Tuesday, April 25, 2023

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


Goodreads Overview:

In this exhilarating novel, 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.

Jacque's Review:

I had an opportunity to see Gabrielle Zevin speak at an author event hosted by Columbus Metropolitan Library several years ago. So, when Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow was selected as one of the Books on Tap book club selections, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. It is a book club that meets at a local brewery, but this is the first time they have selected a book I was interested in.

Sam and Sadie meet at a Children's hospital when Sam and Sadie's sister are both there for an extended period. Sam was involved in a car accident and needed numerous surgeries on his foot while Sadie's sister was being treated for cancer. The two connect over video games and become close friends until Sam discovers a secret she has been hiding.

They go their separate ways and eventually reconnect when they bump into each other in a subway station clear across the country. Sam is attending Harvard and Sadie is at MIT. They decide to design a video game together and their lives are an instant success. Sam's friend Marx runs the business side of things while Sam and Sadie design the games. Their "office" quickly moves from Marx's apartment near Boston to an office building in sunny southern California with a full team of employees. 

Sam and Sadie clearly love each other, but the strong competition between them prevents them from ever becoming more than friends. They have periods when they will not even talk to each other, but the minute the other person needs them, they are the first to step up and help. There were quite a few unexpected twists and turns woven into this story, which really kept the pages turning. I do not want to give anything away, so I will simply leave it at that.

I enjoy playing video games on occasion, but you certainly do not need to be a gamer to enjoy this story. It won the Goodreads choice award for best fiction in 2022 and the movie rights have been picked up by Paramount Pictures. It is a story of love, friendship, overcoming disabilities and loss, and even explores topics of ethnic and religious diversity. I really enjoyed Zevin's writing style and look forward to seeing how Hollywood brings this story to life on the big screen. 

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