I find it curious that romance is often deemed frivolous and not for ‘serious’ readers. On the contrary, I believe romance is perhaps the most honest genre, acknowledging our universal desire to be seen and understood.
My favorite part of many romances is the best-friend storyline. You know this character; they often threaten to overrun the story with antics, support, and the all-important moment when the BFF says, “Hey, you know this person is the love of your life, right?”
Admittedly, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin is not a romance in the strictest sense because the arc of the plot does not revolve around a traditional love story. Still, this novel is bursting with a love so complicated and enduring that it feels like a romance.
Sadie and Sam meet in the game room of a children’s hospital, bonding over Donkey Kong. Sam has been in a car accident which killed his mother and injured his foot nearly beyond repair. Sadie is there because her older sister is fighting cancer. Sam, who has not spoken a word in the weeks since his accident, begins to talk to Sadie.
Their friendship will continue for the rest of their lives, although with several ‘breakups.” After a high school falling out, they reunite in college and develop a video game that rockets them into the ranks of the gaming elite. They will continue to create games, hurt each other’s feelings, and abandon, save and love one another with a language and cadence all their own.
When a friend asks Sam whether he and Sadie were romantically linked, he replies, “We’ve never… It’s more than romantic. It’s better than romance. It’s friendship.”
A word about the gaming storyline: If you have little interest in gaming like me, you will still love this book. If gaming is your jam, consider it icing on this perfect (rich and dense like German chocolate) cake of a book.
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