Updated: Aug 22, 2021
Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
Publication Date: June 11th, 2019
Genre: Contemporary, ChickLit
Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.
When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days...can he?
This book was such a treat. I remember looking at it a few times before ever picking it up. I would look at the cover, think it wouldn’t be for me and let it lay on the bookstore shelf until one day I decided it caught my eye enough times to finally pick it up. It honestly did not disappoint. Considering this is also a debut novel, it did not seem to fall into the traps that many do.
Waiting for Tom Hanks is a love letter to the hopeless romantics among us. If you ever watched a rom-com and felt wistful or as though at any moment, that leading lady could be you? This book will speak to you on so many levels. It is heartwarming, funny, honest and a bit of a reality check in some respects.
Kaylee *ahem* ANNIE is a dreamer and a writer waiting for her life to steer her into the beginning of her very own rom-com. Her detriment is that she is relatively passive in her life… hence the waiting. Waiting for her big screen-writing break, waiting for her life to get on track, waiting for her friends to realize they live in their very own rom-com and waiting for a love of her own. I found Annie completely relatable and kind of scary that I see so much of myself in her. She isn’t living her life passively on purpose, I doubt she even really realizes it but I think that’s what gives her a great starting point. After having been dealt a huge loss, Annie has been living her life in the past while her uncle and friends try as much as they can to give her loving doses of reality in hopes of getting her to move forward.
Enter, Drew: seemingly cocky playboy in town to shoot a movie where Annie lands a job on set. Honestly, I love Drew as a character but the ‘cocky playboy’ facade wasn’t totally believable and I wasn’t able to tell if Winfrey meant for it to come across that way or not because it didn’t seem like the character even believed the ruse. Regardless, Drew and Annie’s banter after the first interaction or two was wonderful. It felt like their meeting was a bit forced (even though it was an ‘accident’) and I don’t think I really saw the appeal of them together right off the bat. But that didn’t last long. The two had great chemistry and I couldn’t wait to watch their story unfold.
We are also introduced to a slew of side characters who manage to steal plenty of scenes themselves. Uncle Don is super supportive and plays weekly D&D sessions with his friends and then there’s Nick, Chloe and Tobin from the coffee shop who you can tell have their own story (and just you wait till you get to see it all in book 2!). Along with the cast and crew from the movie and various locals, everything really serves to round out the picture. I had so much fun reading all about the town.
Now, while this may seem like the book is all fun and games - and, to be honest, most of it is - Annie also has to deal with having lost her parents and keeps her memories of their relationship on a pedestal. The further arc that Annie has in dealing with this certain plot point did seem a bit rushed and quickly resolved but I do like that Winfrey included it. Just like Annie, I enjoy when a rom-com (or chicklit) is able to touch on real issues that characters can be going through while giving a ray of hope that could break through the darkness.
I will happily be continuing to follow this series to see what else Winfrey has up her sleeve. (Spoiler: I’ve already read book 2!)