On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.
I had a feeling from the very start that I would fall in love with this book. There is something about a love story that isn’t about romantic love that drew me in from the start, and I knew I would be able to relate to. Days after finishing Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, I am unsure how to talk about it. The way I feel about this book and the topics it spans is very difficult to truly explain in words. It hit me in every single way I expected it to, and more. It broke my heart into little pieces and warmed my heart, too. It gave me hope, and it gave me hurt too. The audiobook was also a masterpiece.
“What is a game?” Marx said. “It’s tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. It’s the possibility of infinite rebirth, infinite redemption.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow centres games and game development, which I loved reading about and found fascinating to read about as a gamer myself. You definitely don’t need to have a love of games to appreciate this book for what it is, but I also felt like I could relate to it on a more personal level because of my love and appreciation for games.
My favourite part of this book was definitely the writing. There was constantly quotes that I wanted to save and shout from the rooftops, and I am already considering buying another edition just to read again and highlight. This book is quite long and has some interesting writing styles, which on paper feel risky but I fell in love with every time. I’ve never annotated a book before, but this one makes me want to start. I treasured the experience I had reading this book, and I just want to experience it over and over again. And I feel like with each re-read, it will become even more of a favourite. Even re-reading quotes and thinking about this book a week or so after finishing it is making me emotional.
The idea that if you keep playing, you could win. No loss is permanent, because nothing is permanent, ever.”
To say that Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a novel about games would be as limiting as it is infinite. I believe that games have the power to be life changing and world altering, carrying strength and hope and love and friendship. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow both showcases and includes all of these themes. It is a novel about games. But it is also a novel about the world. A novel about love, beauty, greed, wealth, friendship, hope, self-reflection, disability, motherhood, gender identity and Super Mario. It is a reflection within a reflection. It is one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I get the sense I will carry it with me always.
5 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽
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