This Day Changes Everything / Edward Underhill / Book Review


Abby Akerman has been looking forward to NYC since her marching band found out they would be performing in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This is the biggest opportunity of her life, as both a performer and a fangirl. Because Abby's favorite romance book also takes place in New York City--the same book her best friend is obsessed with. Which is obviously a sign that Abby is meant to confess her love (and that she's queer) to her best friend Kat. She's got an extra-special, sign-edition, fully-annotated hardcover of their favorite book for the Big Confession and everything.

For Leo Brewer, things couldn't be more different. His band is performing, too, but this isn't a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Leo. No, this is his worst nightmare. This is the day that his extended family will all gather around the television to watch him... and will find out he's trans. Because he's not hiding it. He shouldn't have to, no matter what his very Southern family might think, but the emotional fallout of this event... He can't imagine it will be good.

But Abby's Best Trip Ever and Leo's Worst Thanksgiving to Date are interrupted when they both get on the wrong subway and find themselves separated from their respective marching bands. Even worse, Leo accidentally causes Abby to lose her special gift for Kat. The only way to salvage Abby's trip, they determine, is to go to every location in the book that they can reach before they have to meet up with their bands so that Abby can collect special souvenirs for Kat instead. And as they head out on this mission, Leo finds that he might not hate NYC so much after all...



This book is so warm and fuzzy and cute. I don't know what else to say besides that. I thought Always the Almost was good, and this book was so much better than that.


Fangirl Abby knows that the book she loves isn't necessarily "good" on a technical level. But that doesn't stop her from absolutely loving it. This Day Changes Everything is really embroiled in niche fandom and fanfiction cultures, and I love that. I love that it highlights the communities that can form around books and writing, and I love how unapologetic Abby is about adoring this not-necessarily-great book. When she loses her extra-special edition, it truly is devastating.

Small Town Reality Both of these kids come from small towns in conservative-leaning states, and that really makes a difference in their coming-out stories. Leo is out, kind of, and because of this, he feels ostracization in his everyday life. Abby isn't out, and she isn't sure she can be. She doesn't know if her home is safe, if her town is safe. She knows her state isn't, with new anti-LGBTQ legislation all the time, and so though this book is ultimately light and fluffy, it does touch on this bit of reality. And I appreciate that.

Queer Fluidity These kids aren't quite settled into their queer identities, for the reasons listed above, and so this book is not just a straightforward (pun intended) love story. They're still figuring things out, trying labels out, and wrestling with what it means to be queer--and how that might not be something so black and white.


This isn't necessarily a complaint about the book itself (which in itself says a lot about the book!). But the decision of the publisher to put this holiday book out in February makes no sense to me. It is very much a holiday book. It's Thanksgiving week, and they're marching in the parade. And the NYC they experience is fully in the holiday season. So reading it out-of-season diminished my experience a bit, and I can't imagine being a bookseller trying to sell this book in February. I'm not sure why the publishers have decided to hurt a genuinely excellent book's sales in this way. (In other words, do buy this cozy romance its publication week and save it for a wonderful holiday read when next winter rolls around!) Off-Season

This book gave me so much anxiety. I might be too much of a rule-follower for this particular fantasy, but as soon as they were separated from the group, I got nervous. I know they're teenagers, not children, and they did have each other... but being stranded in a major city (when they're both small town people) and missing out on the actual tours that were scheduled (which is a tragedy, in my own tour-loving opinion) is just anxiety-inducing. Having their friends cover for them not just for a little bit but for the entire day... It was almost too much for me! The cuteness overruled this anxiety, but I was definitely anxious about the fact that they were missing their itinerary. YOLO FOMO

The biggest (genuine) complaint I have about this book is Leo's weird snippiness. I know it's grumpy-sunshine romance. And I have no problems with Leo's generally grumpy attitude. But when he kinda starts to maybe be into Abby, he grows pretty snippy with her. If I were Abby, just getting to know him after a few hours with him, this would be a major turn-off, and I didn't like it. Luckily, he doesn't stay in this funk long, but I did still find myself annoyed with him. Weird Sniping



Fans of Lio Min's Beating Heart Baby will love this new marching band romance. Those who adored the NYC of Casey McQuiston's One Last Stop will love this charmingly festive cityscape.


Publisher: Wednesday Books
Date: February 13, 2024
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


  1. Sounds cute. I'm putting this one on my list...but saving it to read next November. Because it's hard to find fun Thanksgiving-themed books, and this would fit the bill. :D

  2. Being stranded somewhere or getting lost would be a nightmare to me. I hate that feeling. This sounds good though.

  3. I like the idea of visiting all the places in the book. How fun! I am from NY, so I am always thrilled to take a tour.

  4. This sounds like a fun read. I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed it!

  5. Great review! I’m glad that you enjoy this one.

  6. I just like the fact that my last name is in it lol

  7. Wow 9 out of ten it's really a special book!

  8. I can see why you enjoyed this one. It sounds fun.

  9. Even with the few cons it still sounds cute.

  10. This sounds like a cute story, and I love that it's set around Thanksgiving. I do agree it is a bit weird that the book was published now instead of waiting closer to fall.


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