★ ★ ★
All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder | July 2015 | Point, an imprint of Scholastic | Hardcover $17.99
Just over twenty-four hours are left until an asteroid strikes North America, and for Emerson and everyone else who didn’t leave, the world will end. But Emerson’s world already ended when she ran away from home. Since then, she has lived on the streets, relying on her wits and on her friend Vince to help her find places to sleep and food to eat.
The city’s quieter now that most people are gone, and no one seems to know what to do as the end approaches. But then Emerson and Vince meet Carl, who tells them he has been granting people’s wishes — and gives them his wallet full of money.
Suddenly, this last day seems full of possibility. Emerson and Vince can grant a lot of wishes in one last day — maybe even their own.
This review is based on an ARC provided and signed by the author. (I won a very generous giveaway!) The official release date is July 28, which is less than 3 weeks away!
Keywords for this book? Sweet, well-paced, and thoughtful… but also not really my personal thing.
The entirety of the plot takes place in the final day leading up to an asteroid impact that is expected to cause an apocalypse-level disaster. The main characters are two homeless teens who don’t expect to survive, so they have to figure out how to fill their last living hours. The whole asteroid thing takes a backseat to the main plot, basically serving as just a whip to crack to get things moving…
… which is probably fine if you’re just looking for a nice little contemporary teen romance/social issues novel, but the SFF nerd in me was super annoyed and distracted by the lack of details and the obvious “twist” ending. I also started to feel really impatient with one of the main characters and I found myself rolling my eyes at her every few pages.
I’m going to set that aside for a minute, because it’s really a me problem, not an actual problem with the story itself. Here are some other things I liked about this book:
1. There are several rather lovely free verse poems scattered throughout, which serve as flashbacks and atmosphere-building devices.
2. Even though the kids are homeless and have obvious issues, their lives aren’t all about drugs or violence or prostitution (I find it refreshing when homelessness is not used as shorthand for “drug-addled holes for hire”).
3. The adults in this book are not perfect, but they’re not the enemies either — every character is treated like a real person, with flaws and positives in a flavorful blend.
In the end, would I recommend this book? Well, yeah. See above re: sweet, well-paced, and thoughtful — I really do think that folks who enjoy stories about troubled teens facing their problems (and maybe finding a little romance along the way) will enjoy this book.
Publication information: Schroeder, Lisa. All We Have is Now. New York: Scholastic, 2015. Print.
Source: ARC provided via giveaway.
Disclaimer: I am not compensated, monetarily or otherwise, for reviews of books or other products.