Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopian
Released on: July 12th, 2014
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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.
This book was such a surprise to me, you guys. And in the best way possible. From the synopsis I was already intrigued, but as I started reading it, I got hooked.
We learn fairly quickly from the beginning of the book that Sophia lives a pretty sheltered life despite having been trained by a father that sounds like a class A badass to me. And as much as her character development progresses through the novel, learning to open her eyes to what has always been in front of her, learning to ask the right questions, learning to fight back, the real star of the novel (at least to me) is hands down Noah. Noah’s character is torn and battered. It’s safe to say that he’s been through the ringer a few times. And not to mention being addicted to a clairvoyant drug; you could say I was hooked to Noah’s character. But it’s a weird sort of like/love I have with him. He’s got an addiction, he’s broken, he’s vulnerable, but yet he’s strong-headed and willful. It’s an interesting combination to have when Noah is faced with such addictions and struggles. Not to mention the family drama. Because what massively torn and loveable character would our Noah be if he didn’t have some family issues, right?
It’s hard to really pinpoint why I felt for Noah so much, but I just did. His character was set up to be the one you didn’t think you could trust (or even want to trust), but from the moment we meet him, I want to coddle him and tell him “it’ll be alright.”
That’s also why I fell in love with Sophie’s character as well. She’s the light to Noah. The beacon of hope he needs to face his struggles, even if Noah doesn’t want to admit that. Yet Sophie doesn’t falter from him. She stays by him and proved her own strength to me.
Their relationship is bloody brilliant. Seriously. You know those books you rolled your eyes at because the author decided an insta-love was the way to go? Or those books where the two main characters share maybe ONE heart-to-heart conversation and the author feel that’s enough to start declaring love for each other? Well you don’t have that here with Noah and Sophie. It’s innocent, yet intense. It’s raw, yet wrapped up in armor and ready to weather the storm. It’s beautiful, and broken at the same time. They are a beautiful contradiction and I absolutely loved their relationship throughout the story.
The only issue I had with the novel was that I still had unanswered questions at the end. Of course that frustrated me. But when I looked back at the book as a whole, I realized that the main conflict presented at the beginning did solve itself in the end. Sure it was a bit open-ended, but the problem was solved. The small problem. At least small compared to the looming (and obviously bigger) issue still waiting to be addressed. But that could always be saved for book 2, can’t it? 😉
The pacing of this book is also top notch. It’s a great blend of mystery, humor, intrigue (which is pretty much constant throughout the entire book), romance, action. Seriously, it’s all nicely rolled into one. Like a nice fat sushi roll full of everything a sushi roll can hold.
Overall, I think character development was the strongest attribute to why I loved this book so much. The idea and concept that Shannon presents in her novel, one of clairvoyant drugs and suspicous governments, is fresh enough to me that I really enjoyed it. Of course the ending still kills me (Like ax to the gut kind of pain) but it was also so fitting to each of the characters. I couldn’t imagine it ending any other way, to be quite honest.
I’d honestly go far enough as to say this is going on my favorite reads of 2014 list.
MY RATING: 4.5/5 (Because come on, Shannon. That ending. It hurt.)
I’d say if you are a fan of Divergent, Marie Lu’s Legend, and heck maybe even Alex Bracken’s The Darkest Minds, then you’ll like this book. (Hopefully LOVE it – just like I did.)
Alex (A): First off, I absolutely enjoyed your book. It was intriguing and nail-biting to say the least. But of course I have to ask this… Will there be a book 2? Did you envision the story ending there or have you thought of expanding and exploring more in this world?
Shannon A. Thompson (SAT): First off, I am so glad you enjoyed Take Me Tomorrow! Many readers want a sequel, and I’m excited to say that a sequel – Take Me Yesterday – has already been written. That being said, the publication is not guaranteed. It is up to wonderful readers, such as yourself, to share and review it to get the second book out, and for those dedicated readers, I will say that Take Me Yesterday explores many of the unanswered questions – what was the massacre, what are the other regions like, what happened to Sophia’s mother, and will Noah and Sophia see each other again?
A: Writing a story about a clairvoyant drug that kind of sort of gives people the ability to glimpse the future is not exactly a typical young adult trope. So, where did you get the inspiration for this novel?
SAT: Drug use is a very personal topic to me because drugs affected my life. My mother was a drug addict, and her addiction eventually killed her when I was eleven years old. Many have said writing about drug use in young-adult fiction is daring, but I was a preteen when I was most affected by drugs, so I find it an honest exploration of the reality many kids have to go through. I actually wrote more in-depth about this on my website: http://shannonathompson.com/2014/07/18/why-i-write-about-immigration-drugs-and-addiction/
A: Most of my readers can tell that I obsess over character persona and development, and that got me thinking…What are some of your main character’s strengths and weaknesses and how do they change throughout the story (if they do at all)?
