This Day Changes Everything

A Novel

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Pub Date 13 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 27 Feb 2024
St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books


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.

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...

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ISBN 9781250835222
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Average rating from 230 members

Featured Reviews

So what I have discovered over the past few months is that there are not many things in books that make me more emotional than reading about trans joy– something about the experiences that I am terrified I will never have or something like that. With that out of the way, this book gave me a lot of that strange envy of sorts from gender and everything. Another major thing that I enjoyed was that the characters, despite being in a modern setting, did not end up defining themselves exactly with specific sexuality labels, just that they were queer. I am going to make a longer review for this in a few months because I have an idea but for now the only other thing that I am going to say is that I cannot believe that somebody made me care about a band kid romance.

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this is the book that I hope absolutely every queer and trans teen finds and reads and deeply absorbs to know they’re not the only one, they can do the hard things, and they are deserving of love.

wow, oof. Abby and Leo were so beautifully crafted and their adventure around New York made me fall in love with them while they fell in love with each other. I’m a sucker for any New York based story, especially when it’s told from the POV of a non-New Yorker getting to experience the wonders of the city for the first time. There were so many elements of this story that surprised me in the best way and I hope so deeply that the universe (and booksellers) put this story in the hands of the kids (and adults) who will find as much comfort in it as I did.

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The way that this book sucked me in and would not let me go was so wonderful to experience. It brought me right back to high school both in the wide eyed teenaged feelings that Abby and Leo were having, but it also felt like I was reading the kind of instant classic I used to be handed in English class. Two teens "lost" in New York trying to find their way "home" but also getting into shenanigans and hijinks along the way?? And the element of two queer kids from the middle of nowhere parts of the country where they feel isolated and alone, finding community in each other and in the wider world that New York opens up for them just warmed my heart, I found myself unable to put this book down for large chunks of time, I never wanted it to end. This book just existing is going to change young queer kids lives and I am so so grateful that it exists and that I have gotten the chance to read it. I cannot speak highly enough, what a wonderful read.

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THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD. I downloaded it this morning and then almost immediately was sucked into it and I only meant to read the first chapter but now I’m finished with it and it’s over and I’m just supposed to move on with my life???????

I really loved Edward Underhill’s writing in Always the Almost, and I knew the moment I saw the cover reveal of this one that I wanted it on my shelves. I am so grateful I received an early copy of this one. This Day Changes Everything is a love letter to the romance genre. If it’s a romance cliché, you can almost guarantee you’ll find some iteration of it in this book, written in the freshest, twistiest, most wonderful way possible. He takes a story that has been told a million times and makes it feel brand new. The characters are lovable and real, and the story centers their joy above all things. I truly cannot recommend this book enough.

*Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the ARC! All views reflected are my own.

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OH MY GOSH THIS BOOK. The cuteness, the wholesomeness, the magic of connecting with someone over forced/chosen proximity and falling in love with them, the vulnerable discussions about queerness and coming out and labels, and the absolute wholesomeness of "seeing" someone 😭 there's an "I see you, you exist to me" scene, and I teared up so hard.

Almost the entire book takes place over one day, one day of adventuring in New York (side note: I really want to go to NY now), and yeah one day seems fast burn, but the connection is such a wholesome slow-burn, I'm so obsessed with the pacing in this book.

TWs - anxiety over coming out as queer, transphobia

-- ty to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced copy!

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This book is an absolutely perfect whirlwind of a romance that evokes the heartwarming, larger-than-life feelings of YA classics while still feeling absolutely fresh and modern and also being very queer (which makes it infinitely better, sorry not sorry). I tore through the pages, adoring both the complex, relatable and loveable characters of Abby and Leo, and found myself falling deeper and deeper in love with Underhill's writing in the short time I spent with this beautiful, beautiful book.

Funny, emotional, relatable, romantic, and downright magic--this sophomore novel is an instant YA romance favorite that won't need time at all to settle right in your heart. I seriously couldn't have loved it more!

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The good news about receiving access to a galley by Edward Underhill: reading it in one sitting. The bad news about receiving access to a galley by Edward Underhill: reading it in one sitting--and then having to wait months to share it with my students. I adored Underhill's debut novel as well as this one. I wasn't sure THIS DAY CHANGES EVERYTHING would hold up to Underhill's ALWAYS THE ALMOST, but it does.

I loved reading about a marching band going to the Macy's Thanksgiving parade; seeing what that's like for the high school bands is fascinating even though I was never in marching band. Then we have the richly developed characters of Abby and Leo, each with their own pressing reasons to be thrilled and/or miserable about their NYC trip.

