Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin book review

If you wanted to sell a book to me, telling me it was about two people who spend decades of their lives trying to create the best games, you’d have me pretty much sold. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow was sold as this to me by many people across social media. This concept sounded very enticing and so I went into it more excited than I already was by the fantastic front cover design.

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Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow is a story about Sam Hasur and Sadie Green and all of the people who become embroiled in their forever on-off sort-of relationship. It’s a story about the evolution of video games; it’s a story about disability, friendship, identity and even sexism.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow plot – 4.5/5

The story of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow is a fairly simple one: a young boy meets a young girl in hospital for differing reasons and become friends over their love of video games. Many years later they see each other again and decide to make video games together.

What ensues is an incredibly maturely written story about the realistic possibilities of a male and a female during the 80s and 90s in a predominantly male-dominated industry navigating said industry.

Now… the first 2/3 of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow confused me; I never really knew what I was reading other than that of a fairly average story about two people making video games with the fairly cliche struggles you’d expect from such.

However, as the book progressed and a certain chapter came about (you’ll know it when you read it) the book suddenly took a completely different turn and made me question why Gabrielle Zevin hadn’t used this method of storytelling earlier on in the book (again, you’ll know what this means more when you read it). In fact, the chapter was so powerful and subsequent similar chapters that my rating shot up completely.

To say the book had suddenly grabbed my attention from “it’s okay” to “OK, bloody hell that’s powerful” would be a good way of relaying it.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow characters – 4.25/5

It isn’t a secret that well-written characters have to be present in a book for it to become one of my favourite books. Unfortunately, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow didn’t quite reach the heights I’d hoped for of deep and developed characters.

Sadie and Sam are the two main people we follow throughout the book, evidenced in my multiple descriptions of the plot. Their on-off sort of not a relationship that could happen but never really sort of kind of does is the whole underlying story here.

Their relationship with one another is often questioned and Zevin teases it multiple times throughout. She handles it well and shows a really mature and different relationship than you’ll likely expect or maybe have even read before.

But, and this is a big “but”, Sam and Sadie just aren’t that interesting enough or have enough chemistry with one another for me to have really cared. With stories where the author plays with “will they, won’t they” you really have to give a damn if they do or they don’t and I honestly couldn’t have cared if they did or not.

They both spent nearly all of the book sulking, unhappy or moody with one another and there simply weren’t enough moments where they enjoyed one another’s company or laughed or had memories with one another that made you vouch for them.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow final rating – 4.25/5

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin is a book that has a lot going for it – it tells the story of a mature relationship, it’s about the evolution of the video game industry (something I always love reading about) and it has a couple of chapters that may be some of the most cleverly written I’ve read in a long time. But uncharismatic characters with little to no chemistry made for a book that didn’t quite reach the level of hype I’ve seen for it (for me anyway). Many people really loved this book and I can see why but for me, to sell a “relationship”, you’ve got to write characters whose relationship I actually care about.

Pick up a copy of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and Tomorrow here.

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2 thoughts on “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin book review

  • I never found whatever it is that everyone else has got so excited about with this book.

    Like you I found the characters a little dull for so many pages, and lacked chemistry. It was also far too long and by the end I was bored and skim read in case anything interesting happened but I was so turned off Sam and Sadie by then I didn’t care.

    It scraped 3/5 for me. I loved the writing style though, I am definitely going to read more Zevin!

    • I agree with most of this too to be fair, Alice. I think my final rating is only a little higher because I was such a fan of the different chapter styles she tried in the later sections of the book!

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