I received this book for free from Berkley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
Published by Berkley on June 11, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.
Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously, before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.
This book was just not for me. Actually, that’s not completely true. It was well-written, and if the next book in the series involves the couple I think it will, I’ll probably read it. Annie Cassidy, the main character, was absolutely not for me. Annie Cassidy is a fully-grown, fully-functioning, 27-year-old adult. And she loves romantic comedies. And, look. I like rom-coms. I watch them all, and I glory in their cheese and their unrealistic setups and situations. I need them to function in a world that’s as fucked up as this one is.
But they are not real life. Annie, our fully-grown 27-year-old, will settle for nothing less. And I don’t mean that she wants a love like she sees in the movies. She expects all of it. The meet-cute. The serendipitous run-ins that don’t make any sense. A houseboat. The miscommunication. The black moment. The grovel. And if she doesn’t get it, she’s not interested. Literally. Her dream man could approach her at a party and say hello, and she would send him packing because it’s not enough of an adorable meeting. She literally continued dating a man in this book that she felt nothing for, solely because he owned a houseboat, which must mean that he’s her Tom Hanks. It was ridiculous.
And the way she treated Drew in the beginning was deplorable. She’s seen and read interviews that he’s done, and quick talk spots on various red carpets, and Drew is always smiling and making jokes. Which, in Annie’s mind, means that he doesn’t take anything seriously, he’s a fuckboy, and doesn’t appreciate anything he has. BECAUSE HE LIKES TO MAKE JOKES. She treats him like shit. They go to grab some dinner at one point, and he opens the door for her. “You don’t have to do that,” I snap, about to tell him not to make fun of me by opening door as if I’m the famous person and he’s my driver.” WHAT? Who the fuck thinks that when someone opens the door for them? Even if you’re somehow insulted by someone opening a door from you, how do you get to that explanation for it?
I had no patience for Annie and her ridiculous ideas. I liked Drew, he was fine. He seemed like a nice guy who is in fact, not a fuckboy, but deeply cares about the people in his life. He deserved better than Annie. Especially after the black moment Annie was so interested in having. She certainly got it. By doing something so awful to Drew that I wanted him to walk away and never even look at her again. I am not a lawyer, but he probably could have taken legal action against her. It was so egregious that I had to read it 3 times because I thought I had to be reading it wrong. And for her to then turn around and act like she was the wronged party had me actually shaking with rage. I was so mad at her, in a way I can’t remember being mad at a fictional character before. She absolutely did NOT deserve Drew’s forgiveness, and frankly, the fact that he did forgive her, made me respect him a little less. If he was going to forgive her, it needed to come after days, weeks, months of groveling. Not one rom-com worthy speech after a rom-com worthy stunt. I hated everything about the last 50 pages of this book so much that it actually dwarfed my annoyance with Annie from the first 200 pages.
Bottom line, I cannot, in good conscience recommend this book to anyone. I’ve given it 2 stars instead of 1 because it was as well-written as it was. But do yourself a favor and wait for the follow-up. If it follows Nick and Chloe, it should be better.