Waiting for You

Waiting for real life to start...

At the beginning of sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, hopefully, her first real boyfriend. Derek is clearly the boy Marisa has been waiting for, but there's just one problem. He already has a girlfriend. Then there's Nash, the dorktastic boy next door with zero boyfriend potential. So of course Nash wants to take his friendship with Marisa to the next level.

But her boy drama is the least of Marisa's issues. She is dealing with depression and anxiety, a family that is falling apart, and a best friend who won't stop talking to sketchy guys online. Only the anonymous DJ, who has the school hooked on his underground podcasts, seems to get what Marisa's going through. But she has no idea who he is...or does she?

Waiting for You, by Susane Colasanti


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Colasanti has a knack of sustaining the heart-pounding suspense of young love for the length of a novel while managing to make it read, charmingly, like a conversation.

Colasanti presents an authentic picture of how complicated it is to be a teenager, especially one in love.

Chick lit for girls who think.


Colasanti has a knack of sustaining the heart-pounding suspense of young love for the length of a novel while managing to make it read, charmingly, like a conversation.

Though Marisa struggles with an anxiety disorder and depression, she starts the school year wanting “everyone at school to know I am not a freak anymore.” Her life becomes more exciting when Derek, the popular boy she has a crush on, asks her out. But when Marisa begins suspecting Derek's relationship with his ex, her obsessive negative thinking returns. Colasanti (Take Me There) expertly handles the plot, keeping it ambiguous whether Derek is cheating on Marisa, or if he is being honest when he tells her, “You're accusing me of something I didn't do.” The author also nicely contrasts Marisa's exciting but shallow relationship with Derek with her much deeper connection to nerdy Nash, to whom she opens up about her problems. There is no doubt who Marisa will eventually be with (and readers will easily ID the mysterious Dirty Dirk, a DJ who provides advice and hope to students via podcasts). Colasanti presents an authentic picture of how complicated it is to be a teenager, especially one in love.

Marisa spent freshman year grappling with anxiety disorder and depression. Now the amateur photographer is heading into sophomore year with some coping skills and waiting for love to find her. While her best friend is IMing older guys and her once-“normal” parents are separated, Marisa thinks she’s finally found romance with popular Derek, her first boyfriend. Why, then, would she rather hang out and discuss her problems, especially her relapsing depression, with her “totally geeked out” chemistry partner, Nash? Maybe while Marisa’s been waiting for love, it’s been in front of her all along. The story isn’t new, but Colasanti keeps it fresh by speaking to teens in their own language. Marisa’s realistic, first-person narration ably captures the importance of typical adolescent problems. The author also offers a hint of mystery (although readers will soon figure it out) with a late-night radio show featuring Dirty Dirk, an anonymous student who reaches out to Marisa. Chick lit for girls who think.

The characters are well drawn and likable, the story textured and credible, and the angst is leavened with mild humor and ultimately balanced by the love and good will of caring friends.

Marisa and her best friend Sterling have a ritual. “We get together before school starts, when all of the electric energy of possibility is zinging around, and make a pact on how we want our lives to change…. There’s only so much waiting a person can endure until they start thinking that maybe nothing exciting will ever happen to them. Like, ever.”

For Marisa, she would like nothing more than to start fresh. In her first year of high school, she was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and did some bizarre things as a freshman. She hopes that the summer and a new start will be like hitting reset in her classmates’ minds. She doesn’t want to be seen as weird. Now she has her anxiety under control and is trying to take charge of the rest of her life as well.

But what happens when things beyond your control happen? Marisa is shocked when her perfect family life is rattled by talk of her parents divorcing. Her little sister is more than obnoxious with her strong political and health beliefs. Not to mention Sterling keeps falling for older guys…on the Internet. And then there are the boy situations. Derek is cute and seems to be flirting with Marisa in art class. But he has a girlfriend. Then there’s Nash, the boy next door—literally—who is beyond geeky. Marisa only wants to be friends with Nash. Instead, Derek intrigues her, and so does a mystery DJ who has the school enthralled with his nightly online broadcasts and his interesting commentary. (Think Christian Slater in the popular ’80s film Pump Up the Volume.)

