BLOG TOUR: Kate In Waiting by Becky Albertalli
Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Kate in Waiting blog tour! I honestly can’t tell you how excited I am to be taking part in a blog tour for a Becky Albertalli novel, and I’d like to say a huge thanks to The Write Reads for organising this tour and allowing me to get involved.
From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.
[PRINCIPAL CAST LIST]
Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:
Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.
But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.
Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson
He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.
Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship…
I featured Kate in Waiting on my most anticipated January to June releases list right at the start of the year. The synopsis for this book is so intriguing – two best friends who fall in love with the same guy – and Kate and Anderson’s story definitely lived up to my expectations.
Kate and Anderson both meet Matt at a theatre camp over the summer, and neither of them can believe their eyes when he walks out of their high school drama classroom a couple of weeks later. They promise that they won’t let their growing feelings for him get in the way of their friendship, but when he’s cast as Kate’s love interest in the school musical – and starts texting Anderson to organise private rehearsals – jealousy quickly rears its ugly head.
I’m a huge fan of YA books which spotlight the importance of friendships (Loveless, First Day of My Life) and Kate in Waiting is another stellar example.
‘People are always saying that if they didn’t know Andy was gay, they’d never believe we were just friends.
It’s such bullshit. First of all, we’re best friends.
Second of all, there’s no just. Friendship isn’t a just. Yes, Andy’s gay. No, we’re not a couple. But Anderson Walker is the most important person in my life, hands down.’
The focus of the story is very much on Kate and Anderson’s friendship, and it’s a brilliant one. They’ve been there for each other through everything – through Kate being bullied for her performing, through Anderson coming out – and they are both determined to protect their friendship, even though they both feel as though they’re falling in love.
I thought the slow burn feelings that Kate developed for Matt were very realistic. There’s no insta-love here. She thinks that he’s kind and sweet so her crush develops quite quickly, but as they’re working as co-stars in the intimate setting of the musical it makes a lot of sense.
There’s also no sense of a love triangle. Although Anderson and Kate both have feelings for Matt, he doesn’t develop romantic feelings for both of them. There is no battling for attention or affection (although it would have been interesting if Becky Albertalli had considered exploring a polyamorous relationship with these three, because they all care for each other so intensely!).
I was a bit apprehensive about reading this book because I thought that there were so many ways that it could have gone wrong, but it actually blew me away. I did find it a little bit predictable at points, but I was happy with the way that Becky Albertalli directed the story. It’s definitely a feel good, autumnal romance! I’ll be rereading this one if I feel the need for a comfort read, because not only was it a very quick read but there are also some hilarious moments. Albertalli’s dialogue in particular is a shining aspect of the story: it reads as though it’s been taken straight from a rom-com script, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this book ended up getting adapted to the screen and becoming a runaway success to rival Love, Simon.
Another thing I’d like to quickly mention is the diversity in this story. Raina, one of Kate and Anderson’s best friends, is trans, while Brandie is Latina and Anderson is Black. Kate herself is Jewish, and there are quite a lot of references to different aspects of Jewish culture (such as synagogue and bat mitzvahs). These inclusions make the cast of characters far more memorable, and I would happily read a companion novel. I’d love it if Albertalli decided to follow Kate’s brother Ryan as he decides where he’s going to go to college, or follow Raina and her boyfriend Harold (he is one of the sweetest characters and I just wanted to see more of him!).
Kate in Waiting gets four stars from me!
About the author:
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her website, find her on Twitter or check out her Instagram.
Once again, I’d like to thank The Write Reads for allowing me to get involved in this blog tour, and I’d also like to thank you for checking out my review. If you’ve read any of Becky Albertalli’s other novels, let me know which is your favourite down in the comments!
See you next time,