An #Audiobook Spotlight | feat. an #audiobook review of “Kate in Waiting” by Becky Albertalli

Posted Tuesday, 27 April, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

Book Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva

Borrowed Book By: Wickedly as soon as I read the premise for “Kate in Waiting” I knew I wanted to read it – and yet, I wasn’t sure if I could as most of #TheWriteReads blog tours feature novels which are a bit delayed reaching publication here stateside. Sometimes, like this particular blog tour, I was able to get a bit lucky and the pub dates were mutually beneficial for UK/Europe and American book bloggers – thereby, as I wasn’t sure which library of mine would be carrying the book itself – as I hadn’t yet connected the dots about the author’s previous canon of novels – I happily found it on order via my local library! I ended up first in the queue to receive it – but *five days!* from my tour date, I was growing worried. Would it arrive in time? Thereby I checked my regional library and *blessedly!* guess who bought the audiobook and the ebook? Mind you, I can’t read the ebook but I borrowed the audiobook immediately!!!

Therefore I borrowed the audiobook edition for “Kate in Waiting” via my regional library and was not required to post a review on behalf of the story or the audiobook version of the novel. In fact, I had to modify my tour stop as with three weeks of health afflictions (ie. extreme pollen allergies and a difficult bout of migraines) this April – I was just thankful I could find some joy in reading again by the weekend of the 23rd! The following spotlight review is being shared with my readers and the tour visitors for my own edification in continuing to share my readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. Whilst I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I love being part of the community of #TheWriteReads and I hope in future to continue hosting the authors on their blog tours – I keep an eye out on the stories I most desire to be reading in order to host a guest feature as print copies are a bit rare for these tours to request. I love hosting the conversations because it helps me feel a bit more rooted in the stories and I hope you’ll have the same takeaway yourself. Although when a conversation isn’t available to host, I like featuring the stories themselves to help give them a signal boost in case one of my readers and followers hasn’t yet discovered the story (or series) which has caught my bookish eye!

When I realised my local library purchased the print edition & my regional library had the audiobook – you could say I was wicked tickled silly! I mean, I could *finally!* read and/or listen to a novel everyone else was planning to read themselves — I’ve been a part of #TheWriteReads community for a few years now – however, I am not always able to host the blog tours.

I also have a lot to shoulder IRL between health & life as it evolves (as we all do!) – I don’t oft get the chance to visit the posts being featured on the Twitter feeds for the community – which is why if you’re part of #TheWriteReads community and your stopping by my review today – first off, bless you & thank you! (leave a note in my comments so I can visit your post if your on the same tour!) – this is why you might not see me sharing a lot of posts in the community. The past few years especially have been difficult off/on for health reasons and with my father’s recovery from his stroke in late 2016. This year, as ever, I am trying to be mindful of sharing content of others – whilst also finding time to visit with the book bloggers I regularly follow.

I had originally planned to host a respun Top Ten Tuesday today — but unfortunately for me, my mind wasn’t feeling creative this April as it battled through those health afflictions and I was more comfortable sharing a review than trying to put together a post worthy of one of my respun meme features! I hope you all won’t mind I deviated a bit from what I previously planned as I gave the story a bit of a go and decided to spotlight this novel instead of writing a full review as it turnt out it wasn’t my cuppa of tea as a reader.

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An #Audiobook Spotlight | feat. an #audiobook review of “Kate in Waiting” by Becky AlbertalliKate in Waiting
Subtitle: Break a leg, not your heart
by Becky Albertalli
Source: Borrowed from local library's CloudLibrary
Narrator: Bebe Wood

From bestselling YA Rom-Com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.


Kate Garfield
Anderson Walker

Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:

Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy's latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.

Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson

He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren't so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson's friendship...

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), LGBTQIA Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Upper YA Fiction, YA Contemporary

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780062643834


Published by Balzer and Bray

on 20th April, 2021

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 9 hours and 10 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Egmont Books (@egmontbooksuk)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers UK

?? Follow the narrator Bebe Wood (@BebeWood)

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NOTE: I would definitely consider this an Upper YA or New Adult novel.

