A review by jennastopreading
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin

emotional reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Thank you Knopf for my advance readers copy of this book!

As a huge Gabrielle Zevin fan (The Storied Life of AJ Fikry is my FAVORITE book of all time), this is a hard review for me to write. Mainly because this book was a tricky one for me to read.

Here's what I liked about this story: Zevin has a way of creating characters and scenarios that feel like something you can search on Google to read more about. The people, the company they started, the entire story felt like it was based on real events, and I love when I'm reading about people that feel like they should have their own Wikipedia page.

I also LOVED the opening of this book. I was absolutely entranced for the first 50 or so pages, and I was excited to read a beautiful story about two flawed people. The beginning really satisfied my reader heart, but from there on out, it fizzled.

Now, onto the reason that this book didn't receive 5 stars from me...

First of all; literary fiction is not my go to genre. I am quick to admit that, and when I received this book, I don't know that I knew it was a lit fic novel. So if this is your genre of choice, PLEASE read the review of someone else and do not continue with mine - you will probably find an opinion closer to yours!

That being said, the writing style(s) in this book just did not work for me. The writing changed multiple times throughout the story and it made it hard for me to keep up. Maybe I'm just not smart enough to enjoy it, but I found it really hard to follow. The nonlinear timeline also made things tricky for me, and I think the chapter titles really could've benefitted from having the year in which it is set listed on them.

Additionally, some of the words used in this book felt like they were pulled straight from a thesaurus. I am of average intelligence, but as a reader with a relatively high vocabulary, I still found this hard to read. The use of words that I'd never heard (e.g. verisimilitude, umlaut) really pulled me out of the story.

Secondly, I had a hard time connecting to the story because of the amount of video game references throughout. Maybe if I'd played anything more than the occasional game of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 on my brothers PS2 as a 7 year old it would appeal to me more, but I found the amount of video game references and explanations to be tiring.

Thirdly, the pacing in this story was agonizingly slow. Not only did it feel like nothing was happening throughout, but at the end of it...it still felt like nothing happened. Not much character development happened in my opinion - both Sadie and Sam were still argumentative and hard headed. And the rest of the book was just as dissatisfying.

All in all, this is not the first Zevin book I would recommend to someone. I very much enjoyed Young Jane Young and The Storied Life of AJ Fikry more. They felt like they were written by an entirely different person, though, so sadly this was just not for me.

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