Editorial note: I received a copy of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin is a unique and original love story set in the world of video game design.
This novel was one of my most-anticipated novels. I kept seeing reviews call it the book of the year—a stunning work of fiction, etc. And while there is much to like and there’s plenty of heartfelt scenes, I thought several aspects came up short. It didn’t pack the emotional punch that I expected. So I was a bit let down.
It also took me a long time to read it. I felt my attention wander and then a meaningful scene would draw me back in but I think the last quarter kind of fell apart for me. But it does end well so I will say I was satisfied with that.
What’s the Novel About
I also appreciate a unique premise and this more than delivers— an unconventional love story set in the world of video game design. Sam Masur and Sadie Green first connected through video games when they were teenagers. After a big falling out, they bump into each other years later and a new partnership is born—the goal to create a new video game together.
It becomes a blockbuster success and with that, their lives change forever. The novel spans 30 years and we see the friends go through everything together as it won’t be an easy road.
Sam and Sadie
I’m not of the mindset that the main characters must be likable in order for me to enjoy the novel. And it’s not that I dislike Sam and Sadie but I didn’t think there was enough there for me to fully root for them. Sam is definitely more sympathetic than Sadie, as he really went through so many horrific tragedies and I think some of his unusual behavior was somewhat warranted with what he’s been through.
Sadie was really just overall meh to me. I did think it was interesting reading about her journey in a male-dominated industry and she’s clearly very intelligent and capable. But I felt there was a bit of a sensitivity chip missing and some of her decisions were baffling.
I expected so much more from their dynamic and there are some impactful scenes. But I actually felt the friendship was one-sided. Sam is clearly in love with Sadie. While we’re led to believe Sadie feels the exact same way, I have my doubts.
Video Game Design
I’m not a video game person. Well, I did play Animal Crossing while pregnant in 2020. But other than that, they just aren’t my thing. That said, I did think the journey of the friends creating their first video game together was very interesting. Especially as it takes place in the ’90s so it’s quite different than how it’s handled today.
I do applaud the author for setting the story in such a rich and dynamic field. So many stories have similar concepts: journalists, medical, etc. So I do appreciate the originality of this setting.
As you can tell, I did not love this novel. But I did like it overall. There are some truly heart wrenching scenes. I just can’t get into because of spoilers. I do wish Sam and Sadie’s friendship offered a little more, or maybe just didn’t feel so one-sided. I think this is a fine novel and there is plenty to discuss with book clubs. Check out my discussion questions here.