All We Can Do is Wait
Written by: Richard Lawson
Number of Pages: 275
Average Rating: 3.95 / 5 stars
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Summary According to Goodreads
In the hours after a bridge collapse rocks their city, a group of Boston teenagers meet in the waiting room of Massachusetts General Hospital:
Siblings Jason and Alexa have already experienced enough grief for a lifetime, so in this moment of confusion and despair, Alexa hopes that she can look to her brother for support. But a secret Jason has been keeping from his sister threatens to tear the siblings apart… right when they need each other most.
Scott is waiting to hear about his girlfriend, Aimee, who was on a bus with her theatre group when the bridge went down. Their relationship has been rocky, but Scott knows that if he can just see Aimee one more time, if she can just make it through this ordeal and he can tell her he loves her, everything will be alright.
And then there’s Skyler, whose sister Kate - the sister who is more like a mother, the sister who is basically Skyler’s everything - was crossing the bridge when it collapsed. As the minutes tick by without a word from the hospital staff, Skyler is left to wonder how she can possible move through life without the one person who makes her feel strong when she’s at her weakest.
This is a novel that was very high on my “most anticipated” list of 2018, and I was not disappointed!
When trying to explain and describe a character-driven novel, this is the best example to use. We are following the traumatic lives of four teenagers over a period of 12-hours, while also getting glimpses into their past to see what brought them to that place. It was told in multiple-perspectives from these four teens, and bounced between past and present sporadically, which was something to adjust to but did fit the tone of the book. These teens are panicked, and upset, and manic in their thoughts, it made so much sense for the story to be presented in the way that it was.
I was originally going to rate this novel four stars, but I could not get over how amazing the writing was considering this was his debut novel. It is obvious that he spent a lot of time working on this novel, flushing out the details and the characters, and building an atmosphere. There wasn’t instalove, or cliches, just a diverse cast all brought together through unfortunate circumstances. I really hope that he continues to write as I will pick up any of his future releases! He has a true talent!
It is quite rare for a novel to make me cry, but this one did just that. I was so engaged in the story and the characters, it was heartbreaking to watch them suffer. I truly wanted the best for all of the characters involved, but was able to feel that the characters felt that way for each other as well. I am struggling to choose a favourite character because they were all so real and intriguing. I liked Alexa’s determination, Skyler’s level-headedness, Jason’s independence, and Scott’s passion. I would have liked to see more closure, but I also respect the decision to leave reader’s hoping. Hope was the clear theme throughout the entire novel, and I thought it was handled well.
Overall, this was amazing and will no doubt be on my favourites for the year. It was so realistic, and the characters were so raw, paired with an amazing writing style, made this story one that I could not put down. It has only be out for less than two weeks, but I recommend picking it up!