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All we can do is wait by Richard Lawson

[Ce livre n'a pas de traduction en français, la critique sera juste en anglais]

TITLE : All we can do is wait

AUTHOR : Richard Lawson

PUBLISHER : Penguin Young Readers Group

GENRE : Contemporary fiction


RESUMÉ : In the hours after a bridge collapse rocks their city, a group of Boston teenagers meet in the waiting room of Massachusetts General Hospital:

Siblings Jason and Alexa have already experienced enough grief for a lifetime, so in this moment of confusion and despair, Alexa hopes that she can look to her brother for support. But a secret Jason has been keeping from his sister threatens to tear the siblings apart...right when they need each other most.

Scott is waiting to hear about his girlfriend, Aimee, who was on a bus with her theater group when the bridge went down. Their relationship has been rocky, but Scott knows that if he can just see Aimee one more time, if she can just make it through this ordeal and he can tell her he loves her, everything will be all right.

And then there's Skyler, whose sister Kate—the sister who is more like a mother, the sister who is basically Skyler's everything—was crossing the bridge when it collapsed. As the minutes tick by without a word from the hospital staff, Skyler is left to wonder how she can possibly move through life without the one person who makes her feel strong when she's at her weakest.

In his riveting, achingly beautiful debut, Richard Lawson guides readers through an emotional and life-changing night as these teens are forced to face the reality of their pasts...and the prospect of very different futures.



I was on Bookoutlet, looking for books to buy when I came across this book. The cover was intriguing and when I have read the resumé, I knew I would need to give it a try, so I purchased it. It is to note that this is my first full English review and even if I have read it in English, some error may occur in the text, which I apologize in advance.

Even if the story is kind of low, there’s a lot going on, especially with the characters, which there’s a few, since we are following four major characters: Jason, Alexa, Scott and Skyler. There’s also Morgan that joins the group during the suspense of the waiting. Suspense is the key word honestly because the entire book repose on it. Every character takes place in a hospital waiting room, waiting for news about their love ones who were involved in the bridge collapse.

As the story goes, we learn more about each and everyone backstories, which is not all pink and sparkles, there are some tragedies, treason, hard feeling and more than everything: regrets. The author made a point on that: sometimes it’s important to say things before it’s too late, to live how we want, to do what we love. Because we never know when our last day will be. Those people on the bridge were having a normal day and then, suddenly, it crashes. Just like that, without a sign or a warning. Life can end like that, in a finger snap.

Personally, I loved every character. They were lovable and I also like that we learn about time bit per bit and not all in one shot. Their backstory follows how they feel in the present time, as they wait for news. I had the impression I was with them, waiting. I was anxious for them, sad for them. I had compassion and even some frustration about some things that was said or done. I was feeling the moment and that is something I love when I read a book. The story may be about waiting, but it’s more than that. It’s about love and faith. It’s about life even in death.

The author has a sublime pen to make us feel emotion. It’s subtle, down to earth, and sometimes metaphoric. Not too much, just enough. Just to make us feel the story.

Even if the time to have answers in the present, the story goes well and is regular, the rhythm of the memories helps the book to move forward because learning more about the victims help to understand the survivors. Even if we don’t know who survived, we wish they all do, but we know they won’t all be okay. It’s sad but realist.

Also, the themes in the books are powerful and for one reason I’ll follow up. The author talks about poverty, sickness, homosexuality, and domestic violence. Each character comes from a different background, but there, in that hospital waiting room, they are equal, they are the same, living with the same fear, the same sadness, the same anger. It was excellent and it helped me connect with all of them.

Also, when some secret comes out of the closet, things start to get dirty. I felt pity when the gang started to get mad at Scott when they discover his secret. He lied about his presence. Lied … not entirely. He hides a bit of the truth. Still, his pain was real, and I believe he had his right to be there, but he has been chased like he was not welcome anymore, like he was an intruder. I don’t believe he was, but they did. If I was in his shoes, I would probably have done the same as he did…

And one thing that I didn’t like is the addition of Morgan’s story. It was too much for me. I didn’t like her or her story. She lied to them too, but the group wasn’t as harsh as her as they were with Scott. Which, I will say, made me angry a bit. Scott had more his place there than Morgan, but they treated him so badly contrariwise of Morgan.

The end was a bit deceiving for my taste, but in general it was a good book. It reflects us on life and death, to live every day like it was the last one. Just for that, it was worth the read.

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