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Available Formats: Hardback, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #Contemporary #UpperYA as well as #TheWriteReads & #KateInWaiting

About Becky Albertalli

Becky Albertalli

Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It's Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta.

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why I am spotlighting kate in waiting:

There is an extreme awkwardness in Kate’s approach at trying to speak with a voice tutor (ie. Matt) which shows the vulnerability of her age and also the emerging maturity of her growth towards affirming who she is and how she is affected by the world. She wants to act stronger and more mature but she’s not quite there yet and with the feelings she’s had and wants to express, she’s still in that moment of her life where words become muddled and what she wants to say becomes a bit of an awkward expression of a teenage girl.

What I found most interesting about how we’re meeting Kate is how she’s a girl ‘waiting’ for her time to come into the next stage of her life. To cross the bridge out of being just a girl who crushes on boys to a girl who can date them and find mutual respect in her relationships. Yet, she’s on the brink of this chapter being turnt because for now, she’s madly close to her best friend Anderson (ie. Andy) of whom she shares mutual crushes on each Summer. The interesting bit there is how Albertalli handles Kate talking about this slippery slope in their lives but also, how she honestly explores Kate’s own theories about it, her feelings and what her internal thoughts are concluding about how her and Anderson are quite joined at the hip but are still mutually distant from pursuing anything other than the friendship they have right now. It felt as if this might even be a one-side crush on her point when it comes to Anderson whereas his own affections and crushes seemed to be more definitively placed and executed. Time would tell in that regard but as we’re hearing from Kate in the beginning of the story, this is what I was observing to be true.

When Kate was assuring Anderson about his choice in back to school for Junior year wardrobe choices – I had an immediate flashback to Dawson’s Creek – as Joey would always enter Dawson’s bedroom window whenever she wanted to consult with him about something or rather everything that she felt was imperative to discuss with him. That close connection they shared and the non-boundary they had in their friendship where they were in each others’ pockets felt reminiscent in how Albertalli was approaching Kate and Andy’s friendship. (and yes, I watched Dawson’s Creek as it originally aired – not through a binge watch after the series concluded. still regret to this day I didn’t venture to visit Wilmington whilst the cast was living there.)

I unfortunately didn’t get too far afield into the storyline – as once I stumbled into how Kate talks about the athletes in her high school I took a hard exit from the book. Mostly as I encountered the one reason why I shy away from a lot of Contemporary YA stories – the vulgarity and context of stories being told therein. I’m the kind of reader who believes ‘less is more’ when it comes to strong language in literature overall – however, I do give a few passes on vulgarity when a story is approaching to discuss Mental Health and especially stories involving PTSD. Yet when YA dips its toes into sounding more adult and having more adult context and content – for me, those aren’t traditional YA stories but Adult stories set in a YA world. I wish they’d be reclassified as Upper YA or New Adult as a forewarning for readers like me to differentiate between them but alas I still fall for them every blue moon.

The irony is as you will see by my notes on behalf of Ms Wood’s narration style – this had a solid premise and opening in the audiobook. If it hadn’t taken such a hard turn at that junction of the story, I would have held on and continued with it because I was enjoying the character(s) and the direction of the story up until that point. I feel this is better suited to the readers who enjoy this part of YA and of course, are already readers of the author’s collective works. It might not have suited my readerly interest and I already know its been well received on the blog tour. I’m just sad that I couldn’t be one of the readers who could fully embrace it.

Fly in the Ointment: Language and Context

Huh. I honestly didn’t think I’d take issue with this novel – especially after sorting out the rhythm and vibe of it with the courtesy of the chapter sampler and then, starting to feel attached into the narration of Ms Wood; but once I started to listen to the third track of the audiobook – where Kate is discussing the jocks in her high school, I definitely wanted to take an immediate exit from the novel. I’m not sure what has happened in the years since I’ve graduated but my bestie and I as well as our peers handled that subject far better than apparently the current crop of high schoolers if this is how high schoolers talk about it now. Especially since all schools have their jocks and all schools have their share of girls and boys who experiment with causal relationships and/or have outright multiple partners.

