Review & Non-Exclusive Excerpt: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Four Stars

I laughed out loud so many times reading this delightful book, I think my roommates think I’m a crazy person now. All I did was laugh alone in my room reading for an entire afternoon, NO REGRETS. This a ray of witty, romcom, sunshine follows Annie, a Columbus, Ohio resident and romantic comedy aficionado, who gets a job on a real-life romcom movie set and immediately clashes with the star Drew Danforth.

Annie was a flawed main character who, in many ways, I couldn’t relate to. I think to truly understand some of her decisions and character growth you have to acknowledge that most of her actions are centered around the real grief she is still experiencing after losing her mom at such a pivotal time in her life. Yes, this book is light and funny, but Annie’s deep sadness over her mom is her primary motivation.

My favorite part about this book was Annie’s interactions with the secondary characters. There were parts during her blind date with Benny I actually had to put the book down I was laughing so hard. I am anxiously awaiting Nick and Chloe’s story, and Uncle Don was just so pure. And who can forget about Dungeon Master Rick??

I enjoyed Annie’s sweet and awkward romance with Drew, but in many ways, it wasn’t a highlight of this book. She was working so hard at rejecting him, and her feelings, many of her interactions with Drew were when she became the most unlikable and immature. I liked Drew, but he was in no way a main character. This was more about Annie getting out of her rut with Drew as a catalyst.

I have to say, you do have to have a solid base of pop culture and romantic comedy knowledge to really appreciate all the snappy dialogue in this thoroughly modern novel. There were times I was reading (and laughing) but also thinking that my mom or grandma might not understand this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed Ms. Winfrey’s first foray into adult romance. WAITING ON TOM HANKS is a hilarious, poignant, and nuanced romantic comedy for a modern generation. Can I get a release date on Nick and Chloe’s book PLEASE??

**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**

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NONEXCLUSIVE EXCERPT (Chapter 4)

I blink a few times, staring straight into Drew Danforth’s face. It’s like when you’re a kid and there’s
a solar eclipse, and all the teachers are like, “Don’t look directly into the sun! You’ll destroy your
retinas!” but there’s always that one kid (Johnny Berger, in our class) who can’t stop staring.
In this situation, I’m Johnny Berger. And I guess Drew Danforth is the sun.
“Are you okay?” he asks again, enunciating his words even more as if me understanding him is the
problem. His brown eyes, I notice, are flecked with tiny bits of gold, which is something you can’t see
when you watch him on TV. His hair is just as voluminous as it seems in pictures, but in person, I have
the almost overwhelming urge to touch it, to reach out and pull on that one lock of hair that hangs over his
forehead.
“She’s not responding.” He turns to Chloe. “Is something wrong?”
“She’s French,” Chloe says without missing a beat. “She only speaks French.”
“I’m not French,” I say, breaking my silence. Chloe and Drew’s heads swivel to look at me.
“I’m sorry about your coat,” I whisper, then I run toward Nick’s.
Chloe bursts in the door behind me, the bell jingling in her wake. “I’m not French?” she screeches.
“Those are the first words you spoke to Drew Danforth? Really?”
“Well then, why did you tell him I was French?” I shout, ignoring the curious stares of everyone
working on their laptops and the calming melody of whatever Nick put on to replace the Doobies.
“I don’t know!” She throws her hands in the air. “You weren’t talking, so I thought I’d give you an
interesting backstory!”
I put my hands over my face. “This is ridiculous.”
“No,” Chloe says, grabbing me by the shoulders. “This is your meet-cute, and now you need to go
back out there and find him and say something that isn’t a negation of your Frenchness or an apology for
destroying his probably very expensive coat.”
“Meet what?”

Nick stares at us from behind the counter, a dishtowel in his hand.
“A meet-cute,” Chloe stands up straight, shoulders back, as if she’s delivering a Romantic Comedy
101 lecture to Nick and his patrons, “is the quirky, adorable, cute way the hero and heroine of a romantic
comedy meet.”
Everyone stares at her blankly.
“Or hero and hero. Or heroine and heroine. Not to be heteronormative,” she clarifies.
“Like how me and Martha met at her wedding,” Gary says.
Chloe thinks about it. “I don’t know that I would necessarily call that one a meet-cute, but sure,
Gary.”
“Did you just make that up?” Nick asks, arms crossed.
I shake my head. “No. It’s a thing.”
“Watch a romantic comedy, dude,” Tobin says.
Nick rolls his eyes.
“Anyway,” Chloe continues, “Annie straight up ran into Drew Danforth and spilled a cup of coffee
all over his coat, which is, like, the cutest of meets.”
“That doesn’t sound very cute,” Nick says skeptically, rubbing the scruff on his chin. “Was it still
hot?”
“Scalding,” I say, sinking into my chair and resting my head on the table.
“Sounds like a meet painful,” says Gary, and a few people laugh.
“Thanks,” I mutter. “I’m so glad you all find my embarrassment entertaining.”
“Annie!” Chloe sits down across from me as a customer walks in and the rest of the shop stops
paying attention to us. “This isn’t embarrassing. This is merely a story I’ll tell in my toast at your
wedding to Drew.”
I lift my head to look at her. “I hate to break this to you, but I don’t think he’s my Tom Hanks. I think
he’s just a famous guy with a possible third-degree burn on his chest. And now my first day on set is
going to be super awkward because I accidentally assaulted the lead actor with a beverage.”

Chloe’s about to say something, but then a song starts and she closes her mouth, looking up toward
the speakers. “I swear to God, I told Nick not to play any more Bon Iver. It makes people look up their
exes on Instagram, not buy coffee. I’m gonna go put on some Hall and Oates.”
As she walks away, I rest my head on the table again. As if it wasn’t embarrassing enough to have
my uncle get me a job on set, now I have to deal with this.

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