ARC Review/Rant: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey - "Spare me the Tom Hanks bullshit"
Waiting for Tom HanksAuthor: Kerry WinfreySeries: Waiting for Tom Hanks #1Genre: Genre: Chick Lit, Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, RomancePublisher: Berkley/Penguin View on 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 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.
I received a free copy for an honest review. Wow. That was truly pathetic. Better get used to me using that word because it's going to be SO OVERUSED in this review. You'll see why.
The characters Wow, that was so refreshing: I can’t remember the last time I came across such a pathetic, ignorant, and stupid main character. Nice.
This book took tropes (most notably the “what-do-you-mean-he-likes-me-I-can’t-see-it” trope) and turned them up to eleven (this is not a compliment), to the point of it becoming so stupid and annoying that it caused my eyeball to do a 360-eye-roll multiple times (on the plus side, I got my much-needed eye exercise).
Remember the (really long-named) “what-do-you-mean-he-likes-me-I-can’t-see-it” trope? Let’s delve into that more deeply.
When I first started the book, I found Annie’s love for romantic comedies and how that relates back to her "sad" past fascinating and touching. Because I believed (and still do) the linking between her passion for rom-com and family tragedy was absolutely brilliant, and her over-exaggerates naiveness would set a perfect building ground for fantastic character development. Although you can see that the author tried in that aspect in several ways that were actually quite clever such as by revealing how her mother actually had an affair with a married man, I think that character development was pretty nulled out due to Annie's extremely childish narrative.
The character background is still amazing (because it's set in stone), but the fact that the author missed SUCH A PERFECT CHANCE FOR CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT is just so disappointing. A lot of times (scratch that I meant all of the times), a character with such exaggerated flaws are usually written that way so that it can be a bigger contrast to the development of the character at the end of the book. I was not at all annoyed with the constant referencing of rom-com in the beginning because I thought she would mature as the story progressed, and boy was I wrong. I would argue that the pinnacle for her "character-development" would be finally ending up with Drew.
*Sigh*, let's move on.
The many coincidences.
Okay so it just happens that the director of the film where Chloe (Annie's best friend) wants Annie to hook up with Drew (the celebrity) is Uncle Don's college roommate, and it just happens that she bumps coffee into him (could it be any more cliche). There are so much more but I feel like I am losing my life force just trying to list it these out so I'm going to stop.
*Cue sigh #2*.
The pop culture references (either a 15-year old wrote this or the author is trying WAY too hard).
I get the constant, never-ending rom-com reference because of who the character is and what the book is about, but even that is really pushing it.
AND THEN THERE ARE THE OTHER POP CULTURE REFERENCES.
Do I have to mention that the main character is a grown adult but she still makes SUCH PATHETIC references every five sentences? I'm very young myself but even in my MOST IMMATURE STAGE OF LIFE had never made references like that or talk like that in general. The references include (but unfortunately is not limited to):
"Like Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber"
"Ranking the favorite to least favorite Kardashians"
"And she's currently enmeshed in a love triangle like she's the heroine of a dystopian YA trilogy" (are you SERIOUS)
This is not really a pop-culture reference but:
Stop referencing "You know how in romantic comedies the heroine" please
Oh and I almost forgot, there are quotes like these that just solidified my respect for her as a non-pathetic person:
"It turns out there their true love was there all along, like some sort of virus that's only transmitted via saliva.
I intended to find out the secrets contained in Carter's saliva tonight".
*Cue the vomiting*.
Then there's another quote I'm putting in this review because Carter's reaction to Annie (when they broke off) is such a perfect embodiment of how the other characters in the book (and normal people in general) would react to Annie's idiotic pop-culture references:
"'Do you think I'm an idiot?' I ask softly.
Carter shrugs. 'The heart wants what it wants.
'Like Selena Gomez said about Justin Bieber'.
Carter stares blankly at me.
'It's her hit song...you know what, don't worry about it," I mutter'".
To finish off this review, let me put in a Drew quote that so beautifully summarizes my feeling toward this book:
"Spare me the Tom Hanks bullshit".
Rating: 2/5 stars.
about the author
Kerry Winfrey grew up in Bellville, Ohio, where she spent most of her time reading inappropriate books at the library. Not much has changed. Kerry writes for HelloGiggles and blogs at welcometoladyville.com. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband, their son, and their dog, Merlin. You can find her on Twitter @KerryAnn.