The Long Wait for Tomorrow by Joaquin Dorfman
Publication Date/Version: September 2009/Hardcover
Publisher: Random House
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Random Buzzers Program
A simple twist of fate brought Patrick Saint and Kelly McDermott together, a car crash in which they were the only two survivors. Kelly has always been the leader, a high school football star dating the hot cheerleader. To Patrick, it seems the world can't wait to give Kelly everything he desires. Until the night things go too far. Kelly, faithful Patrick, and the football team terrorize Edmund, the school's science nerd, for seeing something he shouldn't have.
The next morning, Kelly is different. The "new" Kelly McDermott cares what Patrick thinks, knows how to smoke and play pool, and doesn't remember his own class schedule. Should Patrick believe him when Kelly says he's actually forty years old and asleep in a mental institution? And will this second twist of fate give them enough time to figure out what catastrophe Kelly's older self has come back to prevent?
The Long Wait for Tomorrow managed to make the subject of time travel and its consequences even more confusing. The idea was interesting, but it lacked the proper execution. I constantly found myself confused. The theory used to explain time travel was complicated, and we never really learned exactly why Kelly travelled back. Although he may have travelled back in time to prevent a "catastrophe," I rarely felt as though he was actually doing anything to prevent it. He made a few attempts to right the wrongs, but he could have been a true leader and stuck up for poor Edmund. I was left feeling that Kelly didn't do all he could to stop what he knew was coming - and why wouldn't he try his hardest to stop it?
I had problems with the characters, as well. We learned very little about them, and the few things I did learn have already flew from my memory. There was little background, and their conversations seemed out of place. I just couldn't imagine people a couple of years older than me having the conversations that the three main characters had. One of the few things that kept me going was the spark between Patrick and Jenna, Kelly's girlfriend. This, however, wasn't enough to keep the book afloat.
I partially enjoyed the climax of the book, but I didn't feel especially emotional about it. I mean, we heard vaguely about it afterwards, so it was all just third person retellings. I never felt as if I was actually there. The very end, about the last chapter or so, just left me even more confused and empty. I felt that this book could have expressed so much more emotion and achieved a stronger message if the author didn't focus as much on making the characters' conversations seem deep and intellectual. Not everything said has to have an important meaning.
Overall: The Long Wait for Tomorrow had the potential to show some real emotion and grit, but the execution wasn't there.
My Advice: Skip it. Unless you really love time travel theories and just can't resist.
The Cover: Busy and bold. It expresses my personal confusion towards the book, but it doesn't give the reader any sense of what the book is about.