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

Hello book lovers. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on a recent release, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabriella Zevin.

First off, I love the cover for this. It references the very recognisable print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Japanese artist Hokusai, which is mentioned in the book. Coupled with a retro rainbow coloured font, it really appeals to me.

The book was released in hardback on 14th July 2022 and has been selected for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club. I’d like to thank Vintage for my copy of the book.

The Plot:

In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends–often in love, but never lovers–come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.

On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.

Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.

My Thoughts:

I’d never read anything by this author but the premise appealed to me. I’m not a huge gamer, I don’t really have time these days, but most like people, have dabbled with a few games in the past. For Sadie and Sam, gaming is part of who they are. So many of their formative experiences, and certainly key moments in their relationship, have been anchored around games or one type or another.

We see Sadie and Sam as children initially, Sam in hospital after a car accident almost destroys his feet, and Sadie as a visitor to her ill sister. They bond in a common room over a Nintendo. After a falling out, their paths continue to cross over the years until the meeting described in the above blurb. From there, we follow them more closely, as they start collaborating to create games which will change the course of their lives and those around them.

The characters created here were wonderful. Sam and Sadie each have their flaws which only serves to make them feel more real. Its not just Sam and Sadie here though, I really liked the supporting cast, and must give an honorary mention to Marx, who I thought was great. These characters make mistakes, do things that you won’t agree with, love each other generously and more.

I read this pretty slowly, not because I wasn’t enjoying it, but it just felt like a leisurely book to savour. Its the characters you’re reading about here, rather than the plot. I do love a coming of age story.

The concept of starting again is mentioned several times in the book. In a video game, if you die, you can start again, fully formed and ready to go. These characters have to start again a few times after life deals them out some right stinkers. Not quite fully formed and ready to go, but picking up the pieces and trying to put their lives back together. The constant throughout, is love. Not romantic love necessarily, but Sam and Sadie do love each other (though some of their actions may betray that fact on occasion) and the nature of that love is explored throughout the book.

I would really recommend this book, reading it was a really enjoyable experience.

Finally, a big hats off to the marketing team working on this book. I saw the physical proofs on social media and they were BEAUT! There have been some great promotional bits and bobs too, including a version of the game Sadie makes in the book, Emily Blaster, a chance to make your own avatar and an introduction from the author, all of which can be found here: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

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

  1. Great review! I nabbed an ALC of this one last month but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet — the cover and title made me assume the book was about time travel though and I am sad it isn’t lol. Still sounds like a powerful read, though.

    Like

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