Book Review: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
Gabrielle Zevin

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I waited a long time to get my hands on this popular book and it was worth it! I was traveling when I read it, so sadly, I took no notes. Now a week later, I will have to draw on memory to tell you about it.

I knew nothing about Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow when I started reading. That is my preferred method, by the way. I was delighted to meet Zevin’s characters who are brilliant, yet human, and whose decisions based on their emotions create divides that the reader is just hoping will be resolved before it is too late.

The main characters, Sadie Green and Sam Masur are brilliant gamers and game designers, who first meet in a hospital when they are children. Sam had been in a tragic car accident and Sadie’s sister was battling leukemia. In the hospital lounge, they quickly discover their mutual love for video games. They have a big falling out when Sadie turns thirteen, however, and pride prevents them from making up. Now they meet by chance in Boston as college students. Sadie is at MIT, Sam’s at Harvard. Note: sometimes I get frustrated when I read books where everyone goes to elite colleges. Don’t let that put you off. They belong there. Ultimately, they collaborate on a video game that launches a hugely successful game design company. Barely into their twenties, Sadie and Sam are millionaires and they head for California. But egos, hurt feelings and misunderstandings get in the way of happiness.

The title is a Shakespeare reference to Macbeth’s well-known soliloquy, but also refers to the essence of video games where there’s always a chance to start over. Also playing into the story are the characters’ mixed races and cultures, as well as their loneliness despite their success. Believe it or not, it reminds me of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson because it has that “what would have happened if I did this or of this didn’t happen” theme.

I’m not a gamer, but I enjoyed diving into the gaming world and especially loved reading about their creative process, which really is about developing characters, themes and story lines. It’s definitely not just graphics. I will tell you that the last section gets a little meta because you’re deep into a game and its avatars. I thought it was really clever how the author wrote that into the story.

Throughout the book, I wondered if Sadie and Sam would ever have a romantic relationship. There are many missed opportunities and Zevin fills the book with strong emotions and realistic human situations. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens!

I recommend Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow to readers who like stories with great characters. This is my second book by Gabrielle Zevin. I also loved The Storied Life of A J. Fikry.

Thanks for visiting—come back soon!

41 thoughts on “Book Review: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

  1. I like when authors use familiar titles to create metaphors they “bend” in a totally different way: Shakespeare and gaming. And I like stories with great characters. But, so many books on my TBR pile; this one will have to wait. Thanks for the review, Barb!

    1. Hi Marian – yes I get it – I think we were just talking about the same thing on a different blog post. This one lives up to the hype. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Hi Cathy – very original and modern – that appealed to me. And the characters, of course. I love stories when you want the characters to get together, but there’s always something in the way. Thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂

    1. Hi Derrick – so sorry for the late reply to your comment! I found it in my spam folder – not sure why. And yes, the author did a great job with all that you listed. I’m very happy I read it!

    1. Hi Darlene – I admit I wasn’t attracted to the cover, but the picture behind the words is actually a famous Japanese painting their first game was inspried by the artwork. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. The book club I belong to choose this for next month’s read. It didn’t sound interesting to me, so I haven’t downloaded it. But maybe I will after reading your review. Thanks.

    1. Hi Pat – I don’t think being a gamer is a requirement – it’s not like that, so if that is what was holding you back, maybe you would enjoy it. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  3. I liked that book a lot, particularly the way it played around with the way life and role-play games were alike or similar.

    1. You’ll have to let me know if you liked it – my kids play video games and, although I don’t play, I like hearing about what’s popular and what they like. Thanks for the visit!

  4. Macbeth’s soliloquy is full of despair and desperation. It’s the one that ends with “[life] is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/ Signifying nothing.” I might have avoided this book just on the title alone, so thanks for the review! Cheers.

    1. Oh I know that feeling – the hyped up books can be such disappointments, but not this one. I’m going to read Demon Copperhead soon, also hyped up over here – I think it’ll probably be good, but I’ll have to wait and see. Thank you for reading and commenting, Books and Bakes!

    1. Hi Davida – because I didn’t know it was about gaming, I can’t say how I would have felt about starting a book about gaming. I have to say, her characters and plot are excellent. Thank you for the visit – hope you are having a good weekend!

  5. I really enjoyed this one as well, Book Club Mom! Gave me a new appreciation for the world of video gamers and game designers/programmers.

    1. Hello there, Teenie71! Wasn’t it great? My kids play different types so I’m somewhat familiar, but I don’t play myself. I do have a lot of respect for the designers – they build characters and plots just like novelists. Hope you’re doing well – I miss you!

    1. Hi Lisa – I didn’t know what it was about so I had no thoughts going in. I was surprised it was about video games, but also impressed by the originality and how the author managed to make it universally appealing. Thanks for the visit!

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