Shine Until Tomorrow


Young Adult - Coming of Age
304 Pages
Reviewed on 12/28/2020
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kenneth Salzmann for Readers' Favorite

Carla Malden’s novel Shine Until Tomorrow may be written for and aimed at a young adult audience—and it will certainly find an enthusiastic reception from readers in that demographic—but its charm, humor, and wisdom should make it an enjoyable coming-of-age story for many older readers as well. Protagonist Mari is a rising high school senior in an affluent twenty-first century Marin County suburb, single-minded in her pursuit of getting into Yale University at the same time she navigates the sometimes treacherous waters of high school social divisions, her parents’ divorce, and other familiar teen trials. But Mari’s carefully constructed world changes dramatically when a spat with her mother sends her pedaling her bicycle furiously through the pounding rain. The inevitable crash leaves her with not only a nasty knock on her head but also traveling through time—across the Golden Gate Bridge and into 1960s San Francisco.

Mari’s ensuing adventures land her squarely at the center of hippiedom during the Summer of Love, in a world without iPhones or the other trappings of contemporary affluence, but with perhaps some lessons to teach a latter-day teen obsessed with perfection. Throughout Shine Until Tomorrow, author Carla Malden’s voice is pitch-perfect, both in her rendering of Mari, the first-person narrator, and in painting the diverse array of characters that surround her. I think it’s notable that Malden is able to avoid the obvious trap of turning either the hippies or today’s teens into caricatures and to find the humanity in each character. In the same way, Malden, whose Amazon bio reveals that she is the daughter of the famed actor Karl Malden and an established screenwriter, shows a flawless command of her story, holding the reader’s attention at every step as Mari struggles to find her way back to her own time and into her future, enriched by her brush with the past. It was a journey I thoroughly enjoyed.