The novel that was then but this is now is about two friends Mark and Bryon. Mark parents have killed each other and now he is living with Bryon. As they grow up, they get distanced due to a number of factors. Bryon has a girlfriend and Mark has isolated himself and is indulged in earning lots of money. Bryon finds his girlfriend's brother taking drugs and they take him to the hospital for treatment. Then he finds drugs under Mark's mattresses and eventually finds out that he earns lots of money by selling drugs. At the end, Bryon calls the cops on Mark. He gets jailed. He gets distanced from his girlfriend who leaves him at the end for another man and his girlfriend's brother is left ill for life. His complete life is devastated. And knows that nothing will be the same again.
The plot for that was then, this is now is that Marks parents kill each other and he lives with his friend Bryon