Book Review: “Wait for Me” by Sara Shepard

Wait for Me follows Casey, a gifted college student, as she struggles with a mystery she must solve that’s rooted in her own mind. She doesn’t know what or who is interacting with her, but what she finds out will change the course of her life forever and help her understand her past.

This is a significantly more nuanced book than what I know Shepard for. As someone who read Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game in high school, I was excited to see a new book from her and intrigued by the synopsis, so it felt like a no-brainer to add it to my reading list. 

It was an unpredictable and wild ride from start to finish. I could never pinpoint where it was going, and even if I had a clue, the plot immediately went in a different direction. This all worked well, surprisingly. Usually, when this happens, a story feels cluttered, but every bit felt important in this case. Everything had its place, even if it didn’t make sense until the final pages. While the ending completely made sense, I didn’t see it coming, which was a welcome change from most books of this nature.

Casey is a complex and dynamic character whom I couldn’t help but root for. Her experience navigating the unknown is relatable, even though most haven’t faced what she is going through. Her journey shows how much your past can affect your personality and state of being, even if it’s entangled with something else. 

I did finish the book with several questions, though I don’t know if they are questions I need answers to. There were parts about the third-act reveal that didn’t quite make sense in the moment, but after sitting on them, I think they can be explained under the umbrella of wealth and the privileges it affords. 

I was initially concerned when a certain mental health disorder was mentioned. This one has had some bad press in recent years, specifically due to its inclusion in a horror film, so I was worried about how it would be discussed or covered. It ended up being a passing matter that was tastefully done, which I’m particularly pleased about.

Wait for Me is a great read for teens and adults. Despite being in the young adult category, I do think individuals in their 20s can relate to Casey’s journey and her struggles. Everybody can connect with her in some way, whether they are overachievers, under immense pressure, or just trying to understand what’s going on in their heads. It’s the perfect fall read. 

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Union Square & Co., for review.

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