Waiting for Tom Hanks is a great way to introduce your friends, family, and even the most casual rom com fan in your life to a wonderful world of books they may have been hesitant to consider before.
I love Tom Hanks. Which is why, the minute I saw this title, I knew that I HAD to read this book. Then I cracked the spine and started to read Annie Cassidy’s commentary and I fell further and further in love with this heroine, this story, and the possibilities.
You see, Annie Cassidy is a life-long lover of romantic comedies. She shared them with her mother growing up, and now that she is living in a world without her mother, she clings to their lessons and tropes with single-minded determination. She is waiting, not looking or searching, but not-so-patiently waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for her hero to arrive on scene.
While she waits, she’s writing a rom com of her own, so when a big romantic comedy film sets up shop in her neighborhood, she uses connections she didn’t know she had to get a job on set. That’s where she runs into, quite literally, Drew Danforth, manboy actor extraordinaire. Or at least, that’s what he seems to be.
When I first started this book, I was just excited to read about a character that loves romantic comedies as much as I do. I slowly, but surely fell in love with this cast of characters and the place they call home. I think my love of this story was helped, in part, by my having walked the streets of the German Village in Columbus, Oh. I felt a part of this story in a way I haven’t before, simply because I knew what it felt like to be there.
I imagine that’s what residents of NYC or LA feel like when they read books set in their neighborhoods, written by authors that just get it right. Kerry Winfrey definitely got the feel of this area of Columbus exactly right. I’ve wandered the maze of The Book Loft and gotten lost for a couple of hours wandering from room to room, genre to genre. In fact, I was so excited to be able to picture walking up the cobblestone path to the courtyard, and finally entering the meandering store that I could barely sit still to read the following paragraphs. I could picture Drew and Annie ending up in each other’s personal space as a stranger enters the bubble they had created in the cozy atmosphere of the room.
Columbus, Oh was just one character of this story, though. Annie and Drew and Chloe and Nick and Gary all helped make this story what it is. I loved meeting Annie’s uncle and his D&D group. I loved hearing about the intensity of Dungeon Master Rick and learning more about Nick’s Place regular, Gary. I could not be more excited to know that there’s more coming for this universe in Not Like the Movies. After experiencing Chloe and Nick’s chemistry in this book, it would have been a crime against romance not to get their story, too.
Waiting for Tom Hanks is good for everyone. It’s not graphic in its most intimate scenes. You can recommend this book to your grandmother or your reader’s group without worrying about it being too racy for anyone to enjoy. That’s not a bad thing. Romance comes in all shapes and sizes, in all levels of raunchiness from innocent to erotica. In fact, I credit books like this one in being a good entry point into the genre for people who maybe find themselves put off by the sexual nature of what romance has been perceived to be. All journeys start with a single step, and all romance readers start with a single story.
This book is also a great way to convince passionate rom com movie fans to give a good book a try. People who love James Bond or Star Wars movies tend to like reading mysteries and sci-fi, and it only makes sense that people who grew up loving movies like The Wedding Planner, Sleepless in Seattle, or 10 Things I Hate About You would love checking out books like The Wedding Date, Fight or Flight, and Dating You/Hating You.
I love romance in all its forms. I love romantic music, romantic movies, and, most definitely, romantic books. When I get to read or watch or listen to something that combines any of those into one entity, my fangirl status definitely amps up a notch or two. Kerry Winfrey has written one of those fangirl opportunities in Waiting for Tom Hanks and I can’t wait to get my hands on Not Like the Movies and continue the flailing. Fangirl mode is definitely engaged.