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Waiting Room Kate Spofford

Description

Everyone at school knows Andrew Jackson Jennings. Openly gay. Lost an arm in a car accident. Future school shooter.

Everyone at school knows Ryan Sullivan. Football captain. Nice guy. Future valedictorian.

When Andrew ends up in therapy after writing about killing his classmates, he doesn’t expect to find Ryan Sullivan in the waiting room. Turns out there’s more to both of them than everyone at school sees.

Length

  • 101533 words
  • About 406 pages
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Swoon Index Ranking

  • Heat

    8

  • Tears

    9

  • Laughs

    9

  • Thrills

    8

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18 comments on "Waiting Room"

personalmaps on April 15, 2018, 3:04 p.m. said:

personalmaps


I like it! I was a little wary of the concept at first, but you’re juggling everyone’s different problems super well. My one note would be to make the divisions in switching perspective more concrete. Sometimes when we’re switching between Ryan and Jacky in the same chapter, it gets a little confusing.

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Kate Spofford on April 16, 2018, 2:07 p.m. said:

Kate Spofford


I am definitely considering that for revision. Lots of other dual perspective books do it, I think because I had used third-person I thought it wasn't really necessary. But there are definitely parts where it would be helpful :)

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RamblingReader1 on April 3, 2018, 7:12 p.m. said:

RamblingReader1


I liked the dual focus on both boys. I think it was very important that we get a "spotlight" into both of their lives in order to create a stronger connection with them.

At first I was a little skeptical about how quickly the boys started to "like" each other, but it seemed like the pacing evened out once they actually started up a relationship. The slower pace made much more sense to me considering everything else they were dealing with as well as Jacky being Ryan's first experience with a m/m relationship.

I thought the "little intimacies" were well done, like the boys helping each other get dressed for the dance, the way they were a physical life raft for each other even just by holding hands.

I was actually thinking it would be helpful to read Jacky's Eulogy assignment at the beginning of the book, perhaps even as the opening. It would look pretty cool if it could be done in a way that it looked like the actual assignment. I think having that presented in the beginning would make it easier for readers to open up their minds to Jacky, and it would humanize him more.

I do think the discussion between him and his therapist made sense at the later timing; I thought that seemed most true to Jacky's interactions with others.

Other than that, I was a little perplexed by Nina's character. I'm not entirely certain why she had to specifically be Russian; it felt like a lot of her comments or communication missteps could also have been done in a different way. This wasn't something that really BUGGED me, but I just didn't really understand why, based on her scenes, she just had to be Russian.

I hope I'm not being crazy by sharing a lot of notes, but I figure why not offer ideas if they're being asked for.

Some of the other feedback related to the content of Jacky's eulogy. I'm not sure I agree that the content of it needs to be changed. I can completely understand the perspective of changing it to be respectful in the wake of recent tragic events, but I think that might be a reason to actually KEEP it in.

However, I do think it would be extremely beneficial to have some kind of author's and/or informational note at the end. Since the book deals with topics like suicide, grief, parental loss, and school violence, I think an informational note with phone numbers, websites, or other resources for readers who might be dealing with those difficult topics would be a good safety measure.

The addition of that information could also make the book a more marketable option for students or middle school readers whose parents might be concerned about content.

Similar Stories : There's a lot about Jacky and Ryan that reminds me of Alex Sanchez's Rainbow Boys series.

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Kate Spofford on April 9, 2018, 9:48 a.m. said:

Kate Spofford


Thank you so much for all of your notes! I did consider making Nina German, too, although I suppose you're right that she doesn't really need to be a foreign exchange student at all, except that I think it gives her some leeway to move between the social groups.

That might be interesting to have Jacky's eulogy up front... something I will have to consider for the editing process! A note at the end would definitely be helpful - I figured that would come along with when the book gets published :) someday...

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Ninja_Librarian on March 14, 2018, 11:13 p.m. said:

Ninja_Librarian


This was fantastic! Ryan and Jacky are adorable dorks, and I really liked how they're both still going through grieving processes but building up support systems.

Honestly can't think of any, this story is just so unique!

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Kate Spofford on March 17, 2018, 4:07 p.m. said:

Kate Spofford


Thank you! You are correct that these days there wouldn't be a second chance for Andrew after what he wrote. In recent weeks I think the atmosphere around school shootings has changed a lot, too. The exact details of his eulogy and how he ended up in therapy could definitely be tweaked without changing the main themes in the story. Thanks for the input :)

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Ninja_Librarian on March 14, 2018, 12:19 p.m. said:

Ninja_Librarian


Okay, so far really liking this story. Only suggestion is that, in wake of shooting tragedies, the author may want to strongly reconsider how Andrew ends up in therapy.

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Jen on Feb. 14, 2018, 12:56 p.m. said:

Jen


I liked the romance, i found it interesting but it was a lot going on. I felt like I read three different stories in one sitting. I think it was a little too much to have both characters lose someone one, plus a disabled person, plus they were gay it was too many elements in one thing and they disrupted each other making it hard to enjoy the story overall.

Fault in Our Stars meets The Both Die at the End

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Kate Spofford on Feb. 18, 2018, 9:34 p.m. said:

Kate Spofford


Ooh, I love that comparison :D

Yes, there is a lot going on... I had a hard time cutting out all the side characters' stories, maybe without them it would be less overwhelming for a gay romance between two characters who are both grieving. But I love all my secondary characters! Editing is hard...

Thank you for reading and for your feedback :)

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Christopher Waltz on Jan. 15, 2018, 9:09 a.m. said:

Christopher Waltz


Jacky ended up growing on me, but Ryan was still the superior character in my opinion. The dialogue was convincing, but maybe a little heavy in some parts. Overall, I would say it’s very solid story.

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