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Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

29/60 | Started 06.04.23 • Finished 06.14.23 | 4 stars

Have been excited about this since it was announced, as I'm such a huge fan of Zevin's novel The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. This was really unlike anything I've ever read. It centered so much around the gaming world and culture that it just felt super unfamiliar. There was even a whole section that was from the perspective of being within a video game. At the same time, in a way, it featured one relationship as the main character.

"It isn’t a sadness, but a joy, that we don’t do the same things for the length of our lives."

We meet Sam and Sadie early in life, right as they are about to enter their teen years. They become fast friends over video games in a hospital rec area. Their shared love of said video games leads to them through some volatile ups and downs over the next few decades. Their relationship really becomes the driving force of the narrative. Sometimes there for each other, and other times absent, there is a bond between them that even tragedy seems unable to break.

There is no purity to bearing pain alone.

I could have done without some of the political issues Zevin wove into the story. (I doubt it was unintentional.) I don't think it would have suffered from their absence. That aside, I think Zevin showed great skill in arranging the timeline and even managing to have Sam and Sadie's relationship come full circle after what seemed like an irreparable schism. As with A.J. Fikry, Zevin is a master at creating depth in her characters and the relationships between them. But where A.J. Fikry was tender and sweet, this one was edgy and darker. It's hard to say if you'd enjoy this one after reading the other - they really are quite different from one another.

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