As Marisa tries to sort out all the craziness in her life while still keeping her head on straight, she begins to realize that perhaps she was waiting for the wrong things. Maybe she needed to open her eyes to appreciate what she had all along.

Waiting for You is Susane Colasanti’s third young adult novel. As in her previous books, When It Happens and Take Me There, Colasanti does a great job of creating realistic teen characters. The dialogue and language make her protagonists fresh and current. Her take on romance is sweet and optimistic, and slightly reminiscent of a teen movie. Not only does Waiting for You pay homage to Pump Up the Volume, it also mentions the seminal teen television show My So-Called Life. Colasanti clearly knows how to write in an engaging, light manner that teenagers will enjoy.

Marisa is determined to make sophomore year great—she’s going to make everyone forget how spacey she was last year when dealing with her anxiety disorder. She's made a pact with her best friend Sterling that from now on, they will live in the Now, and they will find boyfriends—there will be no more waiting.

But the new school year also brings some surprises as well: Marisa rekindles her friendship with her childhood buddy, the extremely nerdy Nash, and attracts the attention of charming and flirtatious Derek. Her unshakable parents are acting completely odd, and Sterling can't stop falling for older guys over the internet, a scary prospect. Marisa learns that sometimes things in life don't go the way they were planned—but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Waiting for You is a book that will really hit home with a lot of teens. At the center of the story is Marisa's struggle with waiting for that perfect someone who will love her for her, no matter what; a longing that is familiar to many. But rather than allowing the book to focus on that one want, Colasanti crafts a multi-layered read that digs deep into the details and captures the subtle nuances of friendship, school, and day-to-day life. Marisa is an engaging and refreshingly honest narrator with an authentic voice who sometimes gets too wrapped up in herself, but her genuinely kind qualities more than make up for it.

One of the best aspects of Waiting for You is how Colasanti weaves each of the situations and plot twists throughout the book seamlessly together to reinforce her main idea: the perfect guy isn't always what you expect him to be like, and not all great relationships can last forever. Waiting for You is a humorous, poignant, and quietly powerful book that will inspire readers to live their lives in the Now instead of waiting for something better.

Marisa has had a crush on Derek for a long, long time. He's perfect: friendly, cute, popular. The only problem is that he has a girlfriend. Then there's Nash, her longtime, geeky neighbor. Sure, he's super shy, but he's also extremely sweet and smart.

So when Derek breaks up with his girlfriend and starts paying attention to Marisa, she's ecstatic. Soon it's official—Derek and Marisa, the couple of the school. But then things change between Nash and Marisa. They start to talk more and find themselves becoming good friends. And then there's the fact that the once geeky Nash isn't so geeky anymore. In fact, he seems to have gotten...a style!

When Marisa has Derek, the guy she's always wanted, doesn't that mean she should be happy? And when she's not happy, does this mean that maybe she and Derek aren't meant to be?

Susane Colasanti writes a must-read for all teens. Not only does this book delve into young love, but it also deals with family life and the problems that are common today. This book is a rite of passage for all teens going through the dramas of high school: family problems, friend drama, crazy siblings, cute boys, and surprising finds.

Waiting for You, the third teen read from Colasanti, is recommended to all. This book will bring laughs, tears, and awkward moments that will be sure to please everyone who reads it.

Waiting for Waiting for You almost killed me, but it was worth the wait. When I finally managed to get my hands on it, I barred everything from my mind and was engrossed in the book. It was everything I expected it to be and beyond that. I have to confess, and I’m sure every single one of you females will agree that we’ve had our share of “crushes” on the most popular boy in school. He was inevitably the object of our affection, coveted secretly, but unattainable. Yet we would do anything for him to look our way and give us a smile if not his undivided attention. Reading this book was like being taken back into time – back to high school, which was fortunately filled with happy memories. Mostly. Since Ms. Colasanti has been a high school science teacher for over a decade, I’m sure she has been privy to all the goings on. From the mood swings to the keg parties and she manages to bring all that and more into her book.

