Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
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”
I loved this book!
Such a good one! Thanks for the visit, Paula 🙂
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!
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!
I loved this one too, such a great story and wonderful characters
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 🙂
It does look as if the author has the ability to engender questions, hopes, and expectations in her readers
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!
No problem. I have just responded to your question about The Betrothed. I hope that doesn’t go astray
I loved this book too!! Great review.
Hi Kimberly – it was the perfect type of book to read on vacation. Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂
Thanks for the great review. I have been wondering what the fuss about this book was all about!
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!
Thanks for explaining about the cover. xo
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.
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 🙂
I liked that book a lot, particularly the way it played around with the way life and role-play games were alike or similar.
Hi Dorothy – that’s a great observation. I agree. It was a clever book, but also had excellent characters. Thanks for the visit 🙂
Great review. I’m currently reading the one and loving it!!
I felt so good reading it, even during the down periods. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Mani!
Well your memories are enough to get me to add it to my TBR! Thanks! My adult son is a big gamer in his down-time.
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!
If I read it, I’ll review it. I put it on hold.
Good – I’ll keep an eye out!
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.
True. That’s a valid argument. Thanks, Lynette!
I’m not a gamer either, Barbara, but Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow sounds good!
I recommend it – thanks, Vera!
Thank you for another great review, Barbara. I am not a gamer either, but this book sounds very interesting.
It has broad appeal IMO. Thanks for reading and commenting, Donna!
Ooh! I’ve always wanted to read this but I was scared because of the hype. You know I trust your judgement so thank you so much Book Club Mom. X
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!
I’m so glad it worked out well. I’m going to keep an eye out for it over half term break. As always, thank you!
I enjoyed both of Zevin’s other books but this gamer thing is putting me off picking this one up. On my “maybe” list!
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!
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.
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!
Excellent review, Barbara. You do such fine work! 🙂
Thank you, Tim. I really appreciate your support!
Wonderful review! I loved this book so much. I’d put off reading it because I thought a book about video games wouldn’t interest me — and I was so wrong!!
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!