Reviews

All We Can Do Is Wait, by Richard Lawson

evilonion's review

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dark emotional sad medium-paced

3.0

kwurtzel3's review

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4.0

Favorite quote:

Spoiler
When the Marathon bombing happened, [she] had watched Boston become something she’d never seen, not even when the Red Sox won the World Series: It was communal, bonded, forged together. She thought that whole “Boston Strong” thing was corny, but there was something true about it too. She felt a deep, aching affection for the city just then, even though there was maybe nothing left in it for her.

kellee's review

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emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

lucyjunee's review against another edition

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5.0

Wow. Just wow.
Please read it. It’s beautiful.

tjlcody's review

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2.0

Eh.

A lot of backstory, not balanced super-well with the billed subject of the book (i.e. a bridge collapse and a tense wait for news). Don't get me wrong, I figure they have to put SOME backstory in (of which Skyler's was the most interesting and least annoying) but for the love of God, can you make SOME effort not to turn the whole deal into a teenage soap opera? This was something I'd expect of shows like One Tree Hill or some other after-school special.

michelley_belleyyy's review

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medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

3.0

nerfherder86's review

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4.0

Good but sad realistic novel about four teens who are brought together in the waiting room of a hospital emergency room, uncertain as to the fates of their family members who were all driving on a highway bridge when it suddenly collapsed into the river. Jason and Alexa, siblings, wait to hear about their parents; Skyler worries about her college-age older sister; Scott is hoping for good news about his girlfriend. But as the night goes on, with little word yet on who was injured in this massive accident, who survived, and who died, these main characters' backstories (told in flashbacks) begin to intertwine. The reader learns how these seeming strangers have connections to one another, and secrets are revealed that affect more than one person. I enjoyed the build up of tension, the diversity of the characters, and how there are unexpected twists to the story. The point of view is 3rd person omniscient, switching between each character chapter by chapter and between present time and the recent past, but done very smoothly, and the "handoff" between characters is well done: as one character, for example, leaves the room at the end of a chapter, the next chapter opens with two other characters watching that first guy go out the door. There's a lot of drama in these teens' lives, ranging from a closeted gay relationship to parental divorces and illnesses to heterosexual dating drama and breakups, but it's introduced naturally and makes you want to know more about their lives. Good choice for fans of realistic teen fiction full of emotion.

conspystery's review

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dark emotional slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.25

mtthwkrl's review

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4.0

What a sweet little book! I picked it up because I follow Richard Lawson on Twitter, but I guess I wasn't following him when it was released. Although the novel starts with a dramatic bridge collapse, most of what unfolds are the quotidian dramas of being alive: insights into the self that you try and shove down into the unconscious, trying to be brave enough to make a leap into what you know you have to do, the loneliness and despair of trying to stay connected to someone who is trying like hell to run away.

Now, maybe you watch a lot of Netflix crime shows and the only thing that seems dramatic now is a race to decode cryptic clues before a baby rapist detonates explosives underneath the final match of the world cup. Compared to that, this book may very well seem plotless and boring to you. I cannot help you there.

I give it a few extra points for incorporating some teen characters that are neither the bland upper-middle class that usually peoples YA nor are they only in the book to edify the white characters. A few points knocked off for still centering bland upper-middle class teens.

The reason I didn't think it added up to a five star book to me is that it didn't really ever answer why we were looking at these characters. They were all fascinating, but they never quite cohered together because the present-day narrative is packed into a single day. Second, although it has a beautiful message about dealing with uncertainty and taking each day as it comes, it doesn't quite present that in a way that allows the reader to take it away in their own life (unless there has been a bridge collapse in your community).

But please give it a read! I'd love for Lawson to get the chance to write another one.

rmpenny247's review

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4.0

Richard Lawson's writing and great story telling kept making me want to read this book even when I didn't have time. My favorite part of this book was the great flash back scenes for each character. They were each filled with a bit of mystery that kept me wanting to read and find out more. This was definitely a character driven book, which is my favorite type of story.
Slowly learning about the relationships that Jason, Alexa, Scott, Morgan, and Skyler had with the person, or people, they were waiting for caused me to feel connected to most of them. In this short book, there was visible growth for each of the five main characters.
Skyler's story could be on its own and expand on her sister's role in her life, and her relationship with Danny. Jason and Alexa are the two characters that I connected with the most, and that I really want a bigger story from. Their history felt like an entire different story from the hospital scenes that connected all of the main character. It probably helped that their points of view were two people with the same history, just different perspectives and personal struggles. It was also different because it was more about the relationship between Jason and Alexa as siblings, instead of their relationships with their parents. I really would enjoy just a book about their lives, and specifically their summer at the beach. That would be so great.
I will be looking out for any future books written by Lawson.