Her characters mirror what your average teenager would feel at this age. The angst of finding someone to belong to, someone who understands you, someone who likes you the way you like them. Someone to love, and be somebody’s beloved.

Without giving away much, all I want to say is that Nash, Marisa (which just happens to be my favorite name), and Derek (which just makes me think of Patrick Dempsey) could be you and your friends. I’m sure there is one of each amongst us. We might even be one of them. But the point here is that she manages to put that into words, yes words—the most important thing. To put emotions into words is really difficult, I should know, I’ve tired and failed miserably many times. Just goes to show how incredible she is and that she had me hanging on to every word of every page making me relive every emotion, every feeling that I’ve felt in the past 5-ish years.

Going into the book, I expected it to be good, as I knew she wouldn’t be capable of producing something that wasn’t. But the outcome—when I was done with the 322 pages of it—I didn’t expect tears. Nor did I expect to have this sense of calm come over me. A peace I’ve never felt before. Like something inside of me understood that it was okay to wait. It was okay to not have someone, there was always tomorrow. I had heard ‘Love blossoms from friendships’. Yesterday I was a dreamer. Today I am a believer.

It's the beginning of sophomore year and Marisa could not be any more ready for change. Preferably in the form of her and her best friend, Sterling, getting boyfriends. She also wouldn't mind keeping her current status of Not Depressed going, especially after how messed up she was last year.

The changes she didn't expect? Starting to hang out with her childhood friend, Nash, again. Problems at home. Disagreeing with Sterling. And finding out that her dream of 'the perfect boyfriend' may not have been what she thought it was...

This is a story of growing up, learning how to deal, and hoping that maybe, just maybe the One will be waiting for you.

Waiting for You is another incredibly adorable success by Susane! I can't express how much I completely adore her writing style. It feels so real and honest. The characters are amazing. Marisa was a completely relatable character; after all, who doesn't get a little superficial when they're young and looking for 'the whole package?' Nash. Let's just say that I am definitely waiting for my own Nash to come along. Dirk, who seems to have all of the answers even as he searches for them himself. He's also very funny. My favorite part of the book was the phone call between Dirk and Kelvin. I was definitely giggling through that one. I love how Susane never has the typical 'all american family' involved in her books. Everything is more real than that, with divorce and not having their living conditions as great as another. It makes the story and the characters more approachable and understandable. While this was not my favorite book by Susane, that book would definitely have to be When It Happens, I still absolutely loved it! The one sided PoV made me a little sad, because even though I don't usually like to read multiple PoVs, to me, Susane's main characters each need to tell their own story. There's just so much going on that not one person can cover it all. Love that too, by the way! Although I totally get that if Nash told his story, there would be no more mystery involved ;-). All in all, completely worth the read!

Marisa's story is a classic dilemma. Nerdy boy likes girl, girl likes popular boy, will things ever work out for the two?

Marisa and Nash have always been neighbors but have grown apart over the years. Nash is the nerdy boy who is obsessed with robots and science and Marisa is the girl who would love to be popular but can never quite fit in. Marisa's problem is that she has an anxiety disorder that made most people think that she was crazy. This year, though, Marisa and her best friend Sterling make a pact that Sophomore year will be the best yet. They both plan to reinvent themselves over the summer and start fresh. Things seem to be going great for both of them, especially when Derek, the boy of her dreams, seems to take an interest in Marisa.

While things get better and better for Marisa, her friendship with Sterling seems to be deteriorating. Marisa won't spend time with Sterling because she is too busy with Derek but Marisa won't let Sterling find her own boyfriend. Sterling has a tendency to go for the older guys that she meets on the internet and Marisa is worried that something might happen. All Sterling wants is someone like Derek is to Marisa and she can't seem to find it anywhere but the internet. More and more Marisa blows off Sterling to hang out with Derek and Sterling finally cracks. She can't stand being put second in Marisa's life and she won't put up with it anymore.

