Title: If There's No Tomorrow
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre/s: Contemporary, Young Adult
UK Publication Date: December 14th 2017 by HQ
US Publication Date: September 5th 2017 by Harlequin Teen
To start off I just want to say that this book is now one of my favourite contemporaries ever, which is really saying something after all the great books I've read recently. Even though some themes and plot points have been explored in the past by many different authors in loads of different ways I still feel like this was unique. The author took a concept that sadly happens way too often in the real world and was able to truly explore why such things do happen. I'm trying to be vague because I don't want give away plot points, but this story is strikingly realistic, and heartbreaking.
The protagonist is Lena; a seemingly ordinary teen living the typical high school life. A girl with friends and family problems, and an actual shot at real love. Gradually she begins to feel out of her depth, but things soon take a turn that make those problems seem extraordinarily small in comparison. We follow her journey of grief, love, heartbreak, guilt and finding out what truly matters to her.
“Sometimes I just wanted to…I don’t know, escape life. To delve headfirst into a world that dealt with real-life issues to open my eyes, or a world that was something else, something completely unreal. One with warring fae or roaming vampire clans. I wanted to experience new things and always, always, read the last page feeling satisfied. Because sometimes happily-ever-after existed only in the books I read.”
The characters seemed so real that in fact it was easy to get lost in the story and really make you think 'what if?'. The author was able to show grief in a way that I had never read before, in such a brutally honest way. The writing was beautiful and flowed easily making this a really fast read. So fast in fact that I wanted to keep stopping because I didn't want the book to end. I do warn that their is a slight case of the friends to lovers trope, however I'd like to defend it by saying I liked it because it wasn't the one friend pining and the other not realising until the other had moved on.
“I knew I couldn’t go back and start a new beginning. I couldn’t rewrite the middle. All I could do was change tomorrow, as long as I had one.”
The author was really able to make the characters rememberable, and yet have them be relatable. I don't know how she did it, it was like magic. I honestly can't praise her enough for what she has created. From previously reading 'The Problem With Forever' I definitely had high expectations as I really loved that too, but this was even better. I absolutely adored it. I also very much enjoyed the fact that Lena loved reading and the quirky references to some of my favourite books of all time. That first reference to 'A Court of Thorns and Roses' was like a revelation.
“I’m not leaving. You can get mad. You can get upset, but I’m staying right here, because whether you realise it or not, you shouldn’t be alone.'
In addition to everything else I've already mentioned, the descriptions were well placed and didn't feel forced at all, and I found that I could easily fall back into the story after putting it down for a while. The first person narrative was excellently done and as apposed to many other contemporaries that I have read in first person the author was able to keep the main character still slightly mysterious and also ensure that it was presented in a sophisticated way. I often feel that first person can get cheesy if not done right, especially within the contemporary genre, but that was most certainly avoided in this case. I could really tell the more I read that so much went into the creation of making this book work out the way it did. It was truly great!
I think that these characters will really stay with me for a long time.
Thank you to HQ Young Adult, Jennifer L. Armentrout, and NetGalley for providing an arc to read and review!
RATING: 5 Stars!
Thank you so much for reading, I'll be back soon with another post!
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