Friday, November 19, 2010

Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti

At the beginning of her sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, more importantly, a boyfriend. So when the handsome and popular Derek asks her out, Marisa thinks her long wait for happiness is over. But several bumps in the road including her parents' unexpected separation, a fight with her best friend, and a shocking disappointment in her relationship with Derek test Marisa's ability to maintain her new outlook. Only the anonymous DJ, whose underground podcasts have the school's ear, seems to understand what Marisa is going through. But she has no idea who he is or does she?

In this third romantic novel from Susane Colasanti, Marisa learns how to "be in the Now" and realizes that the love she's been waiting for has been right in front of her all along.

Waiting for you is a classic coming of age novel - spanning a good year of one teen girls life. Marisa is easy to relate to. Almost too easy, taking me back to those high school days where little things (small fights with your best bud) are the big things. Marisa has recently struggled with anxiety and depression and throughout the book sometimes slips back into that place. It's handled expertly, delving straight into the mind of a teenager with a light touch, never taking the path of melodrama.

Likewise, family issues in the novel are tackled well, as Marisa comes to terms with the image of the family she thought she had and the reality of her parents separation - there's anger, hurt, resentment, disappointment and a yearning to make sense of it all.

The romance. It's a complicated one. There's two boys in the picture and a mysterious third guy. There's juggling of boyfriends and best friends. There's daydreaming and hope and longing and a little bit of kissing too. There's crushing on a best friend, finally getting with the hot guy and romance in her parents, Aunt's and best friends life.

Waiting for you concludes with a powerful message: showing the messy side of relationships and the real side of anxiety, the complications in friendships and the way you can be the difference in your own life - working out who you want to be and how to get there and learning to be happy with who you are. (note: it's done subtlely - no preaching :)

Confession time:
I struggled to initially engage with this novel. Once I got past the first hump (I'll say about 80 pages in) it was a surprisingly addictive and swift little read. I'm glad I settled into the read as by the end I found a lot to admire with how Colasanti handled everything.

The dialogue tags and slang in this alienated me and thumped me out of the book. At first, they grated, then they amused (I'm pretty sure amusement was not the intention). Here's a taste:
He goes, 'What?'
And I'm like 'Seriously'
'Get out!' she's like.
At times they jumped out at me and other times they slipped by as I was more caught up in the story. Still, I'm not really a fan...

And now I will bombard you with quotes which can give you a feel for the heart-beat of the novel :)

I wish it could stay like this forever, with the anticipation of everything. 
I know what it’s like when you just need to be alone for a while and block out the world.
It’s weird how time can change something you thought would always stay the same. 
When everyone expects you to be a certain way, it’s really hard to escape that image. It’s like once everyone decides who you are, you’re locked into their version of you and that’s it. 
I love the beginning of the year. It’s all about renewal and reinventing yourself, becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be. 
But we also need to realize that we all have the power to make those changes for ourselves. We all can change the way things are. Maybe not as much as we want to, but we can at least make things better. 
I probably just didn’t try hard enough to be happy. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t try harder now. 
You can’t go someplace that doesn’t exist anymore. 
Failure is not an option. If your life sucks now, it can only improve later. We all feel alone. We all feel desperate. Know that we’re all in this together. You’re not alone, no matter what. Remember that. 

Recommended: It's a bit of a rainy day comfort read that many teens will easily relate too. It's an easy book to read, with clean prose, which makes it a good choice for a reluctant reader. I would particularly suggest this title to teens who may struggle with depression/anxiety - it's an uplifting read that brings a comforting and powerful message. This book is written brilliantly for a teenage audience but I'm not sure it will have wide appeal beyond that :) 

 It's also a lovely PG - no swearing, sex, drugs or violence - mature middle grade readers may be interested in checking it out.

Waiting For You @ goodreads
Susane Colasanti's Website

Thank to Penguin Australia for providing me with this review copy


  1. sounds nice.
    i'm beginning to wonder why so many YA books have photo covers where you can never see the faces. it's so common.

  2. Another good and honest review. I like that this has a powerful message for teens about anxiety and depression :)

  3. Love your honesty in your reviews, Nomes! I adore the premise of this one, but like you, I feel the dialogue would feel rather jarring to me, and I worry it would pull me from the story. Great review though! :)

  4. Thanks for the hump warning.

    Side note: I don't know why but I love docks and anything to do with them.

  5. I like the cover. That's kind of how I imagine my cover would like, except maybe without Sam sitting next to her and something sparkling in the distance - Yeah, I know, off topic. I think that sort of dialogue would get to me after awhile. Glad you were able to persevere though. :)

    Nice review as always.

  6. Another great review, Nomes. I love how you look at every aspect and cover so much detail- you're a fab reviewer :)

  7. ah, thanks guys. it was a great read :)

    @ Angie: yeah - i can definitely see a similar version of this for your cover of Nikki's Wish! But with a bit more paranormal jazz added to it :0


  8. Nomes,reading your reviews is so enjoyable. They are always so well-written. I am yet to read a book by this author but I will start with Waiting for You. Thanks!

  9. Great review. I want to read this book now!!!

  10. nice review! i haven't read anything by this author before, but this one looks really interesting (plus i really like the cover!)

  11. A new to me author, writing sounds a little similar to Sara Dessen or Deb Caletti? I'll keep an eye out for this one.


Thanks for the commenty love :)