This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub (ARC Review)

on the lefthand side is the cover for Emma Straub's This Time Tomorrow. There is not much on the cover, except for the author and title written in all kinds of muted colors on a beige background. The letters are disturbed by loops going over the entire cover. There is also a synopsis for the book stating the following: "On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice's life isn't terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn't exactly the one she expected. She's happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels to her as if something is missing. When she wakes up the next morning she finds herself back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday. But it isn't just her adolescent body that shocks her, or seeing her high school crush, it's her dad: the vital, charming, 40-something version of her father with whom she is reunited. Now armed with a new perspective on her own life and his, some past events take on new meaning. Is there anything that she would change if she could?"

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": Riverhead Books
Page Count
: 320
Release Date: May 17, 2022

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: loss of a loved one, mention of drug use, underage drinking, sexual encounters between minors (technically)

First, I feel like I need to apologize for being so late with my review for Emma Straub’s This Time Tomorrow. I always try to review ARCs I receive in a timely manner to make sure I can help create some buzz around the release date, but I really had to take my time with this one. This has very little to do with it not being good – on the contrary, it was gobsmackingly fantastic and I forced myself to not start another chapter several times – but rather with the fact that this currently hits way too close to home.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s work our way through this from the start to my emotional destruction.

A TIME TRAVEL LOVE STORY?

I’m sure when you hear “time travel love story” the likes of The Time Traveler’s Wife, 13 Going on 30 or the Lake House come to mind. This Time Tomorrow is no such tale. Instead it is the love story between a single parent and his daughter. It’s about the relationships we forge and neglect over time, the questions that remain unanswered and the very human urge to play with the very fabric of time if it meant to get a couple seconds more.

Told from Alice Stern’s perspective, we follow her from her 40s to her 16th birthday and back again. We get to see the consequences of her actions, but also the underlying motivation for everything – more time with her dying father. She’s a very chaotic, but relatable lead to follow and I could understand many of her choices, even if I didn’t agree with the selfishness of it all at times. I don’t know if I could live with fundamentally altering other people’s lives to gain something in mine, but as I said, I understood her motivations perfectly. A grieving heart can be capable of a lot.

THE SCI-FI ASPECT?

While I love time travel and science fiction (my Doctor Who phase is proof enough), this wasn’t really like anything I had read or seen before. To me, the take on how the time travel worked, what and how it affected things and people, felt very unique. And yet, This Time Tomorrow also felt very grounded. The present day New York City setting, the heavy focus on relationships and nostalgia rather than gimmicky machines or quantum physics and the almost meta approach of Alice’s father Leonard Stern being a renowned author of a time travel book series, made it approachable and charming, rather than confusing.

VERDICT

The author, Emma Straub, has mentioned in many interviews that this is a very personal, almost autobiographical story and I think that very much comes through when you read it. I wept early on in the book, several times throughout and then just plain through the entirety of the final part. As I said early on, it could have had something to do with it just being a little bit too close for comfort right now, but I strongly believe in books finding you at the right time. This one was another one that went straight for the heart.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! I silently cried through large chunks of it, what other rating did you expect?


If you see a pattern in the books I read, no you don’t! Do you think you’d enjoy This Time Tomorrow? Have you read it? Let’s chat!

6 thoughts on “This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub (ARC Review)

  1. OK, I[m definitely gonna have to track this down — in fact, I know where I’m going to buy it. Emma Straub owns a bookstore a few subway stops away from me in Brooklyn and I’ve spent a lot of time/money there over the years. There’s a slight chance they may be selling her book there too….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I think the chances are more than just slight that it will be available there 😉
      I hope you will enjoy it. It doesn’t feel very sci-fi and more like general adult fiction, but maybe that’s what I liked about it?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome review, Kat! I just heard about this for the first time when I read a review for it the other day and after reading your review, I know that I want to get my hands on this ASAP. This sounds like a unique and heart-wrenchingly emotional novel and I’m always up for getting lost in my feels 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Dini! I’m glad you stumbled across this book through people talking about it. I felt really fortunate to have found it, but also … there might have been a lot of transference of my own emotional life been happening, which invoked all the feels for the book.

      Like

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