Yes, yes, this is another Amazon-bought book because I missed the feel of a real book in my hands.
Let’s get this bread!
[Please note that this review is spoiler-free😊]
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?
Quoted as ‘Beautiful, real, and devastating’ by No.1 New York Times bestselling author, Sarah J. Maas, If There’s No Tomorrow is a devastating story focusing on grief, love, and a heavy guilt carried by the heart of Lena Wise.
How did I find the cover? Okay, to be very honest, I did not find the cover that great like how I usually find covers to be. I mean, it’s simple, but it’s very simple. Yes, I noticed the crumpled paper spread open as the background. I noticed the minimal, corporate fonts used. But I wasn’t impressed.
However, the one and only thing that impressed me was the title itself. If you look closer, the alphabets are formed together by, according to my assumption, either shards of broken glass (not glossy enough though) or small shreds of paper. I’m going with shards of glass because this book screams ‘I’m going to make you cry!’
Otherwise, I feel that the font used for stating the name of the author seems a bit wayward. It’s as if the name was photoshopped onto the original cover and the designer couldn’t find another font available (no hate, just my opinions).
How is the blurb? I liked the blurb. It makes my heart race because the blurb edges to bring devastation upon the reader. It didn’t give away too much of the storyline too. And even if it did, it still doesn’t give away anything. Because in the end, whatever you expect the book to be, the emotions preached through will defy your expectations.
Now, don’t look at me like that 😂 All I’m saying is that the blurb is pretty good.
What is the storyline about? If There’s No Tomorrow is narrated from the viewpoint of Lena Wise. Lena is about to begin her senior year of high school. She’s ready to have fun, study hard, get in a good university and set her life straight. She is planning to confess to her childhood friend, Sebastian, who has been her crush for a long time.
Yesterday, she felt amazing. She felt that tomorrow and every other tomorrow would be wonderful.
However, after an argument at a party, a horrifying car crash and the realization of one big mistake, Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow.
She lands back into today, carrying all her guilt to herself. Lena doesn’t want to talk to anyone, including her friends, because she fears that her friends would leave her if they ever found out about her mistake. She fears Sebastian would never forgive her for what she did.
She feels responsible for the car crash. She feels responsible for causing all this misery that hangs around all the characters.
Lena feels responsible for everything.
And that, is why, Lena Wise is certainly not looking forward to tomorrow.
How was the storyline? If There’s No Tomorrow is divided into two parts – yesterday and today. This division reminded me of Looking for Alaska, where the narration of Miles is divided into days before Alaska’s death and the days after Alaska’s death.
‘Yesterday’ deals with Lena beginning her senior year. She’s all set to impress the volleyball scouts. She’s jittery about confessing to Sebastian. But she’s readying herself for life.
The ‘yesterday’ part felt slightly devoid of practically any heart-thumping emotions. There were some moments where I didn’t find myself interested to pursue the story. Honestly, I don’t even remember what happened in ‘yesterday’ all except for the drama that ensued in the few pages before ‘today’.
‘Today’ begins with Lena waking up in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital. She’s just been part of a car accident. She’s traumatized. She’s sad. She doesn’t want anyone to talk to her neither she wants to talk to anyone because of her guilt. The guilt that’s chewing up her insides and making her resent every day of living a life.
‘Today’ is very interesting because that’s where things spice up. That’s when the emotions come surging through all the words. That’s when everything spills out, every reaction blows up, and every emotion pulls through.
Lena begins to spiral down through grief. She’s in denial of the casualties of the car crash. She’s angry with herself. She’s bargaining her life, thinking all to herself that she should have died too. She’s depressed. She can’t process her grief entirely because she’s refusing to accept the gravity of her choices. She loathes the choices she made. This is the reason why Lena isn’t completely able to process all the five stages of grief.
But Sebastian’s pulling through. He’s fighting for Lena. Sebastian isn’t giving up on Lena. He’s getting her to talk. He’s getting her to let it all out. He’s getting her to cry. He’s listening to her. He’s making her understand that’s it’s okay. It’s going to be okay. He’s reassuring her that the choices made that night were mistakes but Lena doesn’t have to feel guilty about it. Not anymore.
The intense magnitude of her sadness was the moment that reduced me to tears. She was giving up on things in her life that she has considered to be of vital importance. She was shutting everyone off. She kept crying and crying because there was no other way that she could express her grief.
But Sebastian helps her out. Her family helps her out. Her friends help her out.
And, Lena in the end, certainly helps herself out.
How were the characters? Lena Wise was neither that great nor that bad. However, Lena’s character development and the evolution of her relationship with Sebastian was wonderful to read.
I really liked Sebastian. He was pretty direct with Lena. He always stuck by her side. He was very protective of her, in a caring sort of way. He never gave up on Lena. He knew that Lena would make it through everything. That was pretty nice to read.
Coming to Lena, I just felt that she was that ‘damsel in distress’ girl. Family issues? Check. Feeling issues? Check. Life issues? Eh, not so much. She was doing pretty great in volleyball, which made her seem to be a popular girl in school (Why am I sensing an Elena Gilbert from the TV show The Vampire Diaries vibe?).
I don’t know what to say about her, except for the fact that she is quite stubborn, and doesn’t really listen to people until circumstances change. No wonder the story stretched a bit longer 😂
Moving on to the supporting characters, that is, all the friends and family. They were described very well, and whenever their parts came, I either laughed or cried.
My overall opinion? If you’re looking for a story that makes you want to cry, laugh, or even sit back and reflect on being grateful for all the things in your life, go right ahead and If There’s No Tomorrow to your (I believe the term is…) TBRs.
About the Author
#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband, her Border Jack Apollo, Border Collie Artemis, six judgemental alpacas, two rude goats, and five fluffy sheep. Jennifer is represented by Kevan Lyon from Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
To know more about Jennifer L. Armentrout, you can check out her website right here.
Please do note that these are my personal opinions of the novel. If you wish to read more reviews about the book, you can find them here at BookPage and Publisher’s Weekly (or Amazon’s comments section)
What are your opinions on If There’s No Tomorrow? Do comment below and drop a like if you loved the blog post!
Until next time, then!
Love, PJ 💖