“Today Tonight Tomorrow” Review

Today Tonight Tomorrow Review

Towards this point of the school year, the workload inevitably gets heavier and the looming threat of AP and IB exams begins to appear, causing many students to experience stress over their academics. One way to alleviate this stress is to read Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Soloman. While not a perfect piece of literature, the predictable, light-hearted, and comedic nature of this book makes it a perfect candidate for an escape from the stress of school, while its topic and discussions make it relevant and relatable as well during such a time.

Today Tonight Tomorrow follows the end of the rivalry between top students Rowan Roth and Neil McNair. When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan seeks to defeat him one last time during their senior game, Howl, which consists of racing to find clues around Seattle while evading being tagged by someone who has your name as a randomly-generated target. However, when Rowan overhears another student planning to create a team to bring down her and Neil, she decides that the best way for her to get the satisfaction she needs of defeating Neil McNair is to team up with him in order to ensure that they are the last two remaining and directly compete with each other at the end. While spending the night together leading up to this point, though, they find that their rivalry may have been getting in the way of a comforting friendship and perhaps even something more. 

Overall, Today Tonight Tomorrow is comforting in that like many other romance novels, it is predictable in that the reader can always be assured that there will be a happy ending. The conversations between the characters are humorous and, for the most part, lighthearted, which also keeps the novel’s tone light and comforting. However, the novel still remains connected to reality through the addition of a few insecurities and struggles that the characters discuss with each other, such as Rowan’s love of romance novels that she gets made fun of for and her feelings of not becoming the person that she wanted to be earlier in life. There are also discussions of heavier topics, such as their experiences with others discriminating against them for being Jewish as well as complicated family dynamics. While the discussions sometimes felt out of place in the rest of the narrative, for the most part they grounded the novel in reality and opened up ways for it to be relatable for various members of its target teenage audience while also comforting them.

Though Today Tonight Tomorrow only takes place over the course of a single night, this does not detract from the author’s ability to hold the reader’s attention or the reader’s understanding of the backstory of the rivalry. Solomon uses lists and old text messages to inform the reader of the origins and course of the rivalry over the past four years of high school. These also break up the narrative and help to hold the reader’s attention by presenting them with new formats of information. While solving the clues of Howl gives the novel a clear structure, there are instances where the characters have additional side adventures that make the novel unpredictable enough to remain interesting.

One criticism of Today Tonight Tomorrow is that the ending felt a little rushed. The novel starts out with Rowan’s complaints about Neil always being followed up with something that she likes about him that she instantly denies saying. While this confirms the possibility that such a relationship could develop in one night as it is painted to be seen as being the product of more long-term causes, that might not be what some readers are looking for as the transition does end up seeming a little random since there is no outright trigger (as Rowan claims that she is only just now understanding feelings that she has always had). Still, this does not detract much from the overall enjoyment of the novel, if one is reading it for comfort and not from a more analytic perspective.

Despite its flaws and at times cliche nature, Today Tonight Tomorrow remains a serious contender for anyone searching for a break from the stress of academics, which Neil and Rowan are departing from in this novel.