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

if there's no tomorrow jennifer l armentrout
if there's no tomorrow jennifer l armentrout

Title: If There's No Tomorrow 
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout 
Series: Stand-alone 
Genre: Contemporary, YA 
Publication date: September 5, 2017 
Rating: ★★★½ 

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

I knew I couldn’t go back and start a new beginning. I couldn’t rewrite the middle. All I could do was change tomorrow, as long as I had one.

I had a hard time rating this book. It’s as addictive as every other JLA book. But despite the many things that I liked, there were also parts that could have been handled better. Where it felt like the author was just trying too hard.

Okay so the story isn’t the most original, but it’s also the kind that never really gets old. Lena Wise is a seventeen year-old-girl leading a mostly normal life, with mostly normal teen drama. It’s the summer before her senior year and she spends her days hanging out with her friends and reading books. Her biggest concern is that she is secretly in love with her best friend. But then one night everything changes. Everything. What used to be important suddenly isn’t anymore. And as Lena is faced with the consequences of her actions, she has a really hard time coming to terms with the choices she made.

I’m not going to tell you what happens. It would ruin the experience. But I will say that whatever did happen, was rough. Yet, so realistic. I know many who have had to deal with this kind of tragedy. So no, this book won’t tell you anything you’ve never read before. Doesn’t mean people should stop writing it.

A huge part of the book also focuses on Lena being in love with her best friend Sebastian. And while yet again not the most original, it’s the kind of story that I can’t resist. When the stakes are high and there is so much to lose, I love to read about the possibility of these things working out the right way. You know, for a change. Because being in love with your best friend sucks. Big time. And I think that was realistically portrayed. The embarrassment. The not wanting to admit to it but not being able to hide it anyway. The pain of getting friend-zoned over and over. The rejection. The not being able to stay away even when you know it’s toxic. It felt real.

Sebastian was a great guy. Kind, honest, loyal. A great guy who was only human and whose judgement wasn’t always spot on. But is anyone’s ever? I liked him a lot. Despite whatever hung between him and Lena, he was always there for her. Even when she tried really hard to shut him out. Even when she was downright horrible to him. And yet he wasn’t your typical puppy blindly following whatever she said. He stood up for himself, called her bullshit when someone had to. Being best friends, the struggle of the changing dynamics, it felt authentic and I think it was beautifully done.

I’m not leaving. You can get mad. You can get upset, but I’m staying right here, because whether you realize it or not, you shouldn’t be alone. I’m not going anywhere.

The general ‘vibe’ of the book was right. Carefree in the beginning, friends having fun and fooling around, loaded in the middle after everything and then carefully hopeful in the end. Jennifer L. Armentrout does know what she’s doing. 

But in some ways I was also disappointed. For instance, I thought the writing was poor. Some words felt misplaced. Plus, I think some cheese could have been avoided. There were scenes that could have been beautiful and meaningful, but that made me roll my eyes by the way they were written. I’m positive she could have avoided that. Sometimes a twist of words is all it takes.

I also thought the ‘big mistake’ Lena made was a bit… exaggerated. I get why she felt so guilty, I really did. And yet I felt like too much drama focused on ‘just this’. And I feel sort of bad saying ‘just this’ because god, I can’t in good conscience say that in that exact situation I wouldn’t have caved to peer pressure as well. Still. I think you’ll get what I mean when you read this.

Also, POP CULTURE REFERENCES. Ohmygod. This is probably my main issue with the book. They were just randomly thrown in and this bothered me endlessly. Thing is, they usually don’t. But JLA never elaborated on anything. She just threw stuff in without explaining why it was important to her characters and it felt mostly like “See what I did there? I totally know what you guys love!” She was trying too hard. Same with the reading. I love a protagonist who enjoys reading. But you can’t just randomly throw in “And Rhysand. Can’t forget about him.” without any … context??? And this is coming from a girl who is as madly in love with the guy as it gets. You just don’t do that. I mean I TOTALLY GET why Lena would be smitten with him. But it can’t be your default assumption that everyone has read ACOTAR. It felt like she was trying to win us over or something.

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1 comment:

  1. I feel like I haven't read a JLA book in forever. I'm so behind on her books right now. :(


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