Wait for Me
- Author: Sara Shepard
- Genre: YA Mystery
- Publication Date: November 1, 2022
- Publisher: Union Square and Co.
Thank you to Union Square and Co. for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
CONTENT WARNING: death of a parent, mention of trauma, mention of cancer, depiction of drowning, mental illness
Who is Casey Rhodes?
Is she a no-nonsense realist or a hopeless romantic? A just-getting-by scholarship student or a sometimes Cinderella, dating the cool, cultured heir to a media empire and New York City’s most eligible? At 17 years old and already in her sophomore year at NYU, Casey sheds disguises effortlessly. It’s how she navigates school and avoids the second-guessing she’s prone to since she and her boyfriend Marcus got together.
Then Casey starts hearing voices that terrify her so badly she flees to the remote beach town of Avon Shores. But the voices only get more intense, and are now accompanied by vivid visions of places she’s never been and people she’s never met. And then there’s Jakes, who’s lived in Avon Shores his whole life. There’s no way Casey could know him, yet she feels an immediate connection. What’s even weirder: he feels it, too.
Casey can’t shake the bond she feels with Jake and the sparks she’s never experienced before, certainly not with Marcus. All of this is so much bigger than just Casey and Jake—bigger even than the violent death of Casey’s mom; the cold, controlling stepmom who replaced her; and Marcus, who might know more than he’s letting on.
Everywhere Casey searches, she finds only more questions about Jake, Avon Shores, her memories…
And whose voice is she hearing inside her head?
Okay, time for a confession. I have never read Pretty Little Liars. I’ve never even seen a single episode. So I went into this completely blindly.
I was pulled into the story really quickly. Casey’s character was intriguing right from the start, and I liked getting into the head of a character who is so brilliant, yet never really feels fully comfortable in her own skin. She’s always planning her next move, donning some type of disguise, relying on her intellect rather than emotions to run her life. But when she starts hearing a voice inside her head, she starts operating on emotions and things start to unravel quickly for her.
At the midpoint of the book, there’s a major plot twist, and while there’s a small break in the action, the pace picks up again very quickly. I was frustrated with the effort to force Casey into an unreliable narrator role, and with the way that mental illness was portrayed. While I understand that I received an uncorrected proof, so hopefully this will be corrected in the finished copy, the name of the mental illness that was used in the book wasn’t an actual disorder, but rather a mashup of the older name of the disorder and the current name, which frustrated me endlessly. I didn’t think it was portrayed especially well.
Overall, this wasn’t a bad read, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. It was a quick read, and it was relatively fast-paced with a lot of buildup to a very tense ending. There’s a romantic subplot that plays a major part in the story, and I did enjoy seeing Casey learn how to balance her intellectual side with her emotional side, and come to terms with her traumatic past.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 5
Categories: Book Review