Waiting For You

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? (Goodreads)

The Story:

Marisa is waiting for love, for her first real boyfriend. She has her eye on Derek, that cute, popular guy who’s always flirting with her. He has a girlfriend, but he’s still super-dreamy (because guys who flirt regardless of their girlfriends are sooooo hot). She’s also just rekindled her friendship with her childhood buddy, Nash.  He’d be cute if her weren’t so geeky.  Marisa wonders when love will find her, but soon she begins to ask herself if it’s been there all along.

I think that’s how life can be sometimes. That’s how love was for me, so this premise intrigued me as a cute, girly summer read.

My Take:

I like Marisa. She’s a nice girl who hopes for love, but isn’t an idiot about it.  She crushes on Derek, which is understandable to a certain degree (hey, he’s cute, he’s popular and he’s flirting with her. In high school, this does big things for your ego), but like I mentioned, Senor Derek has a girlfriend.  And then there’s Nash. He clearly likes Marisa and she’s not feeling it. But whoa, when he gets a girlfriend, that little green monster creeps up on her a bit. She doesn’t make it obvious to Nash, but she begins to wonder why she feels that way (and Marisa, I’m so with you. I felt that way about a guy in high school and I married him. Just sayin).

While Marisa’s romantic life seems to bloom and her friendships are solid, her home life is a bit of a mess and understandably, this brings Marisa a great deal of anxiety. What I found odd was that Colasanti alludes to Marisa having previous issues with anxiety and depression, but then she barely glosses over this element of the story.  In my experience, there have been other books that have been able to take on serious issues such as these without making them the central theme of the story and yet without breezing over them (any novel by Sarah Dessen comes to mind). In this book, I felt that the subject was raised, but never truly addressed and then suddenly it was brushed under the carpet and all was well again.

Crush Intensity: 3.0/5 Overall, I liked the basic story, but I never felt any true attachment to the characters. I’ve recently seen Colasanti’s books compared to the aforementioned Sarah Dessen and I must respectfully disagree. While the two books I’ve read by her have been entertaining, they’ve never reached the heights of humor, nor the depths of emotion. And don’t even get me started on the swoon. These books are more of a YA Chick Lit. And I don’t feel that’s a bad thing at all.

Something Like Fate

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

Best friends Lani and Erin couldn’t be more different. Lani’s reserved and thoughtful; Erin’s bubbly and outgoing. Lani likes to do her own thing; Erin prefers an entourage. There’s no possible way they could be interested in the same guy.
So when Erin starts dating Jason, Lani can’t believe she feels such a deep connection with him–and it may be mutual. The more Lani fights it, the more certain she feels that it’s her fate to be with Jason. But what do you do when the love of your life is the one person you can’t have? (Goodreads)

The Story:

Lani and Erin have been besties 4 evah, their fates sealed together when Erin saved Lani’s life in a car accident when they were kids. Now, although they are total opposites, they’re sort of a perfect match.  Erin is vibrant and outgoing; Lani is cautious and hopelessly devoted to charting her course through horoscopes, her Magic 8 ball and a whole lotta other crazy business.  She’s the yin to Erin’s yang. Or vice versa.

When Erin sets eyes on Jason, Lani is pretty convinced he’s like every other crush Erin’s ever had—forgettable.  Only he’s not. He’s kind of amazing.  And perfect for Lani.  There’s an undeniable attraction between them except that, hello, you don’t steal your BFFs boyfriend unless you’re a totally terrible person or you’re Kelly from the original 90210 (in which case you’re totally justified because Brenda was a bish).  It’s sort of the law. Really.  And Lani does a decent job of avoiding said boyfriend stealing (OK, she does a terrible job, but she wants to do a good job). Until Erin leaves for summer camp.

I know! It’s like 90210 again!  It’s like she wants them together! I mean, she has to know that they’re going o spend the whole summer making goo goo eyes at each other (exactly like Dylan and Kelly, except Dylan and Kelly did more than that).

Holy crap this brings back memories

But here’s the thing: Erin trusts Lani completely. She doesn’t know about Lani’s feelings.

And here’s the other thing: I hate cheater stories. For reals. And while Lani and Jason aren’t technically cheaters, they may as well be. Even if Jason and Erin broke up, it wouldn’t solve Lani’s problem because while you don’t date your BFFs boyfriend you also don’t ever date your BFF’s ex.  You’re supposed to dump on him and hate him like a good friend. Doesn’t Lani know any of this?

I think she does know, but she literally can’t help herself. Her connection to Jason is that strong.  And I’m tearing Jason up a bit, but in actuality he’s a good guy. He’s sweet. He wants to do the right thing. And he really, really cares for Lani.

So you can see the dilemma, right?

No, me either. You don’t date your bestie’s boyfriend. End. Of. Story.  That’s why I never truly fell for this book.  Oh, there were moments (Lani and Jason write notes in code and it is to die for adorable), but as much as I liked them together, I felt indignant on behalf of Erin. On behalf of all the girls out there who should be able to trust their friends above anyone else.

Crush Intensity: 2.75/5 I really liked Erin and Lani’s relationship (outside of the boyfriend stuff).  There were good moments with Jason as well, but otherwise I just couldn’t get behind this story.

Soundtrack: Wow, so if I haven’t already dated myself enough with the 90210 references, let me dig that hole a little deeper. On that show Brenda was dating Dylan, the thirty year-old high school hottie on a motorcycle. Brenda,  a ginormous beeotch of immense proportions, was off to Paris for the summer with one of her besties, Donna.  And poor little Kelly, Brenda’s other BFF, was home all by her wittle wonesome. Oh, but don’t worry. Dylan was willing to keep her company. He’s a giver, you know. And Kelly obviously had the hots for him, as all breathing females did, although she tried in vain to hide it.

Anyhoo, the TV trailers for that show were KILLER. They had all these teasing images of Kelly and Dylan on the beach talking, looking awfully cozy. And in the background, this song was playing. I felt it was appropriate for this book as well. It’s kinda cheesy, but whenever I hear it I think of cheaters. And that summer with 90210.