Thursday, March 3, 2011

What Can't Wait

What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Pérez
Carolrhoda Lab, 2011
232 pages
YA; Contemporary
4/5 stars

Source: Received a free galley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary: Marisa is a senior in high school with conflicting pressures on her.  Her parents (especially her father) expect her to contribute financially and emotionally to the family, to get married young, and give them grandchildren.  However her own inclination and her favorite teacher encourage her dreams of leaving their town to attend an engineering program.

Marisa really has a lot on her plate.  Her sister's loser husband hurts himself, sending her sister to work and putting Marisa in charge of watching her niece which conflicts with her own job at the supermarket, her friendships, a budding romance, and her own schoolwork.  Additionally her father expects Marisa to put her salary toward the family budget (including his drinking).  And that's not even touching on everything that occurs in this book!  However it wasn't some nonstop fast-moving novel because there was space for the quieter, sweeter moments of life additionally.

I mostly liked the romance of Marisa and Alan.  She's very unsure of herself at first but they were already friendly and it moves apace.  He's probably the person who has the most faith in her (besides perhaps her teacher) and he always encourages her to shoot high, even if it means that she'll end up leaving him (I do doubt the feasibility of their long-distance relationship but that's not really part of the book).

I mostly liked Marisa except for one incident where she's dumb with Alan that leads to a bad situation for her (I liked how she handled that bad situation but I so wanted to stop her from her fight with Alan) and her indecisiveness.  She spends a lot of time complaining to the reader about the different pressures she feels instead of trying to do something about them.  When she did pull herself together to go after her dreams, I was rooting for her one hundred percent!

Overall: A good contemporary read, touching on many of the difficulties of the teenage years...and then some.

Read for YA Debut and Ebook challenges.


  1. This sounds like a very interesting, touching story. A bit of family drama and self-searching, it seems. I'd read it. I also like the cover. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hey, thanks for the review! I feel you on the indecisiveness, but then, Marisa would be a little too perfect if she didn't sometimes feel overwhelmed by everything!


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