In 1986, Sadie Green, 11, visits a children’s hospital where her sister is being treated for cancer. There, she befriends another patient, a 12-year-old Korean Jewish boy named Sam Masur, who has a badly injured foot, and the two bond over their love for video games. Over 600 hospital visits later, they have a fight and don’t speak again for six years when they reconnect while attending college in Boston. The pair, with help from their friend Marx, form a company designing video games. Before even graduating, they have created their first blockbuster video game, Ichigo.
Spanning three decades and various locations, including Cambridge and Venice Beach, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow delves into themes of identity, disability, failure, and the human need for connection.
Despite receiving accolades such as the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction (2022) and the Book of the Month Book of the Year Award (2022), this novel did not resonate with me personally. Initially, I found the book’s exploration of video games intriguing, but the excessive references to gaming became overwhelming.
The early chapters, focusing on Sadie and Sam’s childhood, were captivating, but my interest waned as the story progressed. While the writing and character development were commendable, the complex nature of Sadie and Sam’s friendship made it difficult for me to sympathize with or like them. In fact, all three main characters were toxic in their own ways.
Ultimately, the plot became too overwhelming for my taste. Incorporating significant amounts of trauma in the narrative left me feeling disheartened. The prevalence of LGBT characters and the extensive social commentary felt excessive and “woke” to me. I would rate this book three out of five stars.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.