Books before food (and any sort of comfortable life).
Name: Take Me Tomorrow
Author: Shannon A. Thompson
Publisher: AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc.
Published: July 12, 2014 (Paperback version published August 1st, 2014)
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Adventure
Format: Kindle, Smashwords, eBook, Paperback
Summary: Two years after the massacre, the State enforces stricter rules and harsher punishments on anyone rumored to support tomo – the clairvoyant drug that caused a regional uprising. But sixteen-year-old Sophia Gray has other problems. Between her father’s illegal forgery and her friend’s troubling history, the last thing Sophia needs is an unexpected encounter with a boy. He’s wild, determined, and one step ahead of her. But when his involvement with tomo threatens her friends and family, Sophia has to make a decision: fight for a future she cannot see or sacrifice her loved ones to the world of tomorrow.
I was provided a review copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Quotes were taken from an uncorrected proof and may have changed in the final edition. I also had the opportunity to interview the author of this book, so click here to read it.
I feel that I’m maybe not the best audience for this book, so everyone please take this review with a grain of salt. The first book that I ever read by Shannon A. Thompson was Minutes Before Sunset and it was completely amazing. And then I read is sequel Seconds Before Sunrise and that one was even better. I think having read those first made my expectations of Take Me Tomorrow soar through the roof, which is unfair not only to myself but to the author who obviously put so much time and love into this book. Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that I disliked this book. I’m simply saying that I did not enjoy this book as much as I expected to nor as much as I would have liked to. Dystopians are easily my least favorite genre as I find myself liking only about 5% of those that I read, hating about 75%, and then being completely neutral to the other 20%. This book fell into the 20% range. There were parts of this book that I completely adored, and then there were other parts that I felt completely indifferent to.
Plot— I really found myself enjoying the plot of Take Me Tomorrow. I’ve found that Shannon A. Thompson is exceptionally good at creating plots and story lines that are way different from the norm. In this book, a drug called tomo has been synthesized and the hallucinogenic effects it creates (some say which are prophetic) has spawned a war between people and government, and protagonist Sophia Gray is about to find out that every single one of her loved ones have put themselves right in the middle. After her friend Broden is attacked and put in the hospital, Sophia insists on him and Miles telling her everything that’s going on, but since they’re men they don’t, and instead they put her in a situation that she’s completely unprepared for.
I glanced over. “You could’ve warned me about the second drop, you know.” The drop had to be over six feet because it covered [Broden’s] head.
“I thought you’d enjoy a surprise.”
“The first drop was surprise enough,” I mumbled, leaning back to survey my leg. My knee was scraped, and my jeans were ruined.
This is where we officially meet Noah, the same guy who Sophia found lurking around her father’s property only a couple days before. Noah is clearly on tomo, and Sophia doesn’t want Broden or Miles having anything to do with him. That’s going to be pretty hard though since he’s come to see her father, Dwayne Gray.
My father trusted him. Whether or not I trusted him was another debate. I had never questioned my father before Noah.
Oooh, want some ice with that sizzling burn of betrayal? Don’t worry, Sophia—you’ll forget about that betrayal once you realize everything you know is a lie. Thus the turning point of the story begins and action ensues. Plus…
Romance— Honestly, how many times do you hear someone say that the romance in a book was good? Almost never, right? I was so shocked when Sophia didn’t immediately fall in love with one of the many guys thrown at her feet. She could have succumbed. She could have gone weak at the knees and confessed in rambling monologue her utter devotion for insert any guy’s name here. She fought the lurve bug, though. Sophia Gray is a goddamn hero. She’s proof that heroines don’t need heroes to save them all the time.
Before either of the boys knew what happened, I kicked Noah in the back of the leg, knocking him off balance. His forehead smacked the doorway, and he fell down. I landed my foot on his ankle and held my knife to his throat. He didn’t even have time to grab his head.
