Past Present Future | Rachel Lynn Solomon


Coming June 4, 2024 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 384 pages 

Content Warning: Sexual content, explicit language, depression, mention of alcoholism

About the Author: “Rachel Lynn Solomon is the New York Times bestselling author of The Ex Talk, Today Tonight Tomorrow, and other romantic comedies for teens and adults. Originally from Seattle, she’s currently navigating expat life with her husband in Amsterdam, where she can often be found exploring the city, collecting stationery, and working up the courage to knit her first sweater” (Bio from author’s Goodreads profile).

Find Rachel Lynn Solomon on the following platforms:

“I have a feeling everyone’s been keeping a secret, a this-would-change-the-romance-novel-world-if-it-got-out kind of secret—that the very best parts happen after the book is over. And that’s where we begin.”

In the first book, Today Tonight Tomorrow, Rowan and Neil were academic rivals when they fell for each other on the last day of their senior year of high school. Now, they’re navigating college and a long distance relationship in Past Present Future. Rowan is studying creative writing in Boston, but she’s struggling with writer’s block. At NYU, Neil is finding friends and exploring the city until the weight of his past starts to take a toll on his mental health. As they text, call, and visit each other throughout their freshman year of college, both Rowan and Neil grapple with the way their lives are changing as they continue to fall in love. 

When I first read Today Tonight Tomorrow back in 2022, I instantly fell in love with Rowan and Neil. Solomon had crafted a YA contemporary novel that had the perfect mix of romcom and coming-of-age. It’s rare that an author decides to write a sequel to a book like this, especially one that seemed as if the story was finished, so I was curious to see what would happen next in Past Present Future. In this heartfelt sequel, Solomon highlights the struggles of transitioning into life on your own as a college student. While the novel was about Rowan and Neil’s relationship, especially the highs and the lows of being long-distance, it also heavily focuses on their personal struggles and shifting mindsets. I thought Solomon beautifully captured the range of emotions and issues both Rowan and Neil face, making the story even more impactful. It can be easy for a sequel to a romance to fall flat because the couple is already together, or for the author to come up with a string of easily avoidable issues to create drama, but that wasn’t the case for this book. Every conversation and problem felt like realistic issues that these characters would have to handle, and it was refreshing to see in a romance. The character development was truly noteworthy. This book swiftly reminded me of how much I love Solomon’s writing, and I think any of her books are must-reads for those who love character-driven romances.

Past Present Future releases on June 4, 2024.

Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for Young Readers for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change before final publication.

Sam Yanis, Pine Reads Review Writer