Is there anything better than curling up on your couch, or in the corner of a cafe, a mug of steaming coffee in your hand (or tea, we don’t judge here) as you open up a good book to get lost in? If a greater pleasure does indeed exist, it is one I have yet to be acquainted with. And you’ll want to get your hands on “Wait for It by Mariana Zapata” here.
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There are, however, quite a few dis-pleasures that come to mind that I can list off the top of my head, the most annoying being the search for that perfect transition book for when you’re stewing in the pit your previous read left you in, and coming up utterly, despairingly short. (Shh, look away from the pile of unread books left on your shelf.)
That’s where this article comes in, to show you the light that Mariana Zapata’s slow burn romance novel, ‘Wait For It’, can bring into your life, and to shove it down your throats mercilessly. Well, that last part may be a bit of a stretch, but to say this book may very well earn its place in one of the top spots of your favorite reads of the year is no exaggeration.
Just as she has done in her previous works, Zapata manages to play both the telepath, and the ferryman, sucking you into the subconscious of her protagonist as she takes you on a boat ride you’re unlikely to forget. The true magic behind her simple, yet poignant writing, is her sheer understanding and knowledge of human emotion. This is what makes Diana Casillas, the heroine of this novel, and her story the perfect candidate through which Zapata can showcase her talents.
At the age of twenty-nine, Diana is a struggling mother, though she did not claim this title through any doing of her own. Instead, tragedy strikes in the form of her brother and sister in law’s untimely death, leaving her the sole guardian of the two children they left behind. Having just barely gotten the grasp of adulthood, Diana is now forced to grapple with the challenge of forcing down her grief to be the guiding figure she knows the children need her to be. She has to learn the reins of being a put-together adult and guardian, while also settling into the new life they are making for themselves in a new city and neighborhood.
There seems to be nobody to help her shoulder the overwhelming responsibilities and grief her circumstances have forced her to undertake, and with her new status of motherhood, she doubts anyone would even try stepping up to the mantel. Which is fine, of course. She can raise two boys on her own without the help of any man.
Cue Dallas Walker, the grouchy next-door neighbor who can’t seem to go an encounter without rubbing Diana the wrong way. He’s made it clear he’s not interested in anything happening between them, and Diana can’t help but mirror the sentiment. (No matter how good looking the grouch is.)
This is where the story picks off in a deliciously slow chain of encounters and events that bring Diana and Dallas closer in friendship, and finally, a little something more. There’s no rush here. No love at first sight, no straight edges. It’s messy, and complicated, and littered with human emotion pouring itself out on every page. It’s real in the way you feel every struggle Diana goes through is real, and every thought, every flutter in the stomach, and that’s what makes it so magical.
Zapata makes no mistake in her naming of the novel. Anyone can fall in love, but a good love takes time to be planted, and be allowed to grow and settle its roots. All you need to do is wait for it. You’ll want to check it out here.
“You can’t always wait for someone else to do the right thing when you can do it yourself.”
“All I could think about as I stood there was that sometimes life gave you a tragedy that burned everything you knew to the ground and changed you completely. But somehow, if you really wanted to, you could learn how to hold your breath as you made your way through the smoke left in its wake and you could keep going. And sometimes, sometimes, you could grow something beautiful from the ashes that were left behind. If you were lucky.”
“My grandma had told me once you couldn’t make someone love you or even like you, but you could sure as hell make someone put up with you.”
“Real love was gritty. The real kind of love never quit. Someone who loved you would do what’s best for you; they’d stand up for you and sacrifice. Someone who loved you would face any inconvenience willingly.”
“It was about having to be tough when you weren’t used to it. About having to grow when you’d thought you were done growing.”
Some of Zapata’s previous works, such as The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, and Kulti, take place in the same universe as Wait For It, with Diana being the best friend of the protagonist in the first book, and the cousin of the protagonist in the latter. Of course, those books are stand alone works and don’t need to be read in succession to this one. But if you find yourself ensnared in the net this book leaves for you, you’ll most likely find yourself running back for the next Mariana Zapata work you can get your hands on.
If you’re looking for something similar, but want to try submerging yourself in the pools of newer authors, you may want to try these titles next if you haven’t already delved into Virginia Hodgson’s books:
- ‘The Hating Game: A Novel’ by Sally Thorne
- ‘The Rock Chick’ by Kristen Ashley
- ‘The Opposite of You’ by Rachel Higginson