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Review: Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Review: Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn SolomonToday Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
on July 28, 2020
Format: ARC, Paperback
Goodreads

Today, she hates him.
It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating academic nemesis one last time.
Tonight, she puts up with him.
When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.
As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he's much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.
Tomorrow . . . maybe she’s already fallen for him.

I would like to, first and foremost, thank Lauren Carr over at Simon & Schuster for sending me not just an ARC of Today Tonight Tomorrow, but the entire adorable press kit box – my very first one! Thanks for believing in the small bloggers, Lauren!

As most of you know, I don’t read much YA these days, and I really don’t read a lot of contemporary romances, or what my friends affectionately call “kissing books.” They just do not do it for me for a variety of reasons – they’re cute enough, but tend to be predictable and I just don’t see the fun in that. But I had a feeling that TTT would be one of those game changers that really changed my perspective – and I was right! What a fun story.

Rating: 

If you’ve read any sort of “enemies to lovers” romance, then you know the basic formula here – Rowan and Neil have hated each other since freshman year of high school, the two of them always vying for the top spot in any given competition. However, today is different – today is the last day of high school, and Rowan plans to finally dethrone her rival once and for all! Unfortunately for Rowan, her last day of senior year is a comedy of errors, and she winds up in a car accident with coffee all over her shirt, and worst of all Neil beats her out for valedictorian.

She now only has one chance to win, to turn the tide – the school’s senior class game, a sort of scavenger hunt “Mafia” hybrid called Howl. If she can win Howl, maybe then she can retire her high school career with dignity – and $5,000, which would not hurt either. The only problem is she is not universally liked, and a lot of her classmates are out to ensure her Howl defeat. Teaming up with Neil is likely, unfortunately, the only way they both might have a shot at victory.

You probably know how this is going to end. But let’s face it, you read this sort of book precisely because you know how it will end! There is sometimes comfort in that happy ending, or what I refer to as a “big red bow” ending. Sure, you know how the last few pages will go, but it’s the middle of the book – the meat of it all – where the magic really happens.

Rowan is such a fun character to get to know. She is brainy and smart, and aspires to be a romance writer – a career her parents don’t get,  one that people generally look down on. How can she be taken seriously as a romance writer? She works hard, she plays hard, and she is funny. Her banter with Neil is top-notch, and I love the texts and other things interspersed throughout the book to really help both Rowan and Neil’s relationship and Howl come alive!

There are so many topics that Solomon handles beautifully – everything from anti-semitism (some amazing Jewish representation) to growing up and leaving behind what you know and love, even the concept of loving something that you might be shunned for – Rowan is so excited to meet her beloved favorite romance author on the evening of the last day of school, and it’s these little nuanced details like this that really help the character shine. I truly do not like a lot of contemporary YA, but I love it when a book changes my mind and my perspective. I also really want to visit Seattle now – this book was a giant love letter to the city and I thoroughly enjoyed my virtual, COVID trip.

“While I love romance, I’ve never believed in the concept of soul mates, which has always seemed a little like men’s rights activism: not a real thing. Love isn’t immediate or automatic; it takes effort and time and patience.
The truth of it was that I’d probably never have the kind of luck with love the women who live in fictional seaside towns do. But sometimes I get this strange feeling, an ache not for something I miss, but for something I’ve never known.”

“Boy bands, fan fiction, soap operas, reality TV, most shows and movies with female main characters . . . We’re still so rarely front and center, even rarer when you consider race and sexuality, and then when we do get something that’s just for us, we’re made to feel bad for liking it. We can’t win.”

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