Cristina Reads too Much: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Getting around to reading a book (other than a textbook) can be tough in college, we know this.  When you’re cramming in between classes, Her Campus Lasell’s got you covered.  

Introducing Cristina Reads Too Much, a weekly segment where we break down and spill the tea about the best books RN and give our honest reviews and ratings. 

The Rundown:

Kerry Winfrey’s debut novel is a very meta romantic comedy--one about a young woman obsessed with romantic comedies that takes place during the filming of a romantic comedy.  Ever since her mother passed away when she was in high school, 27-year-old Annie Cassidy had turned to romantic comedies to cope, taking refuge in their delightful tropes and lovable male leads.  Annie is convinced that if only she could meet her own Tom Hanks, a man sweet and sensitive like the characters he portrays in her favorite films, then all of her problems would disappear. She is also an aspiring screenwriter who wants to be the next Nora Ephron.  Annie not only watches romantic comedies but studies them to draw inspiration for the romantic comedy movie she will one day write. There is one major factor holding Annie back, though: her resistance to change. She has lived with her uncle in the same Cleaveland, Ohio neighborhood since she was left orphaned as a teenager, and spends most of her days hanging out at the coffee shop where her best and only friend Chloe is a barista.  So when Annie gets word that a romantic comedy is filming right down the street from her house, she jumps at the opportunity to get involved. Thanks to her uncle’s surprising connection to the movie’s director, Annie is able to get a job on set. Much to her dismay, though, Annie spends more time running errands than actually getting to know the inner workings of film production. It isn’t long before she crosses paths with the film’s star, cocky heartthrob Drew Danforth.  Rather than the meet-cute that she was hoping for though, Annie has more of a meet-fail with him. She and Drew are constantly at odds with each other, until the director demands that they attempt to get along. Soon, Annie and Drew become friends, and with that comes a sense of camaraderie as they slowly show each other pieces of themselves that they usually keep hidden--a camaraderie headed for, as Annie soon realizes, a love story worthy of a romantic comedy movie.

My thoughts:

Quirky, charming, and entertaining, Waiting for Tom Hanks  is a fun read bursting at the seams with heart and humor.  It’s a quick read at under 300 pages, but Winfrey manages to pack a lot of character growth and a relatively fleshed-out love story in a relatively small book.  I loved the banter between Annie and Drew, and while I can’t say I recognized every classic rom-com preference, I appreciate that they were included. The plot does drag on a bit at times, and the story may not be of interest to those who don’t usually read or watch romance/romantic comedies, but if you’re a fan, you’ll love Waiting for Tom Hanks.

My rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Favorite quote:

“Maybe not everything about romantic comedies is true, and maybe Tom Hanks is just an Actor playing fictional characters.  But what they taught me about love, and about being honest, and about growing as a person...that feels pretty real to me”.