Damn skippy. And then there’s Noah, the projected love interest. The ONLY love interest. Yes, you read that right. It is actually possible to write a book without a love triangle. And I liked Noah. Yes, he’s a drug addict. Yes, he’s probably terrible boyfriend material. But I just loved him so much.
I raised my knife, and the blade flashed. “What are you doing here?”
His mossy eyes focused on my weapon. “Don’t you think the dog is a big enough weapon?”
“He’s trained to attack.”
His chin lifted. “Are you, too?”
Call me a walking cliché, but I like my boys a little mysterious and fiesty. And then there’s the love between the two of them, Sophia and Noah. It’s so sweet and innocent, and the fact that Sophia hates his stinking guts at first makes it all the more better. Every scene between them made me giggle because I just knew where their relationship was headed.
“Stay,” he breathed, and I felt the blood rush to my cheeks. I turned away, only to be met by Lily’s widened gaze. Mile’s jaw dropped, and Lyn smirked like she knew he would ask for me all along.
His fingers dragged across my wrist. “Please,” he breathed.
“Okay,” I murmured, sitting on the edge next to him. Argos curled up at my feet. “I’ll stay.”
And I didn’t even need tomo to see it.
Setting— The setting of this book kind of baffled me in the sense that I never really got a true idea of where everything all took place. I think Thompson could have benefited more by making the book at least 50 pages longer just for world-building and setting descriptions. The only thing I know about where the characters live is that it’s called Topeka.
“It’s just a name,” I said.
“You should care,” he argued. “This is Missouri. They should’ve named the region after Jefferson or St. Louis.” […]
“They did it on purpose,” he said. “They want us to be confused. They don’t want us to understand where we are or where we should be. They want us to be so confused that we don’t even know where to begin.[…]”
But yes, even though the city is called Topeka, we are, to quote Dorothy, not in Kansas anymore. Noah hints at the possibility of the government keeping secrets about the city’s true location, but it’s never discussed for the rest of the book. Where are we? Also, what kind of government structure do we have? Our ruling government is called the “State,” but what does it do? Phelps is basically the “president,” but what other government officials are there? Is this a dictatorship? How did he come to power? I can’t answer any of those questions because I just don’t know.
I think the question that bothers me the most, though, is the mysterious Phelps massacre that happened two years before the events of this book. The only thing the reader is told about it is that a lot of people were killed and that it was caused by a mass of people taking tomo. Did the government kill those on drugs? Did the people on drugs kill a bunch of innocents? We don’t know. Why don’t we know? Is there going to be a sequel? I don’t know that, either.
Character Development— I’m going to start off here saying that I did like the characters. I thought they all fit in… whatever society they were supposed to be in. Dystopian. Futuristic. Chaotic. I just felt that none of them were ever fully developed. They all just kind of blended together to me. Miles, Broden, and Noah all had the same basic personally as guys and then Sophia and Lily had the same basic personalities as girls. Yes, we’re all told what they each were like, but I never felt like I truly got to know them.
And then the side characters (Phelps, Sophia’s dad, Pierson, Anthony, Lyn) all felt like they were just shoved into the story. I could not tell you one personality trait of any of these characters. Sophia’s dad works for Phelps and he makes illegal weapons. Anthony’s family was killed and now he works for Phelps to hunt down Noah. Pierson? Works for Phelps but is on Noah’s side. Phelps? He runs the State, but I couldn’t tell you anything else besides the fact that he’s old. Lyn… is a nurse. With a kid.
I wanted more character development so I could feel as if I truly knew the characters, and I didn’t get that. Because of that, when something bad happened to one of them I just didn’t really care.
Overall Impression: I really did like this book. It will never be one of my favorites, but the action was fast paced and heart pounding and then the romance was sweet and unhurried, which I loved. This book most definitely had its faults when it came to the world building and character development, but I’m hoping that Shannon A. Thompson will put out a sequel that answers a lot of the questions that developed throughout this book. Also, I kind of need more Noah. Please and thank you.