Reviews

All We Can Do Is Wait, by Richard Lawson

mtthwkrl's review against another edition

Go to review page

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 against another edition

Go to review page

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.

kathryn_719's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

Was a very well written book but needed more of a plot line did not find myself drawn into the book and wanting to read more.

agtcm1221's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging emotional hopeful sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

alittledizzy's review against another edition

Go to review page

emotional sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

zetafiction's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

Lawson's prose is lovely, but there's a remove or a maturity to it that doesn't quite mesh with the YA genre. It doesn't feel like a YA book. In any case, as always, I want to read more of his writing.

nvi's review against another edition

Go to review page

emotional hopeful inspiring reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

taylor_nic0le's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

This story was a good story, but not AMAZING. The flashbacks between the past and the present were done so seamlessly, and I was invested in essentially all the characters. Even the secondary ones. It’s very well written and I think the author captures the character emotions and situation they’re all in very well.

littlemissbookworm's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

"All We Can Do Is Wait" tells the heart-breaking story of a tragic accident and its aftermath.

One moment there was a bridge spanning the river and the next, there wasn't. The news of the tragedy spreads like wildfire and worried Bostonians rush to the hospital to find out if their loved ones made it out alive. In their midst, there are Skyler, Jason, Alexa, Scott and Morgan - five teenagers who've never met before, but are united in their sorrow. Short of being a shoulder to cry on for each other, there's nothing they can do. All they can do is wait...

I really like the premise of this book and the prologue gripped me almost instantaneously. Unfortunately, Richard Lawson wasn't able to keep that level of suspense for very long. Don't get me wrong, "All We Can Do Is Wait" is a good book with a nerve-wracking plot, but the over-use of lengthy flashbacks slows it down quite a bit. Flashbacks in general are great in order to get to know the characters better, but shorter ones would have sufficed and not taken away from the suspense as much.
The characters themselves are diverse and interesting and I like that each of them has their own "voice".

I recommend this novel to teenagers as well as adults, who enjoy reading tragic stories à la "54 minutes" and "Girl Underwater".

catie0537's review against another edition

Go to review page

emotional reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes