February 12, 2012

book review: waitlisted

In Laurel Gans' Waitlisted, a young woman learns there are no guarantees or freebies, and she must make changes if she wants to meet her goals for the future. The fast-paced story captures the college experience in a humorous way.

Kacey Barlow has coast through most of her life. She was pre-accepted into dental school, comes from a long line of alumni (and dentists) and has never faced any real adversity in her life.

She quickly goes from having her biggest worry be whether or not she convincingly invented an excuse to get out of class for the day, to realizing she no longer has a guaranteed spot in graduate school. Through the book, she must finally commit herself to studying, become a more well-rounded student and decide what her future should hold.

The novel's delivery was well-done, balancing humor with the angst. Gans' storytelling was funny and easy to read.

I especially enjoyed how well Gans portrayed the highs and lows of college. For example, when Kacey must take the entrance exam for dental school, I could remember what it was like to sit through an ACT or SAT test and know your future depended on the final outcome. (I know I took those tests back in high school, but I imagine it's the same sort of thing for grad school — just much, much harder.)

At times I had difficulty bonding with Kacey. She was funny, and I imagine we would have enjoyed playing a game of Scrabble or watching a marathon of The Nanny, together. But she had some pretty big flaws to overlook. Namely, that she can be lazy and self-centered, and with her background in drama she is not only good at creating lies, but delivering them. It could have been my problem though, because I was jealous of how little she had to do most of her life.

Despite this, I found myself rooting for her, because in the beginning she simply did not know any better. By the end of the book, she seemed to have (mostly) learned her lesson and wanted to do better. The struggle and effort Kacey goes through in the book gave her redemption, which made the story fun to read.

Be sure to check back, tomorrow, for my interview with Laurel.

Rating: 4 of 5

About the Author
Laurel Gans is a graduate of Bowling Green State University where she studied Spanish. She is currently a dental student at The Ohio State University with her twin sister, Stephanie. She enjoys writing, water sports and spending time with her family and friends.


Receive Change the Word's latest updates in your Inbox. Subscribe by entering your information under "Follow by email" in the sidebar. Follow me on Twitter @lmchap or "Like" Change the Word on Facebook.

1 comment: