Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book will make you feel everything, very intensely. It is full of triggers, and it’s a little difficult (emotionally) to read at times. But if you can handle it, the payoff is worth it in the end.

About the Book

We Are Okay meets They Both Die at the End in this YA debut about queer first love and mental health at the end of the world-and the importance of saving yourself, no matter what tomorrow may hold.
Avery Byrne has secrets. She’s queer; she’s in love with her best friend, Cass; and she’s suffering from undiagnosed clinical depression. But on the morning Avery plans to jump into the river near her college campus, the world discovers there are only nine days left to an asteroid is headed for Earth, and no one can stop it.
Trying to spare her family and Cass additional pain, Avery does her best to make it through just nine more days. As time runs out and secrets slowly come to light, Avery would do anything to save the ones she loves. But most importantly, she learns to save herself. Speak her truth. Seek the support she needs. Find hope again in the tomorrows she has left.
If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come is a celebration of queer love, a gripping speculative narrative, and an urgent, conversation-starting book about depression, mental health, and shame.

Book Info
Genre: Young Adult, Queer, LGBT, Romance, Science Fiction
Length: 416 Pages
Publishing: 9th May 2023
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tomorrow-Doesnt-Come-Jen-Jude-ebook/dp/B0B9JBMTGJ
Amazon US: https://a.co/d/6N39dUU
Bookshop US: https://bookshop.org/a/25511/9781547611362
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62039307-if-tomorrow-doesn-t-come

My Thoughts

My lived experience was similar to Avery’s in several ways, so this book might have been harder for me to read than others. I was older than Shelby when I realized I might be queer, but I, too, fell in for one of my best friends. But unlike her, I was never brave enough to tell my very conservative Bible belt family. I’m always so proud to read about teens living their truths, as difficult as they may be, because it gives me hope for future generations of LGBTQ plus kids.

Like Avery, I adored Cass and Peter. Her best friend and brother were amazing characters, developed so beautifully. Almost too beautiful sometimes. But that showed the author’s wonderful ability to show us Avery’s rose-colored view of the world through her depression filter. While I don’t experience depression, I do have severe anxiety, and it can cause similar issues. The relationship between them all was so wonderful, I wished I could be a part of it.

The clear, real, raw representation of Avery’s mental illness was beautifully done. I felt every moment intensely in my soul. This sort of representation is important and needed in our society. The way Avery was represented is also important. She was drowning, and no one seemed to notice. It’s important for people to see these kinds of representations so they can realize that sometimes depression doesn’t look the way they think it does.

I am so thankful to Writes Read Tours, the author, and Penguin Books UK for including me on this tour. I will absolutely check out anything else Ms. St. Jude writes.

Who’s It For?

If you have depression, I don’t know if it’s a good idea to read this book. But I’m not a professional, and you know yourself best. But this is probably one of the saddest books I’ve ever read, even though I enjoyed it immensely. It was also so incredibly hopeful. But you had to get through a lot to get to that hope. So, I have to tell you to please take care of your mental health and be forewarned.

Also, this is billed as a Young Adult novel, but we could also easily categorize it as New Adult. The main characters are early college age, but there are flashbacks to their earlier life. As an adult in my mid-30s, I found it easily relatable and enjoyable as well. I don’t think it would be appropriate for younger teens, but it has something for everyone above that age.

Content Warning: Suicide and Suicidal Ideation, Depression, Mental Illness, Homophobia, Violence, Adult Language, Adult Situations, Apocalyptic Situations, Religious Shaming

About the Author

Lambda Literary Fellow Jen St. Jude (she/they) grew up in New Hampshire apple orchards and now lives in Chicago with her wife and dog. She has served as an editor for Chicago Review of Books, Just Femme & Dandy, and Arcturus Magazine. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her cheering on the Chicago Sky and Red Stars. If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come is her first novel.

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