Published by Simon Pulse on 28th July 2020
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Today, she hates him.
It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating academic nemesis one last time.
Tonight, she puts up with him.
When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.
As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he's much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.
Tomorrow . . . maybe she’s already fallen for him.
Academic rivalry turning into something more in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s ‘Today Tonight Tomorrow’ started with a whopping bang as Rowan Roth and Neil McNair come to a climax in an elaborate game involving a cutthroat scavenger hunt around the city on the last day of school. And it’s one that dominates the entire story, interspersed with cute-ish anecdotes of their years as rivals and petty arguments, as Rowan and Neil learn more about each other and start something new at the end of an era.
I do like Solomon’s writing to be honest, but I can understand, midway through the book, why it has the potential to be divisive. Rowan Roth around rubbed me the wrong way, more so it’s because of her single POV is one that the entire story’s written in as well. It wasn’t that the very-prickly Rowan had too much of her head in the clouds (that also seems to be a snarling kind of constant defence of romance writing and novels when there didn’t see a need to do that), but that it seems as though Solomon had chosen Rowan to be a vessel with a self-righteous streak a mile long to pour our her grievances several social issues, Jewishness, gender politics and feminist gripes that it got annoying reading about all of them—either in conversations with Neil or Rowan’s inner monologues—all at once.
I do get that these social issues bother some more than others, but to have this broadcast aloud (and on nearly every occasion possible even when it seems much ado about nothing) was proved a little much for me, more so when Rowan’s abrasive and almost calculating personality tried to drive it all home, all at once. That she was determined to jump on everything negative she could about Neil even after getting to know him, proved to be the last straw, more so when I’d hoped that this would be a read that could offer some form of escapism, rather than a cold-water plunge back to the very things I actually want to get away from for a while.
Romance-wise, considering that this all happened within a space of a day with some detours both metaphorical and literal—where Rowan keeps revising her prejudiced opinions of Neil and then developing feelings for him but continues to lash out cruelly at the slightest pinch—felt like a speed run of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, and a somewhat unbelievable one at that.
So if ‘Today Tonight Tomorrow’ started as an absolutely engrossing read, it ended up as one that was nearly impossible to finish because Rowan simply looked like a nasty piece of work at the end. To say this one was disappointing was an understatement but I’ll still keep a hopeful eye out for what Solomon might have in the future simply because I actually like her writing.