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Ultimate Blog Tour Review: If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come by Jen St. Jude

Hey everyone!
Today is my stop on the ultimate blog tour for If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come by Jen St. Jude, and I am excited to be sharing my review with you all.

A massive thank you to @The_WriteReads and @PenguinPlatform for allowing me to be a part of the tour.

Title: If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come
Author: Jen St. Jude
Release Date: 9th May 2023
Publisher: Penguin
Page Count: 416
Genre: Queer, LGBT, Romance, Science Fiction
Age: Young Adult
Buy It Here (affiliate link): Amazon UK

Book Blurb:

We Are Okay meets They Both Die at the End in this YA debut about queer first love and mental health at the end of the world-and the importance of saving yourself, no matter what tomorrow may hold.

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 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.

My Review:

Going in to If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come, I was a little unsure on what to expect as it is completely out of my usual comfort zone. However, I knew from the very first chapter that this was going to be a good one. The story begins with Avery Byrne, who is about to go ahead with her plan to end her own life. But, just as she’s walking in to the water, she receives a phone call from her best friend, Cass, which changes everything. An asteroid is heading directly for earth, and they only have 9 days until impact.

Avery’s journey to reach Cass and her family is nothing short of chaotic. It appears that the end of the world makes everyone go a little crazy, which isn’t exactly a huge surprise, but it means that the journey becomes rather dangerous, and things aren’t much better when they arrive at Avery’s home.

I loved the characters in this story. Dr. Talley wasn’t what he originally seems, and I actually thought he was great. Aisha was full of surprises, and the more she opened up and revealed about herself, the more I liked her. She was also a brilliant friend to Avery. Avery’s family were an interesting bunch… her parents clearly love and care for her, but their faith seems to cloud their judgement at times. However, her brother Peter was on her side unconditionally, always. His little family unit was so lovely.

Obviously Avery and Cass were the main topic of the story, and I adored them both. Despite some struggles, their relationship is incredibly beautiful, and they’re clearly the most important part of each other’s worlds. Their connection is something I think that everyone should experience with someone in their lives. I’ve never routed for two characters to end up together so desperately before, I was completely invested in their love story. I love that Cass was so unapologetically herself at all times, regardless of what others thought about her, but it must have been so hard for Avery who felt that she had to hide who she was because she knew her parents wouldn’t accept her or her sexuality. This obviously had a huge impact on her mental health.

Having struggled with my mental health, especially while I was living away at University, I immediately felt like I could connect to Avery, and understand her feelings. Her depression was so well written within the story, it was so gut-wrenching, real, and incredibly raw, and it absolutely broke me. There’s not many books that can make me cry, but I was an emotional wreck by the end.

The ending of this story was perfect. Those last chapters had my full attention, and I refused to put the book down until I was finished. However, I desperately want to know what came next. Fingers crossed for a sequel.

This book was so much more than I had expected it to be. It’s incredibly powerful, and both heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. I don’t quite know how to put in to words exactly how I feel about this book, apart from that I never imagined I would become as emotionally invested in this story as I was, and it’s definitely one of my favourite books of the year so far. I will be recommending it to everyone, but with a warning to have the tissues at the ready.

I give If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come a 5 star rating!

About The Author:

Lambda Literary Fellow Jen St. Jude (she/they) grew up in New Hampshire apple orchards and now lives in Chicago with her wife and dog. She has served as an editor for Chicago Review of Books, Just Femme & Dandy, and Arcturus Magazine. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her cheering on the Chicago Sky and Red Stars. If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come is her first novel.

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