Kate in waiting

Becky Albertalli

Book - 2021

Best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker share a love of theater and crushes on the same guys, but when one of their long-distance crushes shows up at their school, real feelings might end their friendship.

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Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Albertal Becky Checked In
Young adult fiction
New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2021]
Main Author
Becky Albertalli (author)
First edition
Physical Description
387 pages ; 22 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Kate Garfield has never really been in a relationship, but she's not too worried about it. Having a crush is the fun part, and Kate and her best friend, Anderson, always crush on the same guy together. Sure, their other friends may mock them for being joined at the hip in all things, but for Kate, being in love just couldn't be as good as talking to Andy about being in love. At summer theater camp, the object of their shared desire was dreamy Matt Olsson--a guy they talked about more than to, and whom they expect never to see again. But when their junior year of high school starts and Matt is suddenly their school's newest student, the unthinkable might happen: one of them might actually have a shot. The ever-popular Albertalli weighs friendship against romance in a novel that's by turns laugh-out-loud funny and thoughtfully characterized. Andy's Blackness is generally incidental, although he discusses feeling like an outsider among his white peers. Packed with musical-theater references and sparkling dialogue, this journey of self-discovery sings. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Ever since she took the YA world by storm with Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (2015), Albertalli's been reeling in fans with her inclusive and voice-driven love stories. Her fans will welcome Kate to the fold.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) centers a close friendship in this theater-infused novel that swaps chapters for scenes. Best friends Kate Garfield, who is Jewish and white, and Anderson Walker, who is Black, have lots in common: they're neighbors in an Atlanta suburb who both live for theater and tend to fall for the same guy each summer, despite having "no game." So far, though, their communal crushes have worked out just fine. When their most recent interest, white "Coke-Ad"-cute Matt from theater camp, transfers to their school, though, he's promptly cast as Kate's love interest in Once upon a Mattress. As their mutual feelings for him test their friendship, Kate's old friend and neighbor Noah, an "f-boy" jock, seems increasingly smitten with Kate. She's not interested, naturally--he can't even sing--but he does make her laugh. Albertalli has crafted a rom-com that's not only sharp and funny, but distinguished by its casually diverse LGBTQ cast's awareness that friendship (among friends, to be sure, but also siblings, and gasp, romantic interests) is as important as love. Ages 14--up. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Apr.)

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Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up--Two things are true about white teen Kate--she's always in the ensemble, never the lead, and she and her best friend Andy, who is Black, have always shared unattainable crushes. Both of those things are about to change when Matt Olsson enters the scene. The two crushed on him at an out-of-state theater camp and said their goodbyes, only for him to turn up in their theater room on the first day of school. To make things more interesting, Kate has finally been cast in a leading role in the school's musical and her love interest is played by none other than Matt. Now, Kate and Andy have to navigate this communal crush, with real feelings involved, and craft some ground rules to help them handle the situation and keep their friendship intact. Told in Albertalli's typical rom-com style, this book is endearing, charming, and packed with plenty of snark. VERDICT Reminiscent of Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List, Albertalli crafts a story that offers an honest and realistic look at high school relationships--romantic and platonic. Recommended for all collections.--Alicia Kalan, The Northwest Sch., Seattle

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Review by Horn Book Review

Kate and her best guy friend Anderson are obsessed with musical theater -- and also, frequently, with the same boys. At summer theater camp, they both crush on gorgeous "Coke-Ad Matt," who is also, they discover on the first day of junior year, a new student at their Georgia high school. Their "communal crush" gets complicated when Matt is cast as Kate's love interest in the school's production of Once upon a Mattress. Though neither friend knows Matt's orientation, Kate believes Matt likes her and worries that dating him would affect her friendship with Anderson. Meanwhile, she's developing feelings for her cute, goofy neighbor, Noah, who's also in the show. As the central character, Kate is funny and sensitive, with a sharp eye for observation (her colorful descriptions of the habits of the school's jocks, a.k.a. "f-boys," are spot-on), a supportive and genuine relationship with Anderson, and palpable chemistry with Noah. The supporting cast, too, is well developed and naturally diverse -- the fact that Kate and Anderson's good friend is transgender, and a castmate uses a wheelchair, is NBD. While theater fans will especially identify with the story, recognizing their passion in Kate's own, the solid friendship and romance at its core will appeal to a broader audience. Rachel L. Smith March/April 2021 p.79(c) Copyright 2021. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Best friends--she is straight, he is gay--crush on the same guy. Kate and her best friend, Anderson, do everything together--including falling for Matt, a gorgeous vocal consultant at summer theater camp. Their close friends say it is because they are codependent, but for Kate, Anderson is the person at the center of her life, and anyway, she thinks crushes are more fun (and less painful) when not done solo. Communal summer swooning is sort of their thing, and they expect this one to end the same way the others do. But when Matt shows up as a new student at their school, both Kate and Anderson realize they have to navigate this joint crush in real life. Not knowing whether Matt likes guys or girls or more--but knowing they both really do like him--they set up some ground rules so as not to hurt each other and decide to just roll with it. But of course that is easier said than done when romantic feelings are involved. The novel features strong character development and a diverse cast of primary and supporting characters; Kate is White and Jewish, Anderson is Black, and Matt is White. Real chemistry between the different love interests in the book, authentic dialogue, supportive friendships, and Albertalli's signature humor make this a must-read. Flips the script on battling over a boy in the best way possible. (Fiction. 12-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.