Waiting for August – Review

img_0434Many thanks to the author for providing an advanced copy for my honest review.

I loved the idea of heading back to late 90s Michigan summers with Jessica Shook’s characters Maggie, Levi, Juju, and more in Waiting for August. I grew up in Michigan in the nineties myself, making this novel have an extra touch of nostalgia for me while reading. Not to mention, the Texas/Michigan connection the characters have throughout the story, much like my own life. This made the story feel more personal and easy to imagine from the start. This book was truly like a time machine in itself!


Would you change the day you regret most, if it meant giving up the life you know?

For seventeen-year-old Maggie Thayer, summer days are magical, full of book browsing, late-night swims, and Levi James. But when tragedy strikes on August day, the magic vanishes and her future is altered forever.

On the 10th anniversary of that devastating day, Maggie is living a lackluster existence. Until she wakes up the next morning…but 10 years earlier. Maggie is 17 again, and Levi James is still the boy of her dreams. And the world is still full of possibility.

As she relives that day, knowing what is to come, will she make different choices and try to change the future she knows? Does she even want to?

I was anxious to see how the magical realism described in the blurb would come into play. I love a good time-travel romance or a touch of fantasy mixed with the real world. These types of stories trigger my imagination in a way that takes me back to childhood. I love being swept away in the possibility of what’s to come. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to find this major plot twist didn’t happen until slightly after the halfway point in the novel. Prior to this, I got stuck around 40% and found my desire to pick the book back up waning due to the long wait for excitement. I felt as if I was literally waiting for August for some exciting twist of fate to knock me off my feet. The pacing was lacking, which didn’t allow the story to capture my full interest.

I did enjoy the touches of wisdom Jessica infused into her writing and especially the essence of teenage love she was able to capture between Maggie and Levi. It took me back to being a teenager and loving a boy from afar but being afraid to do anything about it. In this way, Maggie was quite a relatable character for me to read about. Many of her characteristics from her teenage years into her adult life were similar to my own. I also appreciated Maggie’s reflections as an adult on her teenage experience. It fully achieved describing the pain that comes with growing older and leaving the innocence of youth behind. I was impressed by Jessica’s ability to subtly convey these important themes.

The conclusion of Waiting for August was a bit lackluster, in my opinion. Had the story started out in the present, flashing back to the past, I think I might have felt Maggie’s decisions had more conviction behind them. I also was not attached to the characters in the future, which only made me feel detached from the events taking place. I hoped the time-travel would serve some bigger purpose, but instead, it made the story veer in another direction that was less interesting to me as a reader.

Overall, this was a beautifully written book, but a bit of fine-tuning to the plotting and pacing would have benefitted the story as a whole. I think Jessica’s writing has plenty of potential, in fact, it’s better than I could dream of doing myself, as a writer. As a reader, however, I need a book to completely capture my attention.

Check this one out for yourself today!!

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase on Amazon.


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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Carol says:

    I appreciate your honest thoughts and review! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carol! It’s always tough to be kind of critical when the book comes from the author. I hope it’s constructive rather than hurtful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Carol says:

        I think it was kindly and thoughtfully written! 🙌

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I appreciate that. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. This sounds like the plot had some promise. Z great and honest review.


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