We Are Okay meets They Both Die at the End in this YA debut about queer first love and mental health at the end of the world-and the importance of saving yourself, no matter what tomorrow may hold.
Avery Byrne has secrets. She’s queer; she’s in love with her best friend, Cass; and she’s suffering from undiagnosed clinical depression. But on the morning Avery plans to jump into the river near her college campus, the world discovers there are only nine days left to an asteroid is headed for Earth, and no one can stop it.
Trying to spare her family and Cass additional pain, Avery does her best to make it through just nine more days. As time runs out and secrets slowly come to light, Avery would do anything to save the ones she loves. But most importantly, she learns to save herself. Speak her truth. Seek the support she needs. Find hope again in the tomorrows she has left.
If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come is a celebration of queer love, a gripping speculative narrative, and an urgent, conversation-starting book about depression, mental health, and shame.
Lambda Literary Fellow Jen St. Jude (she/they) grew up in New Hampshire apple orchards and now lives in Chicago with her wife and dog. She has served as an editor for Chicago Review of Books, Just Femme & Dandy, and Arcturus Magazine. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her cheering on the Chicago Sky and Red Stars. If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come is her first novel.
My thoughts: oh, Avery, you poor sweet darling, I just wanted to give her such a hug. She’s really going through it, and as someone with depression who struggled at uni to start with, I had such empathy for her. And then the world was due to end. Which is such a metaphor for how it feels when you’re suicidal and everything looks great from the outside. Except for Avery and her family and everyone else, the world is about to end.
There’s a whacking great space rock heading for Arizona, and while Avery is in New Hampshire, it’s still not great news. And she’s finally going to tell best friend Cass that she’s in love with her and always has been. Because no time like the actual apocalypse.
In those last few frantic days, Avery and Cass have their very own love story and oh it is so sweet and the fact that they won’t get to be together for very long is heartbreaking. As is the very fact that Avery’s family are adorable, her college roommate actually turns out to be lovely and Avery doesn’t actually want to die any more.
Look, this book broke me, it will probably break you, more queer love stories that don’t involve anyone dying or the world ending please. But do read this one, because it’s delightful but keep the tissues handy as I cried at least twice.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.