Title: Today Tonight Tomorrow
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Summary: 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 nemesis one last time. 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 she’ll destroy him one last time. As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.
Note: an eARC of this title was acquired via NetGalley.
Today Tonight Tomorrow is a super cute day-in-the-life of two high school rivals who “have to” (wink wink) work together in order to one-up each other one last time before graduating. It’s pretty much the pg-13 version of every enemies-to-lovers book I’ve ever loved with some gorgeous pining and “oh shit do I like him like him” thrown in for good measure. (Because honestly? I know exactly how Rowan feels every time she ogles Neil’s biceps.) There’s tense car chemistry and lightly tragic back story to inspire empathy and also so many freckles. In short, I loved it.
Rowan loves romance novels and longs to be a novelist like her parents—but she’s ashamed of telling anyone because they all think romance novels aren’t “real books.” She feels like the third wheel among her two best friends (a couple), out of place as a biracial Jew, and nostalgic for who she thought she’d be by the end of high school. To say I related to Rowan’s identity crisis is an understatement. We have a lot of dissimilarities, but we’re also alike in so many ways. I wanted so much to have the perfect high school experience that I forgot to enjoy it while it was happening, comparing myself to everyone around me that I never really figured out who I was until the middle of my twenties. (Also, Rowan and I both went to Emerson.)
Today Tonight Tomorrow is a fantastic bildungsroman snuck into a pre-graduation, city-wide scavenger hunt. Rowan learns so much about herself over the course of the novel, and her budding romance with Neil is really The Cutest. Rowan and Neil have known each other— and tried to best one another—for four years before we even meet them, but, throughout the book, they get to rediscover how they fit into each other’s lives. This book was very much an “okay but what comes after” story for me, exploring what happens once you’ve accomplished something important but before you embark on a new project. It reinforced the idea that re-evaluating goals is an ongoing process (and that you still learn something even if you fail). It reminded me that being honest is super important and that sometimes people don’t react in the ways that you expected (or even feared).
It was just really good and I liked it, okay?