Overall, NYC was its own character and I especially appreciated seeing it through the eyes of two high school kids who clearly made some navigational mistakes. Abby and Leo were fun to read, too, because of their disagreements and they way they misread each other's reactions. Leo was set up especially well in his first chapter because even his closest friends made fun of his (usually cranky) facial expressions.

Compared to Leo, Abby felt a bit underdeveloped. This was largely because of her relentless focus on her bff Kat and that underdevelopment was kind of the point. Still, I would have liked a bit more about Abby outside of her friendship with Kat earlier on.

Otherwise, this book is funny, inventive, specific, and such a great read. I love the use of group chats, google maps, subways, and so much more to create such a rich tapestry for Leo and Abby.

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There's something about a 24h romance that just makes you feel things. I know this would likely never happen to me or to anyone, but it feels great to read a story like that once in a while. Abby and Leo are two queer persons who feel unsure about that part of themselves, but in an impossible turn of events, they end up in the same wrong train. After that, they keep going to different places in New York and putting off the fact that they both have to go back to their respective bands, because they're slowly becoming friends and they don't want to part ways just yet.
Honestly, this book made me feel good. I wasn't bored at any point and it was sweet puppy love, the kind of book that makes you giggle when the couple finally kiss and make you wanna go back to being 16 and confused and SO in love.
Thank you NetGalley for providing me that feelgood read I needed!

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I really loved this book! Edward Underhill does a brilliant job of getting inside the teen psyche and portraying all the emotions that are right under the surface, and especially, the psyches of queer teens. The lead trans character's prickly exterior that hides the pain and discomfort of never knowing how other people will view him feels deeply true. I loved the setting of this book as well - 24 hours in New York City on the eve of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the visits to so many iconic locales. I especially loved the scene in the Strand bookstore. The musicianship that underscores his characters in this and his first book is also a big plus, because it gives the characters added depth. These are teens who work hard to be good at music and find joy in it.

I highly recommend this book to readers who love teen realistic fiction, queer romance, and New York City!

Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book!

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Super cute 24-hour romance set in bustling New York City between two queer kids figuring themselves and their feelings out. What a perfect November read, as it takes place the day before Thanksgiving !

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Giggling and kicking my legs, "This Day Changes Everything" was such a cute little queer romp. I had an absolutely wonderful time and I would recommend this book 100 times over!

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This book just ticked off all of my boxes and contained so many things that scratch the good part of my brain. I grew up reading spiritual predecessors to this book, like the apt comp title Dash & Lily, but as a late-ish in life queer woman there has always been a bit of a hole in this space for me (even though Levithan’s work does include several gay boys!!).

This day changes everything was such a perfect balance of fun, adventure, and thoughtful exploration of identity. It featured the romanticized exploration of New York while still being grounded (things cost money! and it was acknowledged). The love story was sweet, and it had the requisite beats of a romcom without ever getting too frustrating or dark.

I really loved the time spent in both PoVs as well. Abby and Leo were a classic sunshine grump pairing with some really thoughtful depth. I appreciated the nuanced representation of queerness, especially around labels (and the fact that sometimes we can put too much weight into them!). It was fun to read a story with a transmasc read since there is still not much representation for trans people in romance, especially in YA.

A fun book! Would recommend for sure!

Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for the early read. Can’t wait for others to get to check this out!

(posted on storygraph -

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Engaging and escapist. A recommended purchase for public YA and HS collections where romance is popular.

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This book made me kick my feet giggling it was so precious. I'll write a more eloquent review later but all I really have to say is: READ IT.

Thank you NetGalley and Wednesday Books for gifting me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review and opinion.

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another absolutely beautiful YA novel from Edward Underhill! I absolutely love the writing style, dialogue, and settings of his books, as well, of course, as the beautiful stories. Leo and Abby have the most magical day together in New York City. both of these beautiful, lonely characters find some peace in each other, even if they have a bit of a tumultuous first meet. Being a New York City nerd, I loved following them all over the city, collecting Momentos, but what really made the story special is seeing Leo and Abby find comfort, peace, acceptance, love in each other as well as themselves. The story does not gloss over the realities of queer peoples existence in closed minded parts of this country, and New York City acts as the safe bubble of magic, freedom, friendship, and possibility where Abby and Leo don’t have the scary aspects of their normal lives weighing them down so much, overall, this was another story from Edward Underhill, I always love reading his books to get a lovely, unique, deep and heartfelt perspective of queer YA love stories ❤️
thank you for the arc :)

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