Review: What About Today by Dawn Lanuza

What About Today
by Dawn Lanuza

Aiden's stuck working for his family's amusement park, Funtastic World, for the whole summer. Nothing amuses him, until he met this terrified girl.

Gemma's stuck in Funtastic World thinking she could handle the park's rides. She couldn't. Good thing she met someone to guide her.

As the day comes to a close, Aiden and Gemma ask themselves if one day is ever enough to decide if they were better off as friends or strangers.

(cover image and synopsis lifted from Goodreads)

Series: Standalone
Publisher: Anvil Publishing
Publication date:  January 2017 (first published April 14th 2015)
Source/Format: Provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review / Paperback
Purchase links: Anvil Publishing Online Store | Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts:
Blame kdrama because my dream first date is in an amusement park. I imagine it going something a bit like this: so at this point in time of our relationship, we don’t know each other much yet but I think taking death defying rides and screaming for our lives together will pretty much bond us forever. We’ll eat ice cream after, then he will play amusement park games and win the biggest plushie they have there for me. I’ll get tired from all the walking around and he’ll offer me his back for a piggy back ride. Yeah, blame kdrama.

“What About Today” is set in an amusement park, my dream first date place! Aiden is spending his summer vacation working there. His family owns the place. I guess even an amusement park is not fun anymore if you’ve been there a bajillion times. For him, it’s just another day at the office. For Gemma, it’s the day she turns seventeen. She decided that it’s time for her to prove that she is capable of doing something on her own. One day, one chance encounter. It’s a picture framed in a span of one whole day. There is an evident connection between them. The question is, could this connection exist beyond “TODAY”? There is this amusing dialogue between them where Aiden asked “Do you think if we met elsewhere, we’d talk?” The always cautious and evasive Gemma, who always answers a question with another question claps back “What about you? Would you talk to me if we met elsewhere?”

"I'm starting to think that we should all just be strangers. People are nicer to people they barely know."

And that’s pretty much what the book is: a conversation as they wander around the park. They talk about parents, school, favorite books, worst birthdays, best birthdays -- basic getting to know each other stuff, sprinkled with philosophical poking about mediocrity and bursts of existential angst about being a minor character in your own life. I LOVE THE SIMPLICITY OF IT. No major drama, no mean girls or jerk jocks to encumber them. It’s just the two of them talking and connecting.

I just don't see the fuss with overachieving. Can't we all just achieve and not be under or over it?

“What about Today is reminiscent of my all-time favorite romantic movie, “Before Sunrise”. I am so in love with this film, I swear I will never get tired of watching it over and over again. I am so glad this book has found me, it’s right up in my alley. What else can I say, my all-time favorite romantic movie set in my dream first date place: it’s darn beautiful! But if you fancy a more delicate description of “What About Today”, well, picture this. Two young people holding hands, high up inside a ferriswheel, with the night sky strewn by fireworks, aaah, it’s  a fantasy parade!!!
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