Waiting Carol Lynch Williams Book Review

London has grown up ALL OVER THE WORLD, but now she lives in Florida after her missionary parents decided to settle down. When her brother Zach dies, the family implodes. Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams focuses on the impact the death of a child/sibling can have on a family.

Waiting Carol Lynch Williams Book Cover


Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams is a contemporary young adult book told in verse. I liked the style/form the story took because there’s just something heavy about a page where you know words are painstakingly chosen. The words actually have an effect, and it seems in this case that less is more.

I should mention that Waiting is not an easy book. It’s a heavy and dark story with a heck of a train wreck. What happens to London’s family and how each member deals with it is gut-wrenching. At multiple points I wanted to shake different characters because they were making BAD LIFE CHOICES and it’s uncomfortable to see.

Also, the theme of sexuality is explored as London engages in a love triangle with Zach’s best friend AND the new boy as a means of attention seeking and finding comfort. I wasn’t too sure what to think of London’s actions at first.  I was like GET IT GIRL, but then was all you are doing this for the WRONG reasons. It’s quite the reader’s dilemma, how to silently judge a character.

Finally, I will come out and say that I thought the ending of Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams was whack. I mean, I like how it wasn’t tied in a neat and perfect bow, some of the parts. BUT, there is an event that happened where I was totally shaking my head going – what is this? I was not down for the end, but I know we all have different points where we are willing to suspend our disbelief. Maybe you are more willing to suspend it than I am and will thus love Waiting, but I found it to merely be an okay book.

Disclosure: Received for review.

Other reviews of Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams:


Other Carol Lynch Williams Books Reviewed:

Miles From Ordinary

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Oh how I hate when characters make bad choices… for me, that can really make or break a book, and the ending has to tie it all together. Unfortunately, this doesn’t sound like it does 🙁

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

    • YES! It’s really hard for me to read about bad life choices, but at the same time, with some contemporaries it is necessary for the character to learn something.

  2. I must say on the ending, since you’ve mentioned it in your review, that the moment I realized a particular character and a particular event were going to be brought back into play & said event was to be a mislead… (how do I explain that chunk without being spoilery?)… well, I didn’t like it much either. It felt like a cop-out. It felt like Zach was a horrible listener, and maybe he was, but how terrible his depression really was was only just being hinted at, and all of that culminated in a way that I think made Zach’s death slightly more villainous, which did not mesh up well with his being a hurting and confused and desperate teen.

    I did, however, catch on with that direction the moment R came back into play — it was like the, “Oh, so it’s going to go in this predictable direction now.” The other bits of the ending, though, I did rather like.

    • I know exactly what you are vaguely saying. See, I do think that is kind of inconsistent characterization which turned me off.

      Yeah, I liked bits of the ending too, but the R thing really turned me off.

  3. I’ve read two of Carol’s books in the past and I really enjoy her style. I definitely agree about the words. Verse novels always seem to have such a big impact.

  4. HMM. I just ordered a copy of this. I love your review, and I’m curious to see what the eff happens at the end and how I feel about it. Thanks for the review, April!

  5. Wow, I really didn’t like the sound of this: the cover, the plot, the composition. And, apparently, I made a good call. This would so not be my thing.

  6. I love your review style. I can totally picture you saying all of this to me. Which is the best. I think Magan is sending me this book soonish to read and I’m looking forward to deciphering this “whack” ending. haha. I like the way you break down characters and talk about what their motives might be. It’s important! I don’t know if everyone realizes how analytical one can get over YA. 🙂

    • Thanks, Estelle. To be honest, it was really hard to write this review and I didn’t quite feel ‘on’ as I wrote it, but I’m very appreciative of your compliment. 🙂


  7. Hmmmm. This sounds like it’s definitely a challenging read! I can tell I would be getting up and walking away from it on several occasions, and I’m both curious about and terrified of the ending! I’m not sure I want to make my way through the whole book only to get to the end and be like WHAT?! I crave that pretty, neat bow at the end:) Fabulous review April!

    • It is such a rough read, I assumed that because it was verse I would wing through and walk away unaffected, but after finishing it, I just felt depressed.

      And I mean, maybe you will really like the ending!

      Thank you Jenny!

  8. Sounds like my kind of book, thanks for review.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  9. I just finished this one last weekend and really enjoyed it. It was my first book to read after Insurgent, so I think that it was simply so different is maybe why I connected with it so much. Also, loved the writing style. Probably one of my favorite verse books that I’ve read so far. 🙂 Great review, April!

    • I am glad you loved it! I find that when I read drastically different books, I end up connecting with them differently and better, perhaps because there’s no constant comparison.


    I had to say it. I had to. But honestly? This still seems like a book I’d like. Maybe it’s the fact that I love the cover. MAYBE I’m a cover whore. But I like hard books & difficult reads. Though I do so love your review, as well <3

    • LOLOLOL.

      Well, yeah I think a lot of people will like Waiting, which is awesome, and I liked a lot of the book even though the ending definitely wasn’t the one for me.

  11. I skimmed this review because I’m reading it in a couple of days. I got a finished copy in the mail and it is beautiful. Seriously, I can’t stop looking at it. And I really love verse.

    I’m REALLY kinda getting into this contemps thing.