still an enjoyable read and she remains one of my favorite authors.

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Quotes Jessica Liked

Becky Albertalli
“My favorite is always the halfway point, where Andy says, “Okay, whatever, I’m done. I’m over it.” But then, a split second later: “Okay, but ALSO, can I just say—”
Becky Albertalli, Kate in Waiting

Becky Albertalli
“It’s the kind of moment that makes my stomach twist. I can’t stand watching people get embarrassed, even strangers. Even fictional strangers. I honestly can’t watch certain TV shows. I get this visceral secondhand shame reaction. It’s like my brain can’t tell where someone else’s humiliation ends and mine begins.”
Becky Albertalli, Kate in Waiting

Becky Albertalli
“It’s like when your scene partner’s supposed to cut you off and overlap your line, but they don’t. That same quiet beat of panic and awkwardness.”
Becky Albertalli, Kate in Waiting

Becky Albertalli
“It’s so easy to imagine how we’ll retell this moment. Our first kiss. The lights went out. We held hands. Used our phones. Even as it’s happening, it’s like it already happened. That same preemptive nostalgia feeling. Like it’s a story we’ll tell in some not-so-distant future.”
Becky Albertalli, Kate in Waiting

Becky Albertalli
“Okay.” Brandie emerges from my closet, holding my brown ankle boots in one hand, and an armload of my shortest skirts in the other. “So, Kate, for you, I’m thinking skirt, boots, tights, and a jacket?”

“No shirt?” Raina asks. “Nude on top?”
Becky Albertalli, Kate in Waiting

Reading Progress

July 4, 2020 – Shelved
April 25, 2021 – Started Reading
May 1, 2021 –
May 5, 2021 – Finished Reading

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