Welcome to another book review!
I am always excited to join #thewritereads for a book tour. It is been a while since I posted but I am happy to be back. This book made me almost drown in my tears! What is it with sapphic romances, they always seem to make me sob so hard!
Title: If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come
Author: Jen St. Jude
Publication date: 9th May 2023
Publisher: Penguin Books
Purchase Links: Amazon
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.
“I had always known grief was a type of loneliness, but when I went to college, I learned loneliness was a type of grief.”
We start this book off with Avery who has made plans to end her life, as she stands on the dock about to take a leap into the icy water, her phone rings and it is the girl that she has loved for her whole life. This time Cass is not just calling to check up on her but is calling to tell her than an asteroid is heading towards earth and it is going to end all life as we know it. They have nine days left before impact.
The fear in Cass voice pulls Avery back and they make plans to meet each other and travel back home to Avery conservative family. On this journey is also Aisha, Avery’s Nigerian roommate who cannot make her journey back to Nigeria. They travel back home to Avery’s family as the world slowly descends into chaos, they have to keep store of food and necessities to last till the end of time basically (which is in a few days).
While all these is happening, I get to see a bit more about Avery and Cass’s relationship and all the effects their friendship had on Avery’s family. We see Avery struggle with her sexuality and her depression and how she hides it from everyone.
One thing I personally loved about this book was how it talked about religion and mental health. Whilst I do not disagree that some people find safety, security and strength in religion, not everyone does and specific religious doctrines can be, in fact, detrimental to some people as we see in the case of Avery. Seeing Avery struggle to find her place in school, constantly fear that she is being talked about because of her relationship with Meredith (an opening queer person) – it might have been so suffocating, no wonder she was unable to focus on school.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. If you are looking for a sad, world-is-ending, Sapphic romance that heavily feature friendship, family and love, then this is for you.
I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars
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.
Thanks for reading.