Book Reviews

Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli: Blog Tour & Book Review

This is a spoiler-free review.

Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

Expected publication April 22nd, 2021 by Penguin.

My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.


Kate Garfield
Anderson Walker

Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:

Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at
their school, everything goes off-script.

Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson

He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She 
really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship…

Thank you to The Write Reads Tours and the publisher, Penguin Random House Children’s UK, for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.

I’m so excited to share my review of Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli with all of you – I had so much fun reading this book!

As someone who spent the better part of her high school career as a certifiable musical theatre geek, this book felt so nostalgic to me, in the best way. There’s just something so magical about putting on a high school musical, and Albertalli really captured that feeling in this novel. It made me long for my old musical days. ❤️

(Side note: as a Jewish reader I found Albertalli’s inclusion of a Jewish main character really enjoyable. It was just so comforting to read all the familiar references to Cantors and Hebrew School, etc. And it was something I never knew I was longing for in a book before now?)

The heart of this novel – and what I think makes Kate in Waiting so great – is the relationships between the characters. I loved them all honestly; Kate and Anderson, Kate and Ryan, the “squad,” even Matt.

I really appreciated how even though this was a romance, the main relationship at play, at all times, was the friendship between Kate and Anderson. It was really nice to see these characters place equal, if not more, importance on their platonic relationships than they did their romantic ones. So often healthy, long-lasting friendships get swept under the rug in romance novels and books about high schoolers in favor of drama and a focus on the love interest. But never once in this novel was Anderson and Kate’s relationship put on the back burner.

I also loved Kate’s relationship with her older brother, Ryan. It just felt so authentic. And again, sibling relationships can be such a hit or miss in romance novels, but I liked that theirs was included here. It helped round out both of them as characters.

Also – I won’t go into details about the romance because of spoilers(!), but it was very sweet and heartwarming. It had my chest all tight and my stomach all fluttery more than once. 🥺

The only things stopping me from giving this book that final star were some of the language choices and a bit of the conflict between the characters. As I’ve seen mentioned by others, there was an excessive use of the term ‘fuckboy.’ Swearing in books doesn’t bother me, but this just felt like A Lot at a certain point. There was also a fair amount of miscommunication for the sole sake of drama, which isn’t my favorite literary device and felt a little unnecessary.

Besides that, however, this book was such an all-around ringer for me. What a fun, lighthearted, yet emotional read!


Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at

Website | Twitter

What’s your favorite musical?

Let me know!

Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.


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