However, aside from one trend in my middle school years that involved similar blunted vulgarity to account for a particular hobby of my peer group – I haven’t heard it expressed this bluntly since then. My high school most likely was more tame or either more advanced in some ways to handle those situations – in regards to those who wanted to pursue that option knew whom they could seek out with mutual consent and those who wanted to respect their beliefs and the morality they had already established in those regards, did uphold them as well. High school is a miniature living ecosystem of life – everyone is going to make different choices and live different lives and whatever someone chooses for themselves is okay as its their choice.

That aside, honestly? When did the world fall in love with a certain four letter word? I’m glad my ears didn’t have to entertain it all those years ago – as like I said, not that much has changed as similar situations and circumstances were afire in my school as well but as I had said, apparently my peers handled it differently than Kate’s. Of course, I did graduate before Sex in the City aired so perhaps that had a lot to do with it too.

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#AudioReads banner created by Jorie in Canva. Unsplash Photography (Creative Commons Zero) Photo Credit: Alice Moore

In regards to the audiobook directly:

I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrator(s):

This is my first time listening to BeBe Wood.

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

Kate: She has the innocence of youth in her voice – the kind of voice you can tell someone is on the brink of coming-of age and settling into their own skin. She is at that time in her life where she’s sorting out who she is and how she feels about people. Not just her peers and friends at large but everyone around her including teachers and/or tutors. She has a way of organising her thoughts in a process that she understands and tries to convey to others – where everything interconnects and has a purpose for being shared. Such as we all did at her age.

How the story sounded to me as it was being Read: (theatrical or narrative)

Ms Wood has a spoken narrative styling in this audiobook – she reads young and that is fittingly brilliant for her representation of Kate. I definitely felt a younger voiced narrator would be needed to realistically bring Kate to life and she brought an authenticity to the character due to how her voice translated the novel through her narration, too. I’m not sure how old Ms Wood is in real life but she absolutely embraced the character of Kate and for that, she had my admiration!! She has such a deft skill at narrating and especially of bridging us into that time in our lives where we were just on the brink of discovering who we are and our own self-identity in the process.

Regards to Articulation & Performance of the story:


Ms Wood articulated everything very well – she has such a distinctive voice profile which shines through how she gave us Kate and how Kate appeared to us through her narration. You definitely couldn’t mistake Kate as a teenager as she wasn’t voiced as an adult might think a teenager would sound but rather her character came through as a teenage does sound and that made a difference in how her character was presented.


I truly felt Ms Wood embraced the role as narrating this story – she gave such a strong presentation of the characters and etched out an emotional reaction through her narration as well. It was a strong and solid performance.

Notes on the Quality of Sound & the Background Ambiance:

The sound quality was perfect – no distractions and just a clean and crisp final copy.

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

This is one of those audiobooks I had to lean on a chapter sampler online whilst listening to the first opening bits of the audiobook as I was having trouble shifting into the vibe of the storyline. It happens every so often – though usually not for a YA title. The last time it happened was when I was attempting to listen to The London Restoration – which is why I had to await having both the audiobook and the book to go between in order to get the gist of it rather than strictly hear the audiobook itself. This time round, it wasn’t the immense information being thrown at me which threw me for a loop – it was the format of introduction. I’ve had a bit of a break listening and reading YA and as this is my first novel by this author – her style took a bit for me to break into which is why the chapter sampler (courtesy of my library) helped me loads! The print copy was meant to be available *before!* my tour stop but unfortunately for me, the library didn’t receive their shipment of the book and thereby, I had the audiobook by itself.

I’ve decided that if some audiobooks throw me and I need to fetch a print copy to understand the layers of the novel without only going by the narrator themselves, I’m okay with that now. I’ve been listening to audiobooks since [2016] and apparently, some audiobooks and narrators are better off with the companion book in print for me to find the story’s rhythm. Others might disagree or might prefer one or the other formats. This definitely would have worked better for me with both formats but I pushed through and walked away with the experience I had as related on this review.

