Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Book Review: This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

Pages: 320
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 17, 2022
Publisher: Riverhead
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "What if you could take a vacation to your past? With her celebrated humor, insight, and heart, beloved New York Times bestseller Emma Straub offers her own twist on traditional time travel tropes, and a different kind of love story. 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? "



Alice Stern lives a pretty normal life in Brooklyn.  She has an apartment, works in admissions at a prestigious private school, she's dating Matt, and has a close relationship with her father.  At almost forty years old, isn't married with kids, like most of her friends; however, that doesn't seem to be a big deal to her.  She has formed a close relationship with her father, because her mother left them when she was young, so it's always been just the two of them. Her father, Leonard, is a famous author of a time-travel series, Time Brothers, so Alice has lived a fairly well-to-do life. As the years go by, Leonard's health starts failing and he is in the hospital. Of course Alice visits every day and now that she is realizing her father is at the end of his life, she is starting to question hers.  On the night of her fortieth birthday, she goes out with her best friend, drinks too much, and then wakes up at her childhood house, in her childhood bedroom, in her childhood bed. Cue the confusion. Once she gets up, she enters the kitchen and behold! It's her father, but he's not sick. He's young, he's healthy, and she just so happens to be sixteen years old again.  Plus, it's not just any day. It's her sixteenth birthday and she has her party that night.  While she is in the past, she can't help but wonder if she should make different choices. What would that look like? More importantly, she can spend more time with her father and can she help him to stay healthy in the future? Emma Straub's This Time Tomorrow is a heartfelt read that fans of time travel will enjoy as it feels like a fresh take.

I enjoyed Alice in This Time Tomorrow. Her time travel journey actually worked for me, which I wasn't expecting, so props to Straub for making it believable. I liked the idea of stepping into your past, fixing some of the mistakes, or making different choices, and spending more time with loved ones. It's such an interesting concept and reminded me a bit of the movie Peggy Sue Got Married.  Alice gets to explore some of the chances she turned down when she was younger, such as spending time with her high school crush, Tommy, and how that might impact her in her current life.  I mean who hasn't ever thought about this? So, Straub is tapping into a fantasy that I think many of her readers will appreciate.

I also really enjoyed Alice's relationship with her father in This Time Tomorrow. I will admit that parts were a bit sadder than I thought they would be, but I guess that is to be expected as her dad is dying. I guess I didn't expect to feel so melancholy when I was reading This Time Tomorrow. So, be forewarned! Also, I liked how her father wrote a time travel novel, so that was a nice touch, especially since Alice explores some of the common issues/questions of time travel.

This Time Tomorrow felt like a mix between The Time Traveler's Wife and The Midnight Library. I really liked Straub's take on time travel and this was my first time reading one of her novels; I am sure it won't be the last.  If you like thoughtful, heartfelt books to pick up over summer vacation, definitely grab a copy. 

So, are you a fan of Emma Straub? Have you read This Time Tomorrow? Is it on your TBR list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 


  1. I love time travel stories, so I definitely want to read this one!

    1. Me too! This was a fun take on time travel for sure. You'll have to let me know what you think! Thanks for dropping by, Angela!

  2. I picked this up because so many people loved it but I just struggled to find a groove with it.

    1. I hear you. I didn't love it as much as I was hoping, but I did enjoy Straub's take on time travel. It won't make my favorite books of the summer list though. Thanks for visiting, Wendy!


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