Monday, July 4, 2022



Rating: 5/5 stars

Add this book to your summer reading list because you are not going to want to miss this one. 

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow is a story that spans 30 years following the lives of Sam and Sadie and Marx, beginning in college, as they design and produce video games, some bestsellers and some flops, and all the nuances involved in that business. This is a very character-focused story as the narrative weaves in all the characters’ backstories in such a masterly way that you don’t even realize you’re falling in love with each and every character until it’s too late. Even though this novel has video games at its heart, you don’t have to love or even understand gaming to be able to love this story. 

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow is compulsively readable. I can’t remember the last time I wanted so badly to forget about everything just so I could read, or when I wanted to call off work (which I didn’t because I’m responsible, but I wanted to) just to get a few more hours of reading in that day. I was invested, and I wish every book’s reading experience was like this one, where I get lost in the pages and don’t get distracted at all until I finish, where I forget that I’m even reading because I’m so involved with what’s going on in the story that I feel like I’m there with the characters. It’s a rare book that provides that kind of experience. 

I absolutely love how this book was written. Zevin employs third-person singular, third-person omniscient, and second-person POVs throughout the book, and it worked. It was being told in past-tense, but as if the characters themselves were in the future and looking back and telling their own story, so occasionally they’d casually hint at what was to come in the future, and that destroyed me. It was always during a happy time, and then a character would be like But we didn’t know everything would change in five years. Excuse me, I am not okay now knowing that! 

Zevin is also an intelligent writer. It’s been a while since I read a book with a word or two on nearly every page that I had to ask Google to define for me. I honestly loved that because I really enjoy learning new words while I read, and it didn’t feel overdone here. 

I fell so deeply in love with Sadie and Sam from the first few pages that I knew this book would emotionally destroy me. I remember mentioning to my husband on page six (6!) that I could tell this was going to be a five-star read and that I would not be okay when it ended. And I knew it: I’m not okay. How did I know that so early on? It was the characters and their relationships. 

I kept longing for a friendship like the one Sadie and Sam had while in college. I’ve had a lot of friends, I’ve had quite a few good friends, and I’ve even had some best friends, but I’ve never had a friendship like the one they had. It’s something I still long for, to this day. I want someone, outside of my husband, to know me as intimately as they knew each other, to do anything for me, to draw me secret mazes, to show up unannounced with bagels when I’m depressed, and just generally know me better than I know myself. 

And I want to do all that for someone else too. I think a lot of us are too shy and uncomfortable to reach that level of friendship with someone, or we form the friendships too late in life, thus not allowing them to have that innocent beginning that children’s friendships have, bonding over the shared love of a game one day and becoming lifelong best friends the next. It’s a special and rare thing to have a friend like that.

This book is not a romance and has next to no romance in it, yet it is undeniably a book about love. The love that Sadie and Sam have for each other is so large and emotional and consuming. But on the other hand, the characters have many small relationships throughout the novel that still were impactful. This book is about love in all its forms—erotic, platonic, unconditional, familial, the love of two people who are more than friends but not lovers, and the love of art, of creation, and of life.

“Every person you knew, every person you loved even, did not have to consume you for the time to have been worthwhile.”

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow has “Best Book of the Year” vibes and was certainly one of the most incredible and outstanding novels I have ever read. I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was, and I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do. This book deserves all the attention it can get. If everyone knew what story awaited them between the covers, they would all be running to the bookstore to buy a copy. It’s just that good. 

Read Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow if you like: 
•Video games (or if you don’t).
•’90s nostalgia. 
•Japanese culture and influences. 
•Academic settings. 
•Grandiloquent language choices. 
•Theatre and poetry, specifically Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. 
•A character-based narrative. 
•Friendships that define and consume you. 
•Love, in all its many forms. 
•Being forced to stay up until 2 a.m. reading. 
•Emotional damage. 

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