Kate in Waiting

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Apr. 2021. 400p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062643834; pap. $12. ISBN 9780063073920.
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.

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