Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

“We are all living, at most, half of a life, she thought. There was the life you lived, which consisted of the choices you made. And then, there was the other life, the one that was the things you hadn’t chosen.”

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

I finished Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow about a week or more ago already. I sat down to write this review this morning and was reading the pages I had marked down for my favorite quotes from the book and started crying again. This book, it just breaks you a little (but in the best way). It’s a book I’m never going to forget because it was such an emotionally poignant book. 

This book is a lot of things. It is a love letter to video games, and it is a story of friendship, love and loss. 

When Sadie is a child, she spends a lot of time in the hospital visiting her sister who is undergoing cancer treatments. Unfortunately for her, this often means she’s left alone when her sister has an outburst and doesn’t want to see her. One day she goes to play video games in a small waiting room when she runs into Sam. Sam is a young boy who is in the hospital because his foot was shattered in a car accident where he also lost his mom. Now living with his grandparents, Sam hasn’t spoken to anyone in months. 

That is, until he meets Sadie. 

The staff at the hospital speaks to Sadie’s parents and asks if she can regularly visiting the hospital to keep Sam company and talking. This is something Sadie wants to do because she considers Sam a friend and she loves gaming with him, but when she uses it for a community service project, her grandmother points out this might not be such a good idea. What would Sam think of her using him for a community service project when he thinks they are friends?

The story spans the next 30 or so years of their lives. Sadie and Sam fall in and out of friendship, again and again and again.

When they reconnect in college, Sadie is going to school with the dreams of becoming a video game designer and one day gives Sam one of her demos to play. There are a lot of wonderful moments in between but ultimately, the two end up deciding to make a game together and this also changes their lives forever. With their friend Marx (who deserves more than a sentence in this review, heck, he deserves an entire post himself), they continue to grow together and make games. 

I went into this book knowing very little about it. And I want to leave it that way for other readers too by not going too much into the later plot. 

But I wanted to talk about a different part of the book. The video games. 

This book is chock full of amazing video game references, and I don’t think you need to know them to enjoy this book. I’m lucky enough to have a husband who is an avid gamer, and after ten years together, I have seen or played my share of the video games referenced in this book. It’s so awesome to see the games I love or my husband has loved talked about with reverence. 

But also, Sam and Sadie do make their own games. Ichigo is their first, Both Sides is another and so on. I LOVED hearing about the games they made together. I want to play Ichigo so badly. And Both Sides too. Can someone make this happen?

I think this book is an incredible novel. It won a lot of Book of the Year awards, and it’s not hard to see why. I loved this book with my whole heart even though it repeatedly broke my heart. 

If you’ve made it this far, maybe you’ll pick up this book. Maybe you have already read it and want to chat with me about it. But I am going to leave you with one of my favorite lines from the book, spoken by one of my favorite characters, Marx. Every time I read a book where the title is revealed within the story, it hits me in a way I can’t quite describe. And I particularly loved this part, for a lot of reasons. 

“What is a game?” Marx said. “It’s tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. It’s the possibility of infinite rebirth, infinite redemption. The idea that if you keep playing, you could win. No loss is permanent, because nothing is permanent, ever.”

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

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