Monday, October 2, 2017

Review: If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Firstly, thanks to Harlequin Australia for this review copy <3

Date Read: September 11 - 16 2017
Date Released: September 5th 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Contemporary
My Rating:

"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 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 could 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 tomorrow isn't even guaranteed?"


If There’s No Tomorrow may not have been the most amazing book I’ve ever read, but it’s a very important book. The themes JLA discusses are not ones usually seen in YA. I’ve never read anything like this, and I found it extremely unique.

The story is told in a before and after style. Before, Lena is your typical high school girl – wait is typical a thing anymore? Is that a stereotype? Whatevs LOL. Anyway, she’s got the part time job, dealing with some family problems, does well at school, has friends, is doing not so bad at life and waiting for high school to finish so she can go on to college ya know? We’ve all been there. Then she makes a particular choice and after, she’s a totally different person. Lena is ridden with guilt and it consumes her. Add on the grief and her life is basically on pause. She stops seeing her friends, stops interacting, she is detached from everything. I thought JLA did an amazing job of first person POV because I was totally in Lena’s headspace. Her transition from carefree teenager with boy problems to her lack of presence in the real world was so well done.

ITNT has a diverse cast of characters that JLA all gives distinct personalities. They’re memorable and fun-loving but also flawed. Abbi was one character that really stood out to me. She’s fierce and not afraid to speak her mind; the things she said to Lena made me angry because they were hurtful but also so very true. All of Lena’s friends have different aspirations and the glimpses JLA gives us into each person makes everything in the after quite impactful.

How is it that JLA writes such wonderful boys? There’s Damon, Roth and ohmygod Aiden St. Delphi. For those of you who have been following me/reading my reviews for a long time you know the Covenant series is my favourite YA series of all time and Aiden St. Delphi is my #1 book boyfriend. In IFNT we are introduced to Sebastian who is this dark-haired blue-eyed wonder. A gorgeous specimen of course but also kind, funny and the kind of boy every parent wants their daughter to marry. Good natured, not a player, understanding, I couldn’t help but think this is who Aiden would’ve been in a contemporary YA without all the daimon drama making him broody. Lena and Sebastian have been best friends forever and you kind of wonder why the hell they aren’t together. There’s the wondering before, then there’s the after where Lena locks herself away and it’s interesting how their dynamic changes.

At times I found the book itself dragged on. I understand that the lengthy ‘Before’ was required to set the scene and establish the different characters but it definitely went on for a while and I wanted to just get on with the plot and the ‘what happened’ and ‘After’. The book is definitely easy to get through though in typical JLA fashion – her writing has an addictive quality to it that sucks you in no matter what world.

Without giving too many spoilers away the plot is a good one. It really drives home the idea of perspective. You know when we say ‘could’ve, should’ve, would’ve’? That’s what I think of when I read this book. All the things we could’ve said, should’ve said, but for fear of making a big deal we don’t speak up. And it’s normal. How many times as a teen (or even now) did you not want to speak up about something because the majority were saying you were just making a big deal out of nothing and you’re just setting everybody back? IFNT draws on such conflicting thoughts we have and that at the end of the day, what are those consequences. Can we entirely blame someone? I think chance has a really big part to play in everything that happens. If There’s No Tomorrow is an important book about safety, the could’ve/should’ve/would’ve moments we have in life and the consequences when chance isn’t in our favour.

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