Sunday, April 10, 2022

Book Review: "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" by Gabrielle Zevin

One of the most beloved books of the year is this sweeping story of friendship, love, grief, recovery, and video games.

Sadie and Sam meet in the hospital when they are 11 years old in the late 1980s. Sadie is visiting her older sister and Sam is recovering from one of several surgeries to repair his foot, which was crushed in a car accident. She finds Sam in the hospital’s game room and she is impressed with his skill at Super Mario Bros.

Even though Sam hasn’t spoken to anyone since he came to the hospital, he and Sadie strike up a friendship, mostly bonding over video games. She even comes to the hospital to visit him after her sister is released, and they spend a great deal of time together until an argument ends their friendship.

Years later, Sam spots Sadie on a crowded subway platform in Boston. He knows she’s a student at MIT, while he attends Harvard, but they’ve not seen each other since they were 13. But quickly it’s as if no time has passed, and that encounter is the spark that leads to their partnering on developing a video game.

The story follows them over the next 15 or so years, as they become famous video game developers, and deal with personal and professional ups and downs. Their friendship is tested time and again, with jealousy, misunderstandings, ambition, and tragedy affecting them. It’s a powerful and emotional story, which meandered a bit too much for me, but it definitely kept me invested in the characters’ stories.

While you don’t have to know much about video games to read this, it would help. But I enjoyed the portrayal of their creativity and genius, as well as the commentary about video games’ effect on society.

Thanks to NetGalley and Knopf for the complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review!

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