cover image Waiting for You

Waiting for You

Susane Colasanti, . . Viking, $17.99 (319pp) ISBN 978-0-670-01130-8

Though Marisa struggles with an anxiety disorder and depression, she starts the school year wanting “everyone at school to know I am not a freak anymore.” Her life becomes more exciting when Derek, the popular boy she has a crush on, asks her out. But when Marisa begins suspecting Derek's relationship with his ex, her obsessive negative thinking returns. Colasanti (Take Me There ) expertly handles the plot, keeping it ambiguous whether Derek is cheating on Marisa, or if he is being honest when he tells her, “You're accusing me of something I didn't do.” The author also nicely contrasts Marisa's exciting but shallow relationship with Derek with her much deeper connection to nerdy Nash, to whom she opens up about her problems. There is no doubt who Marisa will eventually be with (and readers will easily ID the mysterious Dirty Dirk, a DJ who provides advice and hope to students via podcasts). Colasanti presents an authentic picture of how complicated it is to be a teenager, especially one in love. Ages 12–up. (May)