This Day Changes Everything

This Day Changes Everything
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Release Date
February 13, 2024
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Dash & Lily meets Ferris Bueller's Day Off in Edward Underhill's new whirlwind rom-com about two queer teens who spend one life-changing day together in New York City.

Abby Akerman believes in the Universe. After all, her Midwest high school marching band is about to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City—if that’s not proof that magical things can happen, what is? New York also happens to be the setting of her favorite romance novel, making it the perfect place for Abby to finally tell her best friend Kat that she’s in love with her (and, um, gay). She’s carefully annotated a copy of the book as a gift for Kat, and she’s counting on the Universe to provide an Epic Scene worthy of her own rom-com.

Leo Brewer, on the other hand, just wants to get through this trip without falling apart. He doesn’t believe the Universe is magical at all, mostly because he’s about to be outed to his very Southern extended family on national TV as the trans boy he really is. He’s not excited for the parade, and he’s even less excited for an entire day of sightseeing with his band.

But the Universe has other ideas. When fate throws Abby and Leo together on the wrong subway train, they soon find themselves lost in the middle of Manhattan. Even worse, Leo accidentally causes Abby to lose her Epic Gift for Kat. So to salvage the day, they come up with a new mission: find a souvenir from every location mentioned in the book for Abby to give Kat instead. But as Leo and Abby traverse the city, from the streets of Chinatown to the halls of Grand Central Station and the top of the Empire State Building, their initial expectations for the trip—and of each other—begin to shift. Maybe, if they let it, this could be the day that changes everything, for both of them.

Editor review

1 review
delightful YA contemporary
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THIS DAY CHANGES EVERYTHING is a delightful YA contemporary about finding yourself and finding love. The story follows Abby and Leo in alternating points-of-view. They are each arriving from their small towns into NYC to participate in the Thanksgiving Day parade with their respective marching bands. Abby has a massive crush on her BFF Kat, and she has decided that this trip to NYC, the setting of their favorite romance read, will be the perfect time to tell Kat how she feels. She has a signed copy of the book that she annotated (in pencil) to help with her confession.

Leo is anxious about the parade, in large part because he is not yet out to his extended family. His parents know everyone will be watching, and it will be fairly obvious, but they want to pretend that he is just a tomboy. Leo just wants to be himself. When Leo and Abby accidently get on the wrong train at the same time, the universe has other plans for them. Abby's book for Kat gets lost, and Leo comes up with a new plan for her - they will go to all the places in the book and find little souvenirs that she can give to Kat instead.

As they spend the day together, they find new self-confidence and feelings that they would never have expected.

What I loved: This was a consuming, unputdownable read. Leo and Abby were both really compelling characters, each handling their identity and coming out on their own terms but with NYC giving them a feeling of freedom that they did not have in their small towns. Abby is nervous over coming out for the first time and confessing her feelings to her best friend - something that feels understandably really high stakes. She is learning about herself and what the book she loves is really trying to say about fate, life, and the choices we have.

Leo is also a really compelling character, who is dealing with the way his family feels and his anxiety over it all. This is compounded by the way the school has organized the trip and the way that they also treat his identity. The feelings of being unseen are magnified over these few days, when all Leo wants to be is himself. It was a phone call with his sister discussing the family issue that led to him getting on the wrong train. Fate may be fortuitous when he begins to understand and receive validation for himself over this unexpected day.

The romance was sweet and so easy to cheer for. As they spend time together, they really get to know each other. There is a particularly impactful scene in a bookshop where they stumble upon a LGBT+ book club and really begin to understand and define themselves and the broader world. I loved the way they came together, and the parallels with Abby's book were really thoughtful.

Themes around self-acceptance, friendship, romance, fate, coming out, complicated family, and finding your path were really thought-provoking and uplifting. Although there were some heavier themes within the story, it was quite positive and light throughout, leaving the reader with feelings of hope, love, and joy.

Final verdict: THIS DAY CHANGES EVERYTHING is a heartfelt and lovely YA contemporary about finding yourself and fate that will leave readers with feelings of hope and happiness. Highly recommend picking this consuming read up!
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