Waiting for Tom Hanks
Author: Kerry Winfrey
Publisher: Berkley (June 11, 2019)
Paperback, 320 pages
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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.
First and foremost, I’m a little unclear as to the audience for this romance novel, which is part of the reason I’m a little leery of the trend toward romance being published in trade paperbacks. I was expecting an adult romance but this reads more like a YA novel, except the heroine is 27 years old? Waiting for Tom Hanks is a good book, but it definitely reads more towards Women’s Fiction/”Chick Lit” than romance, in my opinion. I’d probably have liked it more (and rated it higher) if it had been marketed to me as YA/New Adult with the heroine’s age shifted down to 22-ish. And the fact that the sex in it is off-page “closed door” doesn’t have anything to do with the YA feel of this book – I’ve read plenty of closed-door romances that still read like adult novels. There’s something about the writing in this and also the personality of the main character that just reads as very YA/NA.
I quite liked some of the side characters, like Chloe and Uncle Don and the romantic interest, Drew. I just… didn’t care for Annie at all. For someone so into rom-coms she’s pretty clueless about what’s happening when her life basically turns into a rom-com. This book reminded me of the movie Isn’t It Romantic starring Rebel Wilson, where she gets bonked on the head and wakes up to find her life has become a rom-com, complete with conveniently bleeped out swearing and fast-forward to the next morning sex scenes – only way moreearnest. If you want a Hallmark movie type of rom-com that just frankly doesn’t go very deep but it some nice marshmallow fluff, and if you don’t mind a somewhat mildly annoying main character, go forWaiting for Tom Hanks. It’s not BAD, but it’s not really great either.