Hello and welcome to todays review post. My first review of 2024 on my blog! I have missed putting my reviews on here, I endeavour to get back in the habit this year!
I hope you are all having a lovely weekend and resting. I have been suffering with a viral infection again which has caused my fatigue symptoms to resurface. Very annoying but I have been able to read which is better than the last time! Lots of reading, resting and recuperating for me over the last week.
So over to the book....
In this exhilarating novel, two friends--often in love, but never lovers--come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.
On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn't heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won't protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin's Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.
Writing a review for this book has been pretty difficult, I'm honestly unsure about my feelings towards it. I feel...... untethered by it. I am struggling to decide which camp I fall into, did I like it? Did I not like it? I can see why this book has had such mixed reviews.
I knew nothing about it when I went in, other than the hype on insta, I had seen it everywhere so when our book club chose it I was excited to read it.
However it took me ages to get through it, I kept putting it down to read other books. Yet something kept pulling me back and made me keep picking it back up over and over again.
On the one hand I loved the gaming aspect, I am not a gamer, I never have been (apart from the odd Mario kart battle with my son) but I found the description of world building and the ideas behind the games they created to be beautiful and so interesting. I was surprised at how alike game creating and novel writing was!
Sam and Sadies love/hate relationship though drove me mad. Miscommunication tropes are my least favourite and the story was littered with them. For two people who were seemingly so close and intrinsically linked they knew very little about each other and the lack of communication over the really big things drove me to distraction. They were so immature, as if they had got so involved in gaming as children that they had forgotten to grow up. I could see that theirs was an unconventional love story, however they frustrated me so much that I got very little happiness from their story.
Marx made up for them both, he had my heart from the beginning and I think without his character I would have given up on Sadie and Sam very early on. His story broke my heart and then some. 💔
After his important scenes, which if I am correct changed the narration from third person to second person? (Let me know in the comments if I am wrong) felt very apt due to the theatrical nature of his character, the story took an upward lift and I found the chapters following to be interesting, they hooked me back in and kept me turning the pages to see what would be the fate of young Sam and Sadie.
The writing style was intriguing, it changed a lot throughout the book. From different point of views to completely different worlds inside the games and from third person to second person. It was a lot to take in. The detail was in depth and gave me a lot of insight into the world building involved with creating computer games and I leave feeling a little more knowledgeable about that aspect. However even after writing this I still am left wondering how I felt about the book. I found it intricately detailed, haunting, desolate, deeply sad but beautiful at times. I will be thinking about it for a long time....
Do let me know whether you have read this book and what you thought about it? I am intrigued as to whether anyone has a similar experience to me as there was a lot of love for this in the book world.