If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

If There's No Tomorrow
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: September 5th 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 376 (Hardcover)

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★★★☆☆
A single choice can change everything.

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 epic—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 might 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 she and her friends’ entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?

I am a huge fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout, and I was excited to pick this book up. Unfortunately, it didn’t do it for me. The storytelling was mediocre, and character development wasn’t great. I give this book 3 stars out of 5.

What I Like

  • Jennifer L. Armentrout definitely knows how to spin a story with a dreamy relationship. I like Lena’s relationship with her childhood-friend-turned-lover, Sebastian.
  • I love Lena’s dynamic with her friends. There is realistic conflict with Abby and Derry. It makes sense how Lena acted after the tragedy and I also understand how this might make her friends feel.
  • There is also great internal conflict for Lena. She experienced something traumatic and devastating and it shows in her character development. It could have been much more explicit or dark, but it’s appropriate for Armentrout’s audience.
    • It was refreshing to see Lena struggle with mental health and getting help for it. 
  • There were a few passages of writing, mostly Lena’s thoughts and realizations, that I found really beautiful.

What I Didn't Like

  • I don’t love or connect with Lena’s character as much as I would like to.
    • I don’t even find Sebastian as swoon worthy as many of Armentrout’s other book boyfriends.
  • The romance seems a little out of place in the midst of Lena’s mental struggles and her rocky relationships with other characters.
    • I understand that this romance with Sebastian was a vehicle for the message that “life goes on,” but I failed to see anything genuine in their development from friends to boyfriend/girlfriend. There’s the argument that grief brings people together, but I just wasn’t feeling their chemistry.
  • Lena’s relationship with her father adds a great dimension to her character but I feel like there should have been more development with their relationship.
    • I know it was not a main focus of the story, but I think I would sacrifice some of the romance subplot for more page time with Lena’s dad.
  • Armentrout touches on the sensitive issue of drunk driving and its consequences but I think there could have been more exposure for how devasting it really is.
    • Again, the book seems to be appropriate for her audience, so I suppose I understand.

Special Comments

  • I loved Armentrout’s books with fantasy elements (The Dark Elements, Lux), as well as new adult books under her pseudonym J. Lynn, but it seems like her YA contemporaries are not my thing.
    • At least not this one—I have her The Problem with Forever sitting on my shelf, which I’m not too keen on starting anytime soon if I’m being honest.

Overall, this book is not bad on the surface level. It’s a lighter read than I thought it was going to be, considering some of the topics discussed. I would recommend this if you want to read something a little somber, but not too dark.

Have you read this yet? How do you think this compares to Armentrout’s other works?

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