Things couldn't be better for Marisa but she can't seem to stop thinking about Nash. Nash also entered into a new relationship and instead of being happy, Marisa seems to be a tad bit jealous. When Derek starts hanging out with his ex-girlfriend, Sierra, things get even worse. Not only is Marisa having trouble with friendships and relationships, her family life seems to be getting worse. Her parents, who have always been the type to show their affection, don't seem to even notice each other anymore. What could possibly be going on with them?

Waiting for You is a classic coming-of-age story about friendship and first love. Not only does Susane Colasanti manage to create a great love story, she manages to incorporate that maybe the guy of your dreams is right in front of you and you are just too afraid to look. Susane Colasanti was able to show in this story that love isn't necessarily about looks and what other people think but about how you feel. Waiting For You is one of those books that makes you want to keep reading and find out if everything works out in the end. It will inspire you to live your life in the Now and let the future come at you as it may.

I initially became interested in reading Susane Colasanti's books when I found out one featured a character battling anxiety and depression, a topic that hits very close to home for me. Unfortunately, I was at the mercy of my library's limited selection and another library's waiting list. I enjoyed her other books immensely but could not wait to have Waiting for You in my hands. It finally arrived!

Though Marisa spent most of the previous year struggling with anxiety and depression, she's ready to start over. She wants her sophomore year to be about living "in the Now." She also wants a boyfriend. For a while, things seem to be under control. Marisa has her anxiety and depression in check. Her family is stable, and her dad is super-supportive. Her best friend Sterling is awesome. And her crush Derek finally asked her out.

Unfortunately, things start to fall part rapidly. Her parents are separated. Derek is still spending a lot of time with his ex-girlfriend. She and Sterling aren't seeing eye to eye. All of these events trigger Marisa's anxiety and depression, filling her head with negative and obsessive thoughts that she can't control. Marisa finds comfort in her long-time friend Nash, who is a little too nerdy to be boyfriend material for Marisa but is easy to talk to and very understanding. She also feels hopeful as she listens to Dirty Dirk, an anonymous DJ who broadcasts podcasts calling out the indiscretions of students and teachers while offering advice to listeners (a tame version of Pump Up the Volume).

While Marisa's true love was easy to spot a mile away and Dirty Dirk's identity wasn't hard to figure out, I found this to be a great read. As always, Susane Colasanti tackled universal issues without sugarcoating them. The dialogue was real. The pain was real. The characters were real.

I especially liked the way she wrote about Marisa's anxiety and depression. It's difficult to explain to people who've never experienced it and don't understand the out of control feelings, but Colasanti nailed it. In addition, I loved the nods to John Mayer and his lyrics. "I have a theory that the answers to all of life's major questions can be found in a John Mayer song."

I agree. And the ones that aren't might very well be found in one of Colasanti's novels.

Waiting for You was amazing! I was hooked from the very first page. Colasanti writes novels similar to those of Sarah Dessen that allow any reader to relate to the main character. Although Marisa has an anxiety disorder, I still felt like I found a part of myself in her.

During the beginning of the story I found myself hoping Marisa would eventually snag Derek, but once she did he completely changed. I think that any guy who says "hey sexy" first thing isn't the best choice in boyfriend. Maybe that is just the hopeless romantic inside of me hoping for the guy who says "hey beautiful" instead.

I was also fooled about who was Dirty Dirk. The whole time I thought it was easy, Dirk is a nickname for Derek, duh. However, it wasn't! Surprise! I loved everything Dirk's character stood for, he reminded me a lot of Miss Unpleasant from Paisley Hanover. I wish I had an anonymous person at my school podcasting about all of its dirty secrets.

Waiting for You is a great novel for any teen. There are characters from every range on the spectrum, and the story moves quickly so there is never a good place to put the book down. I give Waiting for You a 5+/5.

