Etta

Review: Waiting for Tom Hanks (#1)

Published June 11th 2019, 259 pages

Author: Kerry Winfrey

Overview from Goodreads:

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 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? 

Personal Review

This novel is itching to become the feel-good cheesy rom-com of the season on the silver screen. That being said, cheesy definitely describes this book, but that was its appeal and I practically read this book in a few hours as I couldn’t stop myself from continuing to pour through the pages.

Our leading lady is Annie, who is a little clumsy, loves rom-coms, and working to become a screen writer. She has the idea of her perfect guy in her mind – a Tom Hanks – sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat. The subject of her in-progress screenplay is her best friend Chloe and Nick (Chloe’s boss) at the coffee shop where they work and Annie is a frequent customer. When a blockbuster movie production rolls in to town, Annie lands herself as an assistant on-set. Her will they-won’t they is the movie’s lead actor – Drew. Here is where our leading lady becomes a part of the story compared to writing about it.

The characters are witty and love to banter with each other. They are relatable as you could envision yourself having similar types of speaking patterns with your own friends. Nick and Chloe steal the scene as they are just fun characters. Annie isn’t the greatest friend, but she does have some good interactions with both Nick and Chloe. By creating this dynamic between the characters, the writer allows the reader to absorb the personalities of characters rather than write out each of their individual traits.

Like any and all romantic comedies, the story is easy to predict and conflict isn’t actually conflict as you know how the ending will turn out. That’s one of the reasons why these are fantastic reads as you go into it knowing the beginning and the end, but you are all about the ride of how they from point A to point B. Annie experiences life at a new job, keeping up with her dream of screenwriting, hanging out with her friends, finding a love-life that may or may not include Drew as he’s not the Tom Hanks-like man she pictured in head, and living with her fun, nerdy, and quirky Uncle Don.

There are many times, especially one big conflict, where Annie shows her true selfish nature where she looks at only her side of everything and it takes a lot of work for her to see how one action can affect the life of someone outside herself. This happens multiple times in the book, whether it’s something she says or it’s something she does. For me, I took her with a grain of salt and didn’t fixate too much on anything she said or did, which is why I enjoyed the book overall compared to other reviews I’ve seen. (You’d have to read the novel for yourself to see which side you fall on with the like or dislike arguments for Annie.) The other characters more than made up for any of the faults I found in Annie and every time I read their scenes, I would temporarily forgive any negative actions on Annie’s part. I can’t wait to read the sequel that will focus more on Chloe especially as she was well-written, even though she’s not prominent on every page.

The characters overall in this story were very likable and relatable. Although you have the famous actor who meets and becomes the love interest of some “random”girl, which doesn’t exactly happen all the time, the writer writes the events of the story in a very realistic fashion where you start to wonder if this story could come to life. Of course there are moments that just all seem to be too convenient, but all romantic comedy stories do. You will always be at the right place at the right time, seem adorable to others when in your head you’re a mess, etc. The novel navigates all of these incidents with ease and I’ll repeat myself again where I need to see this novel brought to life where I can watch it on repeat.

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