Wednesday, August 19, 2015

All We Have Is Now by Lisa Schroeder

Release Date: July 28, 2015
Publisher & ARC: Point/Scholastic
ISBN: 9780545802536
Ages: 12+

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.

What’s Out of this World?

  • The End of the World: There is 28 hours and 25 minutes until the end of the world. If that's not out of this world, not much is. Emerson and Vince have been living on the streets, so losing worldly possessions isn't something they're obsessing about. Losing each other, on the other hand, is the most anxious aspect of watching humanity sink into chaos. What's most successful about this book is the fact that the book doesn't start with six months or a year left. By narrowing the book to mere hours, it allows Schroeder to focus solely on characterization, which leads me to my next point.
  • Characters: ​Emerson is a Caucasian teen girl who found Vince, an African American teen boy, playing music on the street. Homeless herself, she joins Vince, beginning the friendship of a lifetime. Often the friendship teeters on more, but Emerson is afraid to get close to Vince, and now that an asteroid is heading towards Earth, she's even more afraid of dying and not knowing what it's like to let Vince in. After vowing to die together and not wait on the asteroid to hit, Emerson and Vince head to "suicide bridge." Hesitant upon arrival, Emerson and Vince find a man named Carl ready to jump. Instead, he talks to Emerson and Vince and tells them that it's a sign they showed up. Asking what Vince wants at that moment, Carl gives Vince his wallet full of money.
  • Pay it Forward: ​​So often, apocalyptic novels deal with friendship, love, and forgiveness, and this one does as well, but one aspect I really appreciated was paying it forward. What a great message for readers that when someone else is down, you help them get back up. Emerson and Vince decide to spend their last hours finding people and granting wishes. This is also where Carl's story becomes just as vital as Emerson and Vince's.
  • Short Chapters: ​​ I definitely appreciate and love complex texts, and just because a book has short chapters doesn't detract from its complexity. If anything, the brief chapters illuminate how quickly the world is ending. With each short chapter and new adventure, the plot progresses so quickly that the book is over before you know it. I stayed up way to late finishing the book because I knew if I stopped halfway, I would stay awake thinking about it. It's that crazy and interesting and delightfully ominous.

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