In closing, would I seek out another Bebe Wood audiobook?

Yes, but perhaps a different style of story and genre – as I’m not sure I’m a good fit for traditional YA stories which is something I’ve noticed over the years. I tend to fit into YA from a different section than the mainstay choices which become super popular and that’s okay with me. We all like different stories and different authors – and although, there are some Contemporary YA authors out there I’ve appreciated finding – I’m noticing that these stories which are more adult than YA in scope and delivery are simply not my cuppa.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Kate in Waiting blog tour banner provided by The Write Reads and is used with permission.

Be sure to follow all the lovely tags on Twitter to seek out more exciting
content on this HUGE blog tour celebrating the book + the author!!

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 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Bookish conversations are welcome on Jorie Loves A Story. Even if I had a different reaction to a story than you did – I’d love to hear your thoughts on behalf of the stories I’m reading. If you’ve read and reviewed this novel – kindly leave a link to your review in the Comments. Not all stories can be mutually loved but I love engaging with the book blogging community; whether we share our reactions or find ourselves loving different books from one another. Thanks for spending some time with me and reading my blog.

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NOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Kate in Waiting”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Becky Albertalli, the tour banner and book tour banner were all provided by The Write Reads and are used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #Audioreads banner, Book Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2021.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Tuesday, 27 April, 2021 by jorielov in #TheWriteReads, 21st Century, Audiobook, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), School Life & Situations, Upper YA Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, Young Adult Fiction

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2 responses to “An #Audiobook Spotlight | feat. an #audiobook review of “Kate in Waiting” by Becky Albertalli

  1. Excellent, well rounded post. I appreciate your honesty with your thoughts on the language used in the book. I too posted a spotlight instead of a review for the same reason. I just couldn’t face reading further, it spoiled what otherwise may have been a great book. I did not mention this on my blog, but admire you for doing so. I love that you gave so much insight into the narrator as well, it can make a massive difference to audio books to have the right one for the style of book. Hope we end up on another blog tour together soon! Katrina x

    • Hallo, Hallo Katrina,

      What a wonderful comment to receive! :) I truly appreciate your thoughts on this novel and for letting me know someone else shared my strong opinions about what took me out of the story. That doesn’t happen very often. I started to talk openly about vulgarity in literature during my first year as a book blogger. Back then, without realising it – I was being a bit bolder than most and over the years, I developed my Fly in the Ointment sections. Most of those would be considered content warnings by today’s wordage and standards, but as a book blogger just starting out and rediscovering her love of reading after a long hiatus – I was quite started by how much vulgarity even then I was finding in literature. Irregardless of genre. For me, this has become a long standing argument I’ve had with Contemporary YA or what I consider Traditional YA but others would call Upper YA. I like to make the distinction that if a story is going to open that door they need to open it and then label the story Upper YA for that particular reason. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your thoughts and letting me know someone else on the blog tour had this same experience I had – the shock of it really, and the disappointment of what we both found inside the novel.

      Never feel afraid to be more bold in what turns you off a novel. I’ve had authors respect me for this over the years and some of them, even write gentler stories now for the audience they have who prefers it. I appreciate your kind compliments about the audiobook notes section as well. Whenever I talk about audiobooks I’ve developed this style of notetaking – as I want to help everyone know which narrators really help you settle into a character and the mind of the writer whose created this world for us to listen too. The best narrators for me are the ones who give such a well-rounded performance (ie. voice, style, accent, characterisation, narrative omnipresence, etc) are the ones I want to highlight on my blog. So happy you enjoyed that section!! I would have continued it if I had continued with the story but I felt it was still a positive move to show what I took out of what I heard even if it was limited in scope of the fuller story.

      Ooh, I do as well! I hope we’ll be matched up again soon. I must visit your blog! Thanks for the conversation and the praise.

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