Blog Tour: All We Can Do Is Wait by Richard Lawson Review


About the Book

9780448494111Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble

In the hours after a bridge collapse rocks their city, a group of Boston teenagers meet in the waiting room of Massachusetts General Hospital:

Siblings Jason and Alexa have already experienced enough grief for a lifetime, so in this moment of confusion and despair, Alexa hopes that she can look to her brother for support. But a secret Jason has been keeping from his sister threatens to tear the siblings apart…right when they need each other most.

Scott is waiting to hear about his girlfriend, Aimee, who was on a bus with her theater group when the bridge went down. Their relationship has been rocky, but Scott knows that if he can just see Aimee one more time, if she can just make it through this ordeal and he can tell her he loves her, everything will be all right.

And then there’s Skyler, whose sister Kate—the sister who is more like a mother, the sister who is basically Skyler’s everything—was crossing the bridge when it collapsed. As the minutes tick by without a word from the hospital staff, Skyler is left to wonder how she can possibly move through life without the one person who makes her feel strong when she’s at her weakest.

In his riveting, achingly beautiful debut, Richard Lawson guides readers through an emotional and life-changing night as these teens are forced to face the reality of their pasts…and the prospect of very different futures.

Mandy’s Review

*Thanks so much to Penguin for sending me over a copy of this!! It did not change my opinion of this book at all!**

This was like super super super well-written? Like, if this is how debuts are going to be for 2018, I might be finally able to break my rating slump because this was super good. It was raw and real and just exactly all the heartbreak and emotion that I thought it was going to be.

To explain the book, you have to think of it not as a linear format. I like to think of it as a collection of moments in these people’s lives brought together in a bridge collapse. We have two things going on at the same time – the aftermath of a huge disaster and delving into what brought our characters to this exact moment in their lives. It’s little vignettes with the tension of these characters’ loved ones’ fate in the balance. It might not be for everyone since it does have moments of slow going and in-depth characterization focuses instead of just vrooming through the answers of the characters, but it was well-executed, timed well, and gave a good balance of the backstory and the presence. Everything was kind of timed perfectly, and I’m so insanely jealous of this???? WHY I CAN’T DO THAT? *forever crying*

The characters were all super intriguing and well done as well. I had two clear favorites, and they were Alexa and Skyler. I loved them dearly. Both of them were achingly real and raw and I felt their emotions with them. I most connected with Alexa, and I literally was going, you go, girl, I feel you the entire book. She was lost, and I just wanted her to be found so badly. Both girls were exceedingly strong and their voices were clear and realistic. I also found their stories to be the most captivating.

Scott was okay. I think he kind of got the short end of the stick when it came to the end since the story focused a lot more on Alexa, Jason, and Skyler at the end. I did enjoy parts of his story, though, and I was into it for the most part. I kind of wanted a bit more resolution for him. I hated Jason for like 3/4 of the novel, but I mean, I did understand his point of view and the fact that he was suffering and had a right to be. I guess I was just so deep with Alexa that I projected my feelings for Jason from her. But I think his character was still done wonderfully and he had all the little dynamics and flaws that was good for a character. I just kind of had a -_- face on him for a long time. Morgan was okay, too.

The other side characters were intriguing, too, and I can pretty much name almost all the side characters – and there were many – because they were so dynamic and stood out. Kyle was intriguing and I loved Kate, Skyler’s sister. I was really impressed with this since I tend to forget like everyone but the main characters and the trusty, funny sidekick. XD

The writing was very good as well. The tone felt like such a pro storyteller format, and I was just super impressed. I feel like this is a story that was just meant to be narrated and it gave it a cool feeling – but maybe too cool because I was never completely sucked into the story to get my crying game on. However, at times, I did feel quite detached from the story. This story isn’t one for warm and fuzzies, but I just wanted…well, a bit more of a strong emotional pull to it than what I was getting. I just didn’t get to the emotional level even though I was invested in the storyline and characters.

ariel tag
Ariel was glad she was in the sea for this one so she didn’t have to hide her tears.

Also, maybe study your Massachusetts’ map because I felt so clueless with all the mentions about the places in it, lol???

P.S. no instalove!!!! Just truly deep and well developed love.

This was a great read, and I devoured it in pretty much 24 hours straight. The writing was fantastic, I truly enjoyed some of the characters, and the format did the story well. I did feel detached from the story at parts and I kind of really didn’t like one of the characters, but it was still a really enjoyable read. Lawson provided a fantastic debut, and if he keeps writing contemporaries like this, I definitely think I’m going to keep reading them for a long time. 4 crowns and an Ariel rating!

four stars

About the Author

Richard Lawson Author Photo 2018

Richard Lawson is the film critic for Vanity Fair and a co-host of V.F.‘s Little Gold Men podcast. He has written for The GuardianThe Atlantic Wire, Gawker, and Out magazine, and has contributed to the Dinner Party Download radio show. Though currently living in New York City, Richard was born and raised in Boston.

Tour Schedule

2/1 – Read Chapter 20 – Review
2/2 – Passionately Perusing – Review
2/5 – Book Princess – Review
2/6 – Book Ventures – Review
2/7 – The Desert Bibliophile – Review

What do you think? Are you into really in-depth characterizations stories? Doesn’t this concept just sound so intriguing? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

mandy signature

10 thoughts on “Blog Tour: All We Can Do Is Wait by Richard Lawson Review

  1. The synopsis made me want to cry omg. Great review Mandy! This one really sounds like an incredible hard novel. (Not like hard to read but hard as in “myheartcanttakethispain!!”) I’m a cryer so maybe I would feel this one a little more than you lol. Plus it sounds like it is full of amazing characters and I do love me some amazing characters!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I KNOW?? The moment I saw it, I was like, this is going to be emotional and I can’t deal. But yes! XD Lol yes, I’m sure. I’m so book heartless, but it does get it especially with some deep characterization. I think it might be a contemporary for Rendz to try one day?

      Liked by 1 person

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