SAT: I personally believe my writing style is more character driven than plot driven, but that is a debate, of course. That being said, my characters change dramatically in different ways, but a reader might need to read it a few times to realize that. I don’t like making things too obvious. I want readers to experience the book one hundred times and realize something new every time. That being said, let’s look at the protagonist, Sophia. At the beginning, she’s very oblivious to the situation going on in her world, but she’s also 16 – so she’s focused on being 16 – until everything changes. That’s when she has to make big decisions, the biggest one being whether or not she faces the truth or stays in her safety bubble. Of course, she’s a fighter, so she fights back, but it isn’t easy accepting the fact that her loved ones are different from what she thought. I think the clearest scene of this is when Sophia questioning Broden on how he hid everything from her, and he says, “We didn’t. You just didn’t listen.” Sophia’s biggest change is learning how to listen.
A: Who would you ‘fancast’ to play the roll of Sophia and Noah?
SAT: Oh, I can’t fancast! I always say that if my books ever became movies, I would beg, beg, BEG for an open-casting call. I want new artists to receive a chance, and I think readers can believe in the characters more when they haven’t seen the actor one hundred times. But I do have a Pinterest board for the story: http://www.pinterest.com/AuthorShannonT/take-me-tomorrow/
A: Did you listen to any music that helped you write the novel? If so, what songs? Any character playlists?
SAT: Oh, yes! I have a playlist up on 8tracks. http://8tracks.com/shannonathompson/take-me-tomorrow. But I mainly listened to Portishead and Lykke Li.
A: Have you received any sobbing emails after that ending? (Because I am very tempted to write one if no one else has…)
SAT: I giggled when I read this question, not because I’m laughing at the distress, but because – yes – I’ve received quite a few emails about the ending. I promise that I want the sequel to come out, too, and I understand that the ending is very open, but I had to be true to that section of the story. Sure, I could’ve wrapped it up, but I couldn’t. No matter if the sequel releases or not, I had to show that things don’t end so easily. (But I do hope to give readers Take Me Yesterday.)
A: Any interesting research you had to do for this novel?
SAT: Sure! But I don’t think I researched specifically for this story. After my mother died and I realized the extent of her addiction, I was very sad, angry, and ashamed. I spent years trying to understand it, and research was the main reason I coped. In the end, those years of coping and researching became the research behind this novel.
A: Moving away from the topic of your novel for a hot second…What advice would you give to struggling writers/authors?
SAT: My personal mantra is write with passion; succeed with self-discipline, but I think aspiring writers should come up with their own mantra. Find what is at the core of your love for writing and never forget why that core is there. Following your dreams can be an ugly road, but it can be the most beautiful one if you know what to concentrate on.
A: Do you think writers block is an actual thing that some writers suffer from?
SAT: Well, of course it’s a thing because writers always write about it, but – personally – I think it is something the writer creates, so it can be easily overcome. Then again, that’s my personal experience. When I get writer’s block, I realize it isn’t writer’s block at all. I either forced something in the story or I was forcing myself to write to meet a deadline. If I take a step away, I’m almost guaranteed to be perfectly fine within a day.
A: Finally, let’s have some fun… What are some of your hobbies?
SAT: I am obsessed with traveling. Since I moved around a lot as a kid, it’s hard for me to stay in one place for long. If I’m not traveling or writing, I’m reading and spending time with my cat. I also love photography, and I talk about as fast as I write, so I can turn into a chatterbox if I’m free. I also love old, Bogart movies.
A: Favorite binge food?
SAT: Oh, how can I pick one? I LOVE food. My current binge food is chips and salsa.
A: Cat or dog person?
SAT: I love both! Argos in Take Me Tomorrow is actually based off of my late husky, Shadow, but I currently only own a cat named Bogart.
A: And lastly, let’s end with a book question… If you could change one aspect of your book, would you? If yes, what would you change?
SAT: I don’t think I would change anything in Take Me Tomorrow. Sure, there are aspects I would’ve liked to include – like information about the massacre – but Sophia wasn’t going to talk about it naturally, and I found out why later on when I was writing the sequel. But even if the sequel never releases, I have no regrets. It was Sophia’s story, and she told it how it was. I truly enjoyed the adventure, and I look forward to taking future ones.
Thank you so much to Shannon A. Thompson for participating in this author interview and giving some kickass answers!
About Shannon A. Thompson:
Shannon A. Thompson is a 23-year-old author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox. She was merely 16 when she was first published, and a lot has happened since then. Thompson’s work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies, including a Norwegian magazine, and her first installment of The Timely Death Trilogy, Minutes Before Sunset, became Goodreads Book of the Month. The sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise, has released, and AEC Stellar Publishing released her latest novel, Take Me Tomorrow, on July 17, 2014.
She graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing.
Shannon spends her free time writing, but she loves spending time with her father and brother. She also has one black cat named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart.