If There's No Tomorrowby Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Harlequin Teen, HarperCollins on September 5th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She's ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications, and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic--one of opportunities and chances.
Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.
Now Lena isn't looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.
For what she let happen.
With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when she and her friends' entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn't even guaranteed?
Bear with me a moment….
A few weeks ago I went back to my hometown to visit my parents. As I drove to my childhood home, I couldn’t help but see the memorial on the side of road, literally one mile from the house. It’s where a few months prior, six teenage girls crashed into a tree, killing one 16 year old and injuring three others. The driver is now being charged with aggravated vehicular homicide. Can you imagine?
You know, YOU KNOW, that you’ve done stupid, dumb things in the car and never once thought that it would be the one time that it would end in tragedy. I have. Done dumb things in a car. Many, many times.
Why was I so lucky?
I think that’s why If There’s No Tomorrow haunted me so much, both while I read it and for weeks after I finished.
The story in the book is not exactly like the news story I refer to in the beginning of this review. This story is so much more. It’s about choices, regret, friendship, understanding the world outside your own little “selfish” bubble, coping, and acceptance. Oh, and there’s a romance in this story, too. I wouldn’t say it’s the main event. But it is a pretty strong part of the story and adds to the drama.
Lena and her three best girl friends are winding down the summer and getting reading for their senior year of high school. Her best friend next door neighbor, Sebastian, has just returned from a month away. Lena is thinking about telling Sebastian how she’s had a crush on him since they were kids. And it appears that Sebastian feels the same way because he is giving those kind of signals to Lena.
When those signals get crossed and ordinary decisions escalate to extraordinary catastrophe, Lena believes herself alone and is terrified of the mess her life is left in. How does a person go forward in life when they don’t feel like they deserve to?
It’s been a while since I’ve read a Jennifer Armentrout book. I’ve read quite a few of her new adult romances and I loved them. Then they got kind of repetitive; same thing, different characters. So I took a break. Why read and review something I won’t enjoy. I took a chance on this synopsis (which is slightly misleading, sort of) and it paid off big for me.
Despite the fact that I had a bit of hard time following the dialog between the large cast of characters in the beginning, I’m still giving this book a high rating. I read an eARC so I know there will be revisions before a final copy. And I also know that ARC formatting will make it sometimes hard to follow along. Why knock a book because I’m an idiot 🙂 Ms. Armentrout is a fantastic writer. I’ve known that for a long time.
Besides the intense story and, dare I say, “message” of this story, I actually enjoyed the romantic tension between Lena and Sebastian. Ms. Armentrout brought her romantic A-Game and found a way to fit it in nicely.
I am so glad I didn’t miss this standalone book. It made my heart break, it made me think, and it made me look back on situations in my life in a completely different way.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: