CW’s: Discussion of Antisemitism, Mentions of murder, violence and bullying, Drug Use
Representation 🌷 Jewish MC & LI
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 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’s 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.
Writer Main Character 📝
Rowan Roth is a chronic overachiever with a love for writing. ➽ She immediately grew on me as I related to her perfectionistic attitude as well as her fear of what the future might hold in store. Rowan is incredibly ambitious and focused on her studies, determined to become valedictorian after all the late nights of working and volunteering. I loved seeing how driven and determined she was, though she could also lose sight of certain things as she was so caught up in her rivalry with Neil. Another determining feature Rowan was that she’s a romance writer who would love to publish her own work someday. It should be easy to reach for her dream, especially as her parents are writers, but due to their (and society’s) derogatory view on romance books, she is insecure about what she loves. Rowan is adamant about romance books being valuable and angry with the sexist treatment they receive, especially as they hold such meaning for her. I liked her discussions about the stigma surrounding certain genres and loved her passion for writing! 💕
Rivals to Lovers Romance 💘
This book reminded me why I adore this trope so much! ➽ Rowan and Neil have been rivals all of high school, the two top students who are always competing with each other and trying to become valedictorian. The tension and history between them was so well conveyed by the book and I loved their verbal spars and banter so much! 🥰 Though Neil stands for so many things Rowan finds infuriating and he knows just how to push her buttons, she begins to see a different side of him when they unexpectantly team up. Neil himself might come across as uptight, argumentative and nerdy, he quickly shows a softer side to him that Rowan never thought existed. Despite being rivals for so long, I liked them truly getting to know each other and sharing deep truths about their fears and insecurities. The romantic tension and clearly repressed feeling added another layer of angst to the book that I really enjoyed! I only wish the ending hadn’t been as rushed as the slow burn buildup was actually good!
Preparing for College ✉
This is set during the very last days of senior year. ➽ Rowan and her classmates are about to graduate and there are a lot of mixed feelings that come with a new stage of life about to begin. I always appreciate stories that talk about college or the summer before college, as it’s a defining moment in life. Especially Rowan is plagued by the feeling that she might not have accomplished everything she wanted during her time in high school, brought up by her old Bucket List that she finds again. Fearing the last night of high school is her only chance of trying to tick off at least some points on her list, she has to face some truths about herself. One of the most important points of the book is her complicated relationship with her two best friends Kirby and Mara, who she seems to have drifted away from a bit. They still care for each other but Rowan realizes she might have been too caught up in school work and her rivalry with Neil to focus on anything else. I liked the discussion of how friendships might change in between high school and college a lot!
Set During One Day 🕓
I usually don’t like books that span 24 hours, but this one really worked for me! ➽ I loved how it gave us a good impression of the character’s past and their motivations. For the main couple it helped that they already had an established relationship with hidden, unresolved feelings that the story could build upon! I don’t like romances that develop within a day but here there was clearly romantic potential from the very start! I also liked the game of Howl – a sort of scavenger hunt that guarantees the winner a grand price – that was played as it made the story so engaging and added another element of suspense.
IN CONCLUSION. ➽ Today Tonight Tomorrow was an excellent rivals to lovers romance set within 24 hours full of tension, feelings and fears of the future. As you can see it had some of my favorite buzzwords and I cannot wait to read more books by this author because I was engaged in the story and had such a good time reading it ❤
Have you read Today Tonight Tomorrow? What are some books with the rivals to lovers trope you love? 💙