If There’s No Tomorrow – Jennifer L. Armentrout – Harlequin Teen – Published 5 September 2017
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?
Guilt and grief – a heartbreaking weight to bear. If There’s No Tomorrow is a story about love and life, friendship, self doubt, and learning to keep moving forward.
Lena plans to enjoy her senior year of high school. Once last year of parties, special events, volleyball games, time spent with her friends Abbi, Dary and Megan, and treasured moments with her best friend (the boy with whom she has been secretly in love with for years), Sebastian. But a tragedy none of them saw coming shakes Lena’s life. Now, nothing is like she planned. Worse is the grief and guilt she doesn’t know how to deal with and the simple fact that she doesn’t know who she is anymore or how to keep moving on with her life.
It’s hard to talk about this book without giving too much away. The big event doesn’t happen until just over a third of the way into the book. What happens is only alluded to in the synopsis, so to keep the surprise and suspense I will avoid giving spoilers. Suffice to say it is a tragedy that is only too real, something people around the world face all the time, made all the more heartbreaking by the fact that it could have been prevented, which is exactly what Lena struggles to cope with. In the midst of her pain, sadness, and feelings of responsibility, is her family’s support, the love of her friends, and her relationship with Sebastian.
This is a novel of contrasts – love and joy, guilt and grief. Lena struggles to cope with her actions, pushing away everyone around her. Her guilt prevents her from seeing her friends’ grief. As she starts to realise this, she also learns that the only way for her to move forward is to reach out to the people around her, leaning on them for support and supporting them in return.
Lena’s relationship with Sebastian is a wonderful part of this story. At first they dance around each other and Lena is unsure about how he feels. But he never stops supporting her, even when things get really tough or she pushes him away. Their friendship was beautiful – as was their journey to something more.
This is a great novel, with Jennifer L. Armentrout’s characteristic writing style and strong characters. It is an important novel for young adults. Moving, grounded in the tragic reality that this does happen all too often, this book portrays strong positive messages about therapy, support systems, living for today, learning to make the right decisions and coming to terms with those moments when a ‘right decision’ was not made. This is an important novel that is easy to read and will appeal to readers who enjoy novels about heartbreak, relationships, and romance.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Friendship, grief, death, peer pressure, drunk driving, social themes, teenage drinking, guilt, romance, best friends, therapy.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Frequent sexual references, implied sex scenes. Infrequent coarse language, f*** (4), sh** (6), sl**(2), bit** (10). Mature themes surrounding death. Underage alcohol use. References to drug use.
Published: 5 September 2017 by Harlequin Teen.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. 480 pages.