Thursday, July 18, 2019

Waiting For Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Waiting For Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
Release Date - June 11, 2019
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House 
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  274 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**borrowed from a friend**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A rom-com-obsessed romantic waiting for her perfect leading man learns that life doesn't always go according to a script in this delightfully charming and funny novel.

Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who's sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.
When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn't be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can't be an actor who's leaving town in a matter of days...can he?
Fans of classic rom-coms will delight in Kerry Winfrey's debut. It gives you the same comfort and blissfully happy feeling that watching your favourite rom-com does. It's filled with all different kinds of love and the way it shapes us. It's a celebration of not just the rom-com but of taking chances, and stepping outside your comfort zone for the things that really matter.

Annie's dreamed of the day that she'll meet her own Tom Hanks. She wants the epic meet cute, and to move straight on to her happily ever after. She wants her life to play out exactly like all of her favourite movies. This element of the book is meshed with the idea that nothing in reality could really live up to that. Real life is messy and complicated. Annie's determination to have the rom-com means that she is, as her friends point out, possibly missing out on something great that may not be 'perfect' but is perfect for her. We eventually see that it is a defense mechanism that is tied up in grief and self preservation.

Annie's the type of character you may not like. She can be a lot at times. You will want to scream at her to see what is right in front of her. However, every single thing she does, every decision she makes, works with who the character is. Kerry Winfrey ensured that the essence of who this character is, and the past that drives her, comes through in everything she does. I still rooted for her even when I was frustrated by some of the choices she was making. The more realistic and honest a characters actions seem the more that character will resonate and that is true for Annie.

Drew is an easy to like love interest. He's level headed, down to earth, and a dreamy Hollywood actor. He's exactly what is needed in a 'Tom Hanks', even if Annie doesn't see it right away. Drew and Annie's romance sparks with the banter that the two have. The spark is there right from the minute they have their version of the meet cute. Their scenes together are really some of my favourite simply because the chemistry is evident. The pacing of their romance is a little bit of a whirlwind but it works so perfectly for what this story is.

All of the characters, from minor to main, are all written very lovingly. Kerry Winfrey is, obviously, a fan of romantic comedies and I get the impression she feels like everyone deserves their own version. That shone through the way she wrote everyone and made the story feel quaint in a really cozy way.

This book has fun with all of the classic tropes we all love from rom-coms and circumvents it. It twists them while still leaning into them in a way that felt natural. Everything from the meet cute, the obstacle to be overcome, to the really well done grand gesture, had something about it that laid homage while still being Annie' s story. I particularly liked what was done with the grand gesture.

This book plays on Annie's desire for her own real life rom-com and  balances the idea of reality with the classic tropes of a traditional rom-com. It paints the picture that life may not be like the movies but there may just be a little bit of magic to be found in romance, friendships, and family.

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