If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come

Bloomsbury. May 2023. 416p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781547611362.
Gr 10 Up–College freshman Avery, 19, is on the verge of dying by suicide when she receives a call telling her that an enormous asteroid is due to strike the planet in nine days, ending life as the world knows it. Avery and her roommate Aisha, a Nigerian international student with hopes of flying home, travel through the chaotic highways to find Avery’s best friend Cass and finally reach Avery’s parents in the suburbs where they are constructing a bunker. Avery’s life story is told through a series of flashbacks detailing her history of suicidal ideation, and how she fell in love with her best friend. While the plan to survive the apocalypse slowly unravels, Avery and Cass finally declare their love for each other and attempt to have one last week together. St. Jude’s writing is riveting, and the characters are well drawn. This book could be triggering for some readers, not only for those with suicidal ideation but also those with religious trauma. There are also threats of violence and consensual sex described on the page. The novel is an accurate depiction of the mind set and experiences of a person with depression, but it is perhaps too accurate in the way that every adult in a position of power over Avery fails her, even when she is actively seeking help. Where this book shines is the beautiful love story between two out lesbian characters that feels very grounded in their lifelong friendship.
VERDICT Recommended; this beautifully written story is one to share (with care).

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing