ARC Review: Past Present Future (Rowan & Neil #2) by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Posted June 3, 2024 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 4 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review:  Past Present Future (Rowan & Neil #2) by Rachel Lynn SolomonPast Present Future by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Series: Rowan & Neil #2
Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers on June 4, 2024
Genres: YA Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: four-stars
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They fell for each other in just twenty-four hours. Now Rowan and Neil embark on a long-distance relationship during their first year of college in this romantic, dual points of view sequel to Today Tonight Tomorrow .

When longtime rivals Rowan Roth and Neil McNair confessed their feelings on the last day of senior year, they knew they’d only have a couple months together before they left for college. Now summer is over, and they’re determined to make their relationship work as they begin school in different states.

In Boston, Rowan is eager to be among other aspiring novelists, learning from a creative writing professor she adores. She’s just not sure why she suddenly can’t seem to find her voice.

In New York, Neil embraces the chaos of the city, clicking with a new friend group more easily than he anticipated. But when his past refuses to leave him alone, he doesn’t know how to handle his rapidly changing mental health—or how to talk about it with the girl he loves.

Over a year of late-night phone calls, weekend visits, and East Coast adventures, Rowan and Neil fall for each other again and again as they grapple with the uncertainty of their new lives. They’ve spent so many years at odds with each other—now that they’re finally on the same team, what does the future hold for them?

I adored the first book in this series, Today Tonight Tomorrow, even when it was just a standalone. So when I found out we were going to get the next part of Rowan and Neil’s relationship, I was very excited!

So it makes sense to get a sequel, even if the author says she didn’t really know she was going to write one. I mean the whole actual relationship, getting together for the original story kind of happened in just a day or two. And we don’t get a lot of time to see what happens after as it is the end of the school year. This sequel gives us a short look at that summer before they go off to their separate schools on the East Coast. They are sure they can both handle the long distance relationship. And honestly, they do have what it takes.

Unfortunately there are other things at work that keep things from going just perfectly. First is one thing I know I experienced when I went to college. When you are in the top of your class in high school, college can be a bit of a shock, because often you are now competing with all the people who were top of their class in their schools. And the teachers are also expecting more. It isn’t easy. In fact I soon realized that those students who had struggled and had to learn how to study to do well in high school had a bit of an advantage over someone like me who never really had to study or do much to get good grades. I wasn’t at all prepared for putting more effort besides the actual things the teachers talked about. I was used to having assignments/homework that helped me learn. Many classes were just lecture and then studying on your own.

Rowan and Neil have their own issues. Some similar to what I had. For Rowan it is feeling like all of a sudden she can’t write anything. I felt a similarity with her here too, although for the exact opposite reason. She wondered if she was having trouble writing her romances because now she was happy in her own. Whereas I’ve always struggled with finishing the romances I try to write because I haven’t ever been in love. She got great advice from her Creative Writing professor, advice I need to take myself. But even as she was so sure she was going to be told she didn’t belong, the lessons she learned about taking that criticism and suggestions from her teacher were so good.

Neil on the other hand had some of his personal history affecting him. Dealing with his father’s influence through letters he was sending even though he didn’t want him to. As many kids do, they get to an age when they begin to wonder if they are or will be like their parents. And in Neil’s case, with a father in prison, he did not want to be. It doesn’t help that he’s taking a psychology class his first semester and he is starting to see so many things that make him question his connection to his father as well. Neil’s side of the story was really sad at times as he definitely was becoming depressed and seeing him not know how to deal with it, and pushing friends and Rowan away. As much as I wanted to be angry with him for some of those things, it was so realistic that it fit into the story perfectly.

I love the way the author ended the story. Got them back together, but also was realistic in them continuing this long distance relationship. I loved the epilogue, even with it being in third person instead of the first person POV for the rest of the book. A great story and definitely one to share with my students!

RACHEL LYNN SOLOMON (she/her/hers) is the New York Times bestselling author of Today Tonight Tomorrow, The Ex Talk, and other romantic comedies for teens and adults. Originally from Seattle, she’s currently navigating expat life in Amsterdam, where she’s on a mission to try as many Dutch sweets as possible. Learn more at

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4 responses to “ARC Review: Past Present Future (Rowan & Neil #2) by Rachel Lynn Solomon

    • Lisa Mandina

      I think I’ve tried her adult books, but didn’t get through the one audio I was listening to. But I’ve loved her YA!

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