If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come | By Jen St. Jude
Book Review | TheWriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour | YA Contemporary Fiction
Avery Byrne has secrets. She’s queer; she’s in love with her best friend, Cass; and she’s suffering from undiagnosed clinical depression. But on the morning Avery plans to jump into the river near her college campus, the world discovers there are only nine days left to live: an asteroid is headed for Earth, and no one can stop it.
Trying to spare her family and Cass additional pain, Avery does her best to make it through just nine more days. As time runs out and secrets slowly come to light, Avery would do anything to save the ones she loves. But most importantly, she learns to save herself. Speak her truth. Seek the support she needs. Find hope again in the tomorrows she has left.
If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come is a celebration of queer love, a gripping speculative narrative, and an urgent, conversation-starting book about depression, mental health, and shame.
Narrative and Plot
If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come is a heartfelt coming-of-age story that happens literally at the end of the world. Avery is your protagonist, and she is going through some serious mental health issues. If reading about depression and suicidal tendencies is a trigger for you, then I would strongly suggest that you stay away from this one.
I have never read a book that describes loneliness in the way this book does. Depression among functional adults is so common and yet very less talked about. The plot is well-paced, but it lagged a bit towards the end. However, it conveyed a beautiful message that will stay with me for a long time.
Characters and Conflicts
Avery is the central character of the story. It is her journey that we follow and witness how each of the characters is connected to her life. Avery is struggling with life despite having a support system. That makes her character relatable to anyone. Despite having people around us, the walls we build are so high that we find ourselves all alone at some point.
I didn’t care about some of the twists that happened at the end. Still, the plot pulled me back with its characters and the choices they made.
If you have experienced such loneliness at least once in your life, you would connect to these characters and see that each one is fighting their own battles in their own way. If we overlook the aspect of trauma bonding, there is hope even at the end of the world.
None of my words can do justice to the experience I had while reading the book
There were certain parts that gave me pause and made me wonder how could someone articulate the feeling of isolation in a universal yet intimate manner. Overall, I would say that this book is a beautiful depiction of mental health and coming of age, and the end of the world, all in one package.
I received an e-ARC of the book in exchange of an honest review for TheWriteReads Ultimate Blog Tour.