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YA in July: Can Friendship Withstand The Spotlight?

A review of KATE IN WAITING by Becky Albertalli.

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If hearing the term “Young Adult fiction” (aka YA) has you envisioning melodramatic vampire romances and thinking “that’s not for me,” you are not alone, but you ARE totally missing out! 

Young Adult fiction is a very broad label that primarily means the book’s content is below a certain threshold, roughly like how PG-13 movies compare to their rated-R counterparts. It also often means the protagonist is a teenager but, in my experience, that also tends to make the stories more hopeful than most contemporary “adult” books. When your main character has their whole lives ahead of them, the future is bright, even when the present moment is difficult. Personally, I love YA, and because it’s such a broad label there’s something for everyone. No idea where to start? How about channeling your inner theater geek with KATE IN WAITING by Becky Albertalli? Humorous and heartwarming, friendship takes center stage in this grounded and funny love triangle romcom.

KATE IN WAITING follows friends Kate and Anderson. These besties share everything, including often crushing on the same boys. Until now they’ve been able to banish jealousy by making their “communal crushes” a fun part of their friendship. But, when a boy they were both crushing on at drama camp shows up at their school, they have to figure out which comes first, following their feelings or staying friends. 

I was so entertained and invested I read the entire book in under 48 hours. The relational stakes are the heart and soul of the story and Albertalli excels at grounding the sparkling, diverse cast of characters. Be prepared to shout: “Encore!”

Buy It HERE.

Jenna Wycoff is a TV writer, avid book reader, and mom of two who has worked on series such as, AWKWARD. (MTV), DAYTIME DIVAS (VH1), and GREENLEAF (OWN). Jenna spent her adolescence growing up overseas and as a result she loves engaging with diverse storytelling traditions and life experiences. A voracious reader in spite of the busyness of parental life, Jenna regularly has four to five books in rotation and is always thrilled to help someone find their next great read.

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