Susane has yet again created a beautifully written book. This novel is cute, funny, emotional, just everything you can hope for a novel to be. This novel is also probably the truest book I have ever read. The characters and the plot seemed so real and I related so much. I felt like Susane was outside my window watching me and wrote the novel about my life but changed the names. I found myself crying at times because this book honestly helped me solve some problems I was dealing with.

Marisa's character was just a normal girl and I really liked that. She is just the average girl that experiences love then heartbreak and problems at home. Marisa is now up to one of my favorite characters in a book. Nash is just the sweetest guy ever. I wish there could be a guy like Nash out there. And finally Derek....*silence*.... All I'm saying is he is a perfect example of why I think all popular guys are jerks. But the characters in this book were so well written that I could see myself actually being friends with Marisa and Nash being my best guy friend.

So I recommend this book to every girl out there. Everyone can relate to this book one way or another and everyone will be having these problems. So this book is amazing and I love it, obviously. I give it a 5 out of 5. Yeah, it's that good.


The Waiting for You playlist is perfect for mellowing out. Enjoy on Spotify.

1. "Clarity" - John Mayer
How it feels to wake up on the best day of your life, completely free of anxiety. Then you realize that the euphoria won't last. But it's okay for right now, because the Now is all we have.

2. "Nothing Left to Lose" - Mat Kearney
A song about letting go and taking a chance on something that feels right.

3. "These Are Days" - 10,000 Maniacs
This celebration of the Now makes me smile every single time I hear it. It's one of those songs that lights up your whole world and makes everything seem brighter.

4. "Wave of Mutilation" - Pixies
In addition to a Pump Up the Volume shout-out in the book, I wanted to include a song from the movie. Christian Slater plays the ultimate underground DJ.

5. "Treasure" - The Cure
This is the song that Nash listens to at lunch after Rachel breaks up with him. "Treasure" is heartbreakingly sad, which makes his own heartache feel a little less painful. I can totally see Marisa playing this on her violin.

6. "Shiver" - Coldplay
I'll always be waiting for you...

7. "I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You" - Colin Hay
When you find a soul mate, you just know that they'll always have a special place in your heart.

8. "Orange Sky" - Alexi Murdoch
Marisa loves capturing orange sunsets on film. She knows that the pinks and reds and oranges of the sky only exist that exact way for a second. But she realizes that living in the Now instead of watching the world through a lens makes the experience even better.

9. "Passenger Seat" - Death Cab for Cutie
Sounds like sweet freedom on a warm night, your window rolled down, your heart feeling happy.

10. "Magic's in the Makeup" - No Doubt
Marisa wants to be her true self, but she's still learning how.

11. "Sad Eyes" - Bruce Springsteen
Nash sees Marisa in a way no one else does. Sad eyes never lie.

12. "When I'm With You" - Sheriff
A classic song about what it feels like to find your soul mate.

13. "Wheel" - John Mayer
This song is playing in Marisa's head when she knocks on Sterling's door at the end of summer. It's more about the bittersweet sensation of being in a relationship while knowing that it won't be the last relationship either one of you will have, how we can keep moving into and out of one another's lives in different ways. I'm including it here because it speaks to the permanence of all relationships. Every bond we have fluctuates throughout the years, but every person we share our lives with becomes part of us forever. Everything is connected.


Visit the sites that hosted the Waiting for You blog tour. Each site featured one of my Top Ten High School Myths and a mini interview.

Day 1 - For the Love of Books

Day 2 - Presenting Lenore

Day 3 - Frenetic Reader

Day 4 - The Story Siren

Day 5 - Bookluver-Carol's Reviews

Day 6 - Reading Keeps You Sane

Day 7 - Shooting Stars Mag

Day 8 - Pop Culture Junkie

Day 9 - Laura's Review Bookshelf

Day 10 - The Compulsive Reader


You can read the first three chapters of Waiting for You in the Susane Colasanti Sampler.

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