Kate in Waiting
By Andrea Beach,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Funny, breezy, diverse romcom stresses value of friendship.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Teen romance meant to entertain. But the play within the story may inspire curiosity about the Broadway musical Once Upon a Mattress.
You'll have lots of different kinds of friendships as you make your way through life; they're all important, and they're all worth working hard to hold on to. It's not always about you. When you look at things from someone ele's perspective you'll start to realize that their words and actions might not have anything to do with you. You'll also start to understand better how your own words and actions affect others. Consider that your own attitudes and behaviors may be the biggest roadblock that's keeping your life the same and preventing you from moving forward in the direction you want to go.
Positive Role Models
Kate isn't really selfish, but she's incredibly self centered, mostly only thinking of her own thoughts and feelings about people and events. She wants what she wants, but not at the cost of hurting others, and she changes when she learns how to see things from others' perspectives. She and best friend Andy model strong bonds of friendship and supporting each other through tough times. The cast of characters offers positive role models for a vastly diverse, inclusive range of ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, abilities, and gender identities.
The diverse cast features a range of ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, abilities, and gender identities. There are Jewish, Black, Asian, White, Latino, gay, and transgender characters. A minor character uses a wheelchair, and two main characters briefly discuss levels of social anxiety and how it affects their behavior. Several main characters have deeply felt stereotypes about so-called jocks. Some minor jock characters behave stereotypically, but several other main characters prove the stereotypes to be wrong.
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Violence & Scariness
Some brief, imagined violence, like thinking an unpleasant and annoying person "should be punched in the balls."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few kisses and light making out briefly described. Lots of romantic tension.
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"F--k" and countless variations including ones made up for comedic effect like "f--kboy." "D--k" as body part and insult." "Bulls--t," "c--kblocker," "dumbass," "bonered," "a--hole," "Goddammit," "eyegasm," "taintweasel," "boobs," and "butt." Lots of banter with sexual innuendo.
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Products & Purchases
Food, beverages, social media, retail outlets, games, toys, mostly to establish mood, place, or character. Name-brand drugs Xanax and Ritalin.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens drink beer and unspecified hard alcohol at parties. Slight excess is shown. There are no consequences. The teens are careful about drinking and driving. Adults drink in social situations. Dad sips bourbon at home once. Past rumor that a student was caught snorting Ritalin in class and did not get in trouble for it. Mention that one boy is "really stoned" half the time. A joking reference to Xanax.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kate in Waiting is a romantic comedy by popular author Becky Albertalli that has strong elements of friendship and coming of age. For a romance, the sexy stuff is pretty light: there's lots of romantic tension but only a few kisses and light making out briefly described. There's lots of profanity, including "f--k" and countless, sometimes made-up words combined with it like "f--kmonster," other crude made-up words like "taintweasel" and "eyegasm," and "bulls--t," "c--kblocked," and "d--k." The only violence is imagining someone deserves to be "punched in the balls." A few instances of teen drinking at parties and adults drinking socially with no consequences. There's a joking reference to the drug Xanax, and a past rumor about snorting Ritalin. The widely diverse, inclusive cast of characters provides positive models for ranges of skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity, and to a smaller extent ability and anxiety differences.
Where to Read
Based on 1 parent review
Kate in Waiting...For young adults
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What's the Story?
KATE IN WAITING tells the story of high-school junior Kate and her best friend Anderson. Every since middle school the two have bonded over having fantasy crushes on the same guy. In the way only best friends can, they analyze and reanalyze every detailed nuance of every encounter with their crush. This past summer at theater camp was no different. Kate and Andy spent most of their time swooning over Matt, the cute townie. By the first day of junior year, their focus has quickly shifted to what the fall musical will be, and whether Kate will at long last come out of the chorus and into the spotlight with a speaking role. Until none other than Matt himself walks into the room because he's just moved to the area. As Kate and Andy get to know Matt better, they both start moving beyond crushing and falling for him for real, and hard. Can their friendship survive when Kate and Matt are cast as one of the main romantic couples in play?
Is It Any Good?
This breezy, fun, and funny romance perfectly captures a lot of the teen experience, especially the way bonds of friendship can be so deep and unique during the teen years. It's refreshing that Kate in Waiting shows different kinds of friendship, like between siblings, neighbors, romantic partners, and platonic partners, and how they're all important and worth holding on to. The large, inclusive cast of diverse characters provides lots of positive representations and makes for a book that will appeal to a wide range of teens. Author Becky Albertalli's quick-witted banter feels realistic and adds a lot of humor.
There's not much of a sense of place other than being told they're in the outskirts of Atlanta and a rare sprinkling of "y'all" into the dialogue. But this gives the book an "Anytown, USA" kind of feel that may make it relatable to more readers. Lots and lots of strong language and sexual innuendo make it best for high-schoolers and up.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about strong language in books and other media. A lot of it's meant to be funny. Is it? Does that make it OK?
Why are diversity and inclusivity important in books, movies, videos, etc.? How do you feel when you read or see characters you relate to? What can we learn from characters whose life experience is different from ours?
Is the alcohol use by teens and adults in the story realistic? Why, or why not? Are there any realistic consequences?
- Author: Becky Albertalli
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray
- Publication date: April 20, 2021
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
- Number of pages: 400
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: April 30, 2021
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Read
Our Editors Recommend
Teen Romance Novels
Books for Theater Kids
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