Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

The name of this book almost immediately turned me off, but I decided to give it a chance anyways after seeing a few people I follow reading it and loving it. Something about name dropping a celebrity in a book cover rubbed me the wrong way (it feels like a desperate grab for attention). I sincerely wish I had listened to my gut, this book was reminiscent of a rough draft of a bad fanficiton.

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 Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.

When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days…can he?

This is one of those books that reads more like fanfiction than a published (and more importantly – edited) book. Honestly, it could have come straight off the internet and be written about any number of handsome Hollywood actors. The truly troubling part about this book is that it reads like it was written sans-outline – it rambles and is incredibly unevenly paced. It definitely feels like whoever was supposed to edit this just gave it a rubber stamp to get it off their desk.

Newsflash – using references to popular movies to set the plot and much of the dialogue is just plain bad writing. Seriously – you can hardly get through a single page of this book without someone mentioning at least one rom-com. Often, these references were made to liken the events of the movie to the current events of this book. It’s lazy writing and got old incredibly fast. Because this book leaned so hard on references, it felt like there was no original content – the author just cobbled various rom-com scenes together and called it a book.

As I said before, Drew (the leading man/ Hollywood actor) was so generic that you could swap him with any Hollywood leading man and the book would just read like fanfiction. He lacked a concrete backstory and the little characterization he was given was boring and forgettable. Also, people kept calling him a comedian and a prankster, but none of those traits were ever really properly identified or addressed. Annie was similar – she was a major Mary-Sue. She honestly drove me, and most of the characters around her, nuts with her constant obsession over romantic comedies. She was obsessively comparing her life to a rom-com and refused to see her friends and family as the people they were – instead she treated them as props and background players in her story. She even betrayed her friend’s trust and privacy by writing a script about her and a coworker and never truly asked for permission or forgiveness when she used it to land her big dream. Drew and Annie’s sparks were minimal and most of their relationship felt forced and hard to believe (even for a rom-com).

Give this book a hard pass. Trust me, it’s not worth it. From the overuse of movie and pop culture references, to the near lack of a plot and the boring characters/dialog, there is not much going on for this book. At it’s core it’s a very basic romance with forgettable bones. Instead, give One Day in December or The Hating Game a try. 2/5

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13 Comments

  1. I have seen a few reviews for this book and they are very mixed. Thank you for your honest review. I don’t think I will bother with this one.

  2. Shame this book didn’t work for you. I have looked at it a few times but never gotten around to reading it, but badly edited books annoy the life out of me so I might just give it a miss. Great review.

  3. Think I’ve seen it on Netgalley to request glad I didn’t , since its not something I would read, but still you did a very good review on it,

  4. Ohhh no I’ve been wanting to read this one so badly! May still give it a try anyway but I’ll keep your thoughts in mind.

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