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Review: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

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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.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MhAUxZ

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.

MY REVIEW

If you are a fan of romantic comedies or obsessed with 90’s romantic comedies featuring Tom Hanks, than look no further, Waiting for Tom Hanks is the book that you’ve been waiting for.

Waiting for Tom Hanks follows the story of Annie and Drew. Annie wants what ever girl wants. She wants the perfect man that she just happens upon and they fall instantly in love. And the rest as they say is history…..Only that perfect guy doesn’t exist. This isn’t a movie, this is real life. And while Annie dreams of finding a man who is just like Tom Hanks, she needs to keep her eyes open or she might not see that Mr. Perfect is right under her nose….

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved all the Tom Hanks movie references and the nods to You’ve Got Mail & Sleepless in Seattle. Both of those movies I’ve seen over a million times and still find myself swooning over. I adored Annie. I think she was a little clueless when it came to men and that she did have some rather unrealistic expectations, but you’ve got to give props to the girl for knowing what she wants and not being embarrassed about what she’s looking for.  And in Annie’s case, I love that her match was the total opposite of her. He was everything that she was looking for, just wrapped in a different package.

I have to say, I enjoyed Annie and Drew together. I love that Drew just got Annie. Drew was the kind of guy that didn’t show attraction or affection in the most traditional ways. He’s the grown up version of the boy at the playground who can’t help but pull a little girls hair. So, when it came to Annie, Drew’s flirting skills might not have always hit the mark, but I found it to be funny and when he really did pull out all of the stops, it made those moments that much sweeter.

Waiting for Tom Hanks was a cute and fun read. I loved the idea of the story and was drawn into Annie’s story instantly. I enjoyed watching Annie live out her own romantic comedy and couldn’t wait to see how it would all unfold. I really enjoyed all the almost moments and the tension between the characters. This story was easy to read and light on the drama. In the end, I was hooked on Annie and couldn’t help but root for her to find her happily ever after.

Waiting for Tom Hanks is a terrific debut novel and I’m excited to check out more from this author in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

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