Jude wakes up after death in The Waiting Room where souls go for a brief period before their name is called for their next life. The only thing is Jude’s name is never called and he assumes that it’s because he’s waiting for his love, Nina. But what will happen when Nina does join him?
When I finished this book, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of it. Not in a bad way, more of a ‘don’t normally read this genre of book’ way. And I don’t. I read this book because one of my commentators is the author and the summary sounded like nothing I had read before.
The main characters are Nina and Jude. Their relationship was a big strength of this book, mostly because I can see them being in love, it’s more showing rather than telling especially as the book carries on. The way they talk to each other and the way they think about each other, it makes it so obvious. My favourite parts of their relationship are Jude not being jealous of David marrying Nina after he died (the jealousy trope is very overdone and I loved how it wasn’t employed here), when Nina was describing Jude’s smile and when Jude made Nina jump with a kiss when she was trying to meditate. All of these are sweet little moments that you didn’t think you would get in a book where one of the main protagonists is dead to start off with and is just waiting for the other protagonist to die.
The actual plot of the book was really interesting, I hadn’t heard about the idea of death or reincarnation like that and I love the idea. That being said, the end paragraph had me wanting to bang my head against the wall. Where is Jude? Is it a new waiting room or has he actually gone to heaven? I can understand why the author did not expand on it. She manages to write about the afterlife that doesn’t confirm or deny the existence of any particular God while not leaving me too annoyed (although a little frustrated).
I did like how the book kept emphasising that there was nothing special about Jude and Nina’s love, after all people had been in love for millenia but with Nina starting the additions that sparked a movement of sorts, it was implied that this was the reason they had been chosen. Or at least, that’s how I read it. And then the waiting room got pushed out so maybe I’m wrong.
One thing that I don’t know whether I liked or not was the style of writing. It was very colloquial and sometimes it felt like the characters were talking directly to me to make sure I understood and I’m not sure I like that.
Overall, I did like it, I probably won’t read it again but I would recommend it. So four stars it is.