In her latest book, Becky Albertalli invites readers into the theater world in her delightful novel Kate in Waiting. Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are best friends who do everything together, from carpooling to school, rehearsing for the school musical, and even sharing crushes on the same guys. But when a long-distance communal crush between the two enrolls in their school, a shocked Kate and Anderson must learn to navigate their friendship when real feelings are at stake.
First and foremost, Albertalli skillfully draws readers into the world of high school theater. She writes with a nostalgia for theater that amplifies her clear and present love for it, something theater kids and non-theater kids alike will be able to appreciate. Through Kate, she manages to capture the ineffable qualities that being part of theater holds. She’s also able to inform both Kate and Anderson’s personalities, highlighting the safety, joy, and comfort they find in it. Albertalli crafts such a distinct and immersive world in this book that’s easy to say, “just one more chapter” over and over again.
One of the main noteworthy aspects of this book, though, is the friendship between Kate and Anderson. Albertalli paints a clear picture of the chemistry between the two. The endearing dynamic duo provides readers with a taste of how important they are to each other, which makes the jokey communal crush turned very, very real crush feel all the more impactful. While Kate tells the story, readers still gain an understanding of how significant Kate and Andy’s friendship is when the two struggle to hide feelings of jealousy. Kate’s feeling of dread not only shows readers how she typically reacts to situations but also builds up a solid description of Andy and his personality throughout the book beyond the bubbly Anderson she’s used to being around. And aside from the rocky moments, Kate and Anderson have such a wholesome, platonic love between each other that’s wonderful to read.
Similar to how readers come to understand Andy, the secondary characters also have time to shine. From Kate’s parents and brother Ryan, to Andy and Kate’s crush Matt, to their theater squad, Albertalli utilizes Kate to write compelling characters that only add to the story.
As with every Becky Albertalli book, readers are treated to an uplifting story with Kate in Waiting. Albertalli brings her familiar voice with a unique flair for this book. She brings another witty and charming feel-good story to the table, an ability she won’t soon let readers forget. Kate in Waiting is a book that will leave readers cheering for an encore.
Kate in Waiting is available for purchase now online and in stores.