The WriteReads Blog Tour: If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come by Jen St Jude

About the Book

Genre: Young Adult,  Queer, LGBT, Romance, Science Fiction
Length: 416  Pages
Publishing: 9th May 2023


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.


When Avery gets the news there is an asteroid headed to Earth, leaving just nine days before the end of the world, she is standing at a river, planning to jump in. But Avery commits herself to making it through to the end, with her family and her best friend, Cass.

If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come is a queer, apocalyptic romance, about mental health struggles and finding hope, saving yourself. Avery starts the novel with a lot of secrets, but gradually she learns to speak her truth. I thought the book was okay, and there were some really excellent moments, but overall I think it was just a touch too bloated. This seems to be a bit of a trend recently – books that a few short years ago would have been 300 – 350 pages are now over 400, leaving in a bit too much padding for my tastes.

The positives: it’s great to see mental health representation that’s so frank. Avery’s depression underscores her life, impacting the way she relates to others and how she feels about herself. The love story between Avery and Cass is sweet, and I love how these two lean on each other and grow together. There’s a few melodramatic moments, but they’re teenagers at the end of the world, so it’s easy to forgive them their worst moments. The writing itself is beautiful and poetic at times, and Jude really brings these settings to life.

I do wonder if I maybe expected a little more from this though – like I said, it was a bit bloated, but other things bothered me just a touch too. These characters don’t read like kids born in the early 00s. There were times when it read like maybe it was set a bit earlier, but then we have other indications it’s more present day. There’s a bit early on, immediately after they find out about the impending end of the world, where Avery’s fellow college students flee the campus, posting signs on their vehicles to show where they’re going for anyone else going in the same direction. I really liked this scene, especially as the tension ramps up as the vehicles gradually leave. But once Avery is on the move, we get the kind of scenes of complete chaos we’re almost too used to in apocalyptic works. People immediately resort to fighting, looting, murder – again, it’s something I feel like we’ve seen a bit too often before, and I think the last few years I’ve found it exhausting to imagine this particular version of the ‘end of the world’ so often. That is totally just me, but it just felt…similar to everything else?

Apart from that though, there were other aspects of the book I truly loved and really enjoyed – the use of flashbacks to flesh out Avery’s story were done well, and her relationship with her brother was really sweet to read. I did like most of the characters (minus those that just felt a bit like stock 90s characters), including Cass, along with Avery’s roommate and college tutor. There’s a really poignant scene with him towards the end of the book, perhaps the first time him and Avery have spoken frankly together. There’s a sort of tide effect in the way the characters feel hope, only to have it turned around. And at its core, a lot of this is the characters simply going for what they want, putting themselves first before it’s too late.

I would recommend this book for an older YA/younger NA audience, but it’s definitely one where you need to check TW/CW first – as I said before, the mental health aspects can be quite frank, and there’s a lot of discussion around suicide. I can easily imagine others raving about this and it being a 5 star book for a lot of other readers – check out the other bloggers on the tour as I’m sure there’s a few who loved it much more strongly than I did.

About the Author

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.


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