Book Review: If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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 her and her friends’ entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?

Short and Sweet: If you’re looking for a book to destroy your soul and then piece it back together. Read this.

This book left me like:

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I sometimes have a hard time reading books that deal with grief. Especially those dealing with survivors guilt or just plain out guilt around someone passing away. Not too long ago, I was in Lena’s shoes. Not the exact situation, mind you, but a situation where I truly believed that I had contributed to someone’s death. And it sucked. I wouldn’t wish it upon my worse enemy.

I think that’s what resonated with me so much about this book. Every emotion that Lena was going through, I had felt. Being terrified to and feeling guilty for moving on. A smile, grin, or laugh feeling like the most foreign thing I’ve ever done. It took me weeks before I was able to laugh at something as simple as a TV show without bursting into tears immediately after. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be happy or be able to enjoy anything. That person was dead, I was alive, how dare I feel anything but sadness and grief.

But like Lena, once I faced my guilt and I was able to grieve, life got easier. Along with some help from my husband, family and watching my favorite game being played on Game Grumps, it finally got a little easier. Honestly, never underestimate the power of two guys just being silly.

I’m floored with how well Jennifer described moving on:

Living when others died wasn’t something you just woke up one day and got over, even though sometimes it felt that way. Even when I realized I’d gone an entire day, or maybe two, without thinking about *them*. And sometimes I still felt guilty about that.

* I took out the names to avoid fully spoiling the book.

It’s so unbelievably true, though. You don’t immediately forget that person, and you’re not randomly done grieving one day. Eventually you’ll realize that instead of crying once every hour, it was once every few hours. Or a song got easier to listen to, or a place got easier to go to. It’s a slow, grueling process, and I think Jennifer described it well.

Leaving the heavy stuff alone, this book was absolutely amazing. I love how Jennifer captured all the different friendship dynamics that goes along with groups of friends. Each separate person in the group honestly felt like a real person. Even the parent/child relationship was so well rounded that it was perfect. The parents weren’t just someone to die at some point to further a story line.

The romance between Sebastian and Lena was so adorable, I really loved how he treated her. Jennifer always comes up with the best book boyfriends. Their friendship was so believable and I think that’s one thing that the author truly excels in.

Also, I will never get enough of bookworm main characters. Give me all of them.

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On risk of completely spoiling this, I’m going to cut the review off short. Point blank, I think this is an amazing book that dealt with really hard subjects, really well. Sometimes it feels like an author is just using it for shock value and this book didn’t have that feeling.

Please, read this. You won’t regret it.

5 Stars

 

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