Hurry Up and Wait – Isabel Ashdown

“Hurry up,  hurry up and wait, I stay away all week and still I wait, I got the blues, please come see, what your lovin’s doing to me……” [Sunday Girl, Blondie ’79)

Being a teenager of the 80’s I had a lot of fun reading Hurry Up and Wait  taking a trip down the proverbial Memory Lane.  Not just for the fashion, the music and social references but for the re-ignited feelings of fickle teenage friendships, falling in love not to mention falling out of it, shifting relationships with parents and adults and thinking I was already grown up and knew it all!

Hurry Up and Wait, although set in the 1980’s, could actually be set just as well in the 1990’s or 2000’s – the events could be played out in any era as, fundamentally, the teenage angsts  and crux of the story are timeless.

The story starts at a school reunion in 2010 where the main character, Sarah Ribbons, hooks back up with old friends.  From the start there is the sense that Sarah is not exactly looking forward to it – something happened in the past, in the summer of 1986, that has not yet been resolved.

The reader is then taken back to the mid-80’s  where Sarah is 15 and attends the local high school with her friends Kate and Tina, although Sarah feels slightly on the outside, never truly comfortable within her peer group.  Their everyday teenage life is depecited with an honesty and accuracy, showing the complexities and loyalties of friendship and love.

Essentially, this is a coming of age story where Sarah finds herself being drawn into a situation which as adults we can look at and the alarm bells ring madly, but as a teenager Sarah feels she is old enough to deal with.

The last part of the book comes full circle and is set back at the reunion where Sarah faces up to what happened all those years ago.

I really enjoyed reading Hurry Up and Wait.  I felt the characters were realistic, the dialogue spot on and the relationship Sarah had with her father to be a candid portrayal – one of embarrassment and irritation at times but also one of a deep sense of love.  Yep I can relate to that!

Isabel is also on Twitter and Facebook.

Isabel has also written ‘Glasshopper‘ which was published to much critical acclaim, and was twice named as one of the best books of 2009 by the London Evening Standard and the Observer Review.


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