The Hating Game meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by way of Morgan Matson in this unforgettable romantic comedy about two rival overachievers whose relationship completely transforms over the course of twenty-four hours.
Today, she hates him.
It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time.
Tonight, she puts up with him.
When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.
As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.
Tomorrow…maybe she’s already fallen for him.
Check out my review on GoodReads over here!
TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW was super sweet, uplifting, and all that I want in my YA contemporary books! With a lovely romance and spectacular relationship development, it really hit my heart and stayed there.
“We’ve compared test scores and GPAs and clashes on everything from school projects to gym-class pull-up contests. We can’t seem to stop trying to one-up each other… until now.
After graduation this weekend, I’ll never have to see him again. No more morning texts, no more sleepless nights.
I am almost free.”
The story begins at the last day of high school, which the author truly captured well. It’s a nostalgic feeling with both excitedness and fear for the future. Truly a beautiful feeling. Rowan and Neil have been enemies for all of high school, but when a team of haters tries to take them out for their senior class game, they agree to band together to win. While teaming up, they learn more about the other and recognize that if they haven’t spent that much time fighting, they could have been… friends? Or possible more?
While this book is from the POV of Rowan, I loved both her and Neil’s characterization. Rowan faces a lot of flack for wanting to be a romance novel writer, which is why she’s buried that part of herself from friends and family. Neil wants to be a lexicographer (how nerdy is that), but he has some deeper problems as well. Both of them are well-developed and sweet high school students, who are just trying to do the best they can. Their petty rivalry has always been to challenge the other, which is why it’s a really easy leap from hate to love in this book. There’s pent up feelings under both their exteriors that are finally released when they’re brought together.
Some other wonderful things to note: the way Rowan reconciles with her neglected best friends, her coming to terms with her passion for romance novels (not just a guilty pleasure!), Neil’s unwavering support for her, and the dialogue about being one of the few Jewish students at school, as well as the microaggressions that come about. I thought all of these elements were awesome additions to the story and made me love the characters even more.
Now, getting to the romance… I LOVED IT. It’s definitely hate-to-love but with grudging respect and admiration for the other person. I LOVE this trope so much. It’s like hidden feelings suddenly surfacing, and characters finally confront them. *kisses fingers* I also loved how Rowan and Neil learned more about the other through shared experiences, further heightening their admiration of the other. And it’s a very shy development, with the hesitancies and wariness of young love.
All in all, TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW was a beautiful tribute to the fun of high school, and the fun waiting for teens behind that part of their lives. Truly, it reminded me of the good/bad times of my own high school experiences and high achieving friends, which brought back happy feelings and smiles. A must read for lovers of YA contemporary.
Thank you Simon Pulse and Netgalley for the review copy!