I received an advance reader’s copy (ARC) of Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon. Since this version is just a proof and not the final version, I won’t quote directly and will keep my comments general.
Today Tonight Tomorrow takes place over the course of 24 hours, during the last day/night of high school for the main characters. Rowan and Neil have been rivals their entire time in high school, competing in everything from debate to student council. Now, with graduation coming up and senior year ending, Rowan is faced with lots of life changes—including the fact she will never have to talk to her worst frenemy again. But the last night of high school features a city-wide scavenger hunt for the graduates, and circumstances force her and Neil together one last time. As the night goes on, though, their rivalry starts to shift as they learn things about each other they have missed. Perhaps they aren’t as different as they thought.
I thought this book would have slightly weak character development, considering how short a span of time it covers. I’ve never read a book like it, so I misjudged it, because it really worked! The protagonists Rowan and Neil are both well written and relatable, fun and interesting, and they both had great character arcs. Seeing them get to know each other in new ways, seeing their attitudes shift as preconceived notions are dismantled, was so satisfying.
It helps that Rowan and Neil have known each other for years. You feel their familiarity in the way they banter and tease, so the way their bond evolves feels organic rather than forced. It’s like Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, which, since that’s the epigraph, must be deliberate. And I love it.
The side characters like Kirby, Mara, and the parents are also good. They don’t feel clichéd or like caricatures, and add depth to the core pair’s relationship.
I also really enjoyed the scavenger hunt aspect of the plot. It keeps the action moving forward, gives the characters chances to bond in new ways, and features aspects of life in Seattle I knew nothing about. It was fun!
The subplot about romance books is beautifully done. Rowan’s desires warring with insecurity was well described, and seeing her learn to defend and embrace her passion for a genre too-often mocked, despite being one of the only genres to deliberately uplift women, was wonderful. Give me a book about books, and I’ll eat it up, apparently.
In the end, I liked Today Tonight Tomorrow way more than I thought I would. I underestimated the character development, the depth of theme, the witty dialogue, and the romance. This is a brilliantly executed book with a strong set of leads, an enjoyable plot, and an all-around feel good story about people’s hidden depths. It’s adorable and lovely.
Quick note: There are some themes that might not be well suited to young readers, such as brief recreational drug use, language, and mild sexual content. There’s also a couple discussions of anti-Semitic micro-aggressions. The latter especially is handled with sensitivity, but these things probably this book more for older teens and adults than for younger teens.
Overall rating: 8.7/10
Looks like the pub date for this got pushed back slightly from its original June date due to the virus, but it’s out now!