Title: Waiting for Callback
Author: Perdita and Honor Cargill
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
UK Release Date: 28th January 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humour
Geek Girl meets Fame meets New Girl in this brilliantly funny new series!
When Elektra is discovered by an acting agent, she imagines Oscar glory can’t be far away, but instead lurches from one cringe-worthy moment to the next! Just how many times can you be rejected for the part of ‘Dead Girl Number Three’ without losing hope? And who knew that actors were actually supposed to be multi-lingual, play seven instruments and be trained in a variety of circus skills?
Off-stage things aren’t going well either – she’s fallen out with her best friend, remains firmly in the friend-zone with her crush and her parents are driving her crazy. One way or another, Elektra’s life is now spent waiting for the phone to ring – waiting for callback.
Can an average girl-next-door like Elektra really make it in the world of luvvies and starlets?
I had been wanting to read this book for quite a while, as I really enjoyed the Geek Girl books (you can read my review of the most recent one in the series here) which have been compared to this, and I had heard about the book from various events, such as YA Shot (which I recapped here), so I was happy to finally have gotten around to reading it!
For me, what really made Waiting for Callback stand out from other books where seemingly average girls are whipped into a whirlwind world of fame was the fact that things didn’t happen quickly for Elektra, and there was, I felt, a degree of realism which I really appreciated. Obviously I am no expert on how easy it is to get work in the acting world, but standard idea is that it is very difficult indeed, and I thought that this book didn’t get swept up in glamour. Elektra had her fair share of disappointments, delays, rejections – and there were even some successes which, despite being much-anticipated jobs, were nowhere near what she may have expected initially.
The constant edge of realism throughout the book was what made the ending even sweeter for me. I did sort of see it coming, but the fact that Elektra had to go through so many let downs meant I couldn’t know anything for sure, and I was particularly happy for her because of this. Elektra’s personality also really warmed her to me. Some characters who have a lot of embarrassing moments can sometimes feel as far away from reality as their experiences are highly unrealistic, but I thought that Honor and Perdita Cargill had a great balance. Elektra’s experiences struck me as just far away from everyday life to make them sound awkward and humiliating without making them unbelievable.
There were also interesting plot lines woven in throughout the novel on top of the acting and constantly waiting for responses for auditions, mainly centring around Elektra’s friends, Moss and Daisy, and her crush, Archie. At times I did find Elektra a tad immature in these parts, especially when it came to some of her arguments and quarrels, but I think this was a part of her personality, as she definitely felt like quite a young character emotionally. I thought it was interesting to include the perspective Daisy provided as well, and it definitely helped to keep the book balanced.
I think that I’m glad I didn’t end up reading this book until December, and the reason for this is because it ended on a cliffhanger, so I only have to wait one month until the sequel! I am very excited to read it, as the first book left me desperate to know what was going to happen in the next stage of Elektra’s journey. I thoroughly enjoyed Waiting for Callback, and would recommend it to those who like funny books where the protagonists embark on a journey into the world of fame, and especially to slightly younger readers of YA.