Today Tonight Tomorrow: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn SolomonToday, the last day of school, Rowan Roth is eager to best Neil McNair once and for all. After four years of bitter rivalry in everything from student council to gym class, Rowan wants tangible proof that she is better than Neil by being named valedictorian.

Instead, Neil takes that honor leaving Rowan to wonder who she is without their constant one-upmanship and bickering. If she can’t beat Neil, is she ready to head to Boston for college? Is she ready to admit to her friends and family that she loves romance novels and wants to write them professionally?

Tonight Rowan has one last chance to beat Neil by winning Howl–the school’s annual scavenger hunt that lets seniors say goodbye to their school and their city by racing around Seattle to complete clues and win the grand prize. Beating Neil seems easy until Rowan learns other members of the senior class are plotting to take both of them down leaving Rowan with one option: reluctantly team up with Neil now so she can destroy him later.

As tonight becomes tomorrow, Rowan realizes she and Neil may have more in common than she ever let herself realize. Can four years worth of dislike turn into something very different overnight? Or has Rowan been ignoring something bigger for a lot longer than than that in Today Tonight Tomorrow (2020) by Rachel Lynn Solomon?

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Rowan is funny and confident with a breezy narration that moves through flirty banter with Neil as easily as it does frank conversations about antisemitism and micro-aggressions both characters experience as some of the only Jewish students in their school. The story also thoughtfully conveys all of the joy to be found in romance novels as well as the stigma the genre still faces as Rowan talks through her passion for the genre with Neil and other characters. As is fitting for any ode to romance novels, this book also includes honest conversations about sex and relationships.

For all of her self-awareness, Rowan is often frustratingly dense when it comes to her changing feelings for Neil (although I laughed–frequently–over her obsession with his freckles and upper arms) as well as her own self-sabotage when it comes to admitting what she loves to her friends and family. Rowan and Neil’s palpable chemistry goes a long way to make up for these shortcomings in an otherwise fast-paced novel.

Today Tonight Tomorrow is a love letter to Seattle and romance novels set over the course of one hectic day. Solidly fun.

Possible Pairings: The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando, Roomies by Tara Altebrando and Sara Zarr, Dramatically Ever After by Isabel Bandeira, Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett, I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest, Tweet Cute by Emma Lord, Save the Date by Morgan Matson, Recommended For You by Laura Silverman

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara AltebrandoHigh school is ending. After an entire life spent in second place, Mary Gilhooley hopes the Oyster Point High Official Unofficial Senior Week Scavenger Hunt will be her chance to finally come out on top. Jake Barbone may be going to Georgetown instead of her, cute Carson might be dating someone else, but this scavenger hunt is Mary’s.

Even if her misfit friends decide to prepare by wearing the least practical scavenger hunt outfits ever. Sure, changing Dez’s mind about anything fashion related was hopeless. But did Patrick really need knee socks with his shorts? Or suspenders? And why would Winter wear a dress and platform flip-flops? Doesn’t the rest of her team know that Mary came to Win with a capital W?

One all-day scavenger hunt, two lawn ornaments, three meltdowns, four relationship fails, nostalgia, and one incredibly daring stunt stand between Mary’s team and victory. Or utter failure in The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life (2012) by Tara Altebrando.

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At 239 pages (hardcover) The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life is the short, fast-paced read you would expect from a scavenger hunt odyssey. Filled with hijinks and tricky clues, Altebrando draws readers into the Official Unofficial hunt right along with Mary and her misfit friends that you can’t help but love.

Between brainstorming sessions and high-action competition, Altebrando includes thoughtful musings on what the end of high school really means for old friends and new beginnings. Truly, this book is the quintessential end-of-high-school read as Mary and her friends all wonder what the future holds. The blend of excitement, adventure, and sometimes dread only adds to the delightful ride that is The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life.

Possible Pairings: Never, Always, Sometimes by Adi Alsaid, A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody, Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein, Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen, In Real Life by Jessica Love, The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta, Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson, Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan, Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot, Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales, The Night of Your Life by Lydia Sharp, Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith, Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon