Title: ALL WE HAVE IS NOW
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Genre: Young Adult – Apocalyptic, Verse
Publication Information: Scholastic, 2015
Rating: 3 Stars
Recommended For: People looking for lyrical writing or something a little different.
Watch Out For: Language – probably appropriate for middle school.
What do you do with your last day on earth?
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.
(Summary from Goodreads)
I loved the writing in ALL WE HAVE IS NOW. It was lyrical, not to mention the fact that using third person present tense felt very natural and the poems also fit well into the overall story. I think, if you want to read a book in verse but are too intimidated, this would be a good one to start with because it was a good balance of poetry and prose.
One of the things I loved about the writing – the tense – was also a drawback for me, character-wise. I felt like I had a hard time getting to know any of the characters, and I think that was because telling the story in third person present made me feel more like a spectator and ended up distancing me from the story. That being said, I did still enjoy watching Emerson, Vince, and Carl on their journeys to help people and to get home.
I loved the premise – that there’s an asteroid about to hit Earth and wipe out most of North America. The story easily could’ve gone a different, darker direction – as most apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic novels do – but this one had a lighter tone, instead choosing to focus on the positive aspects of humanity, and I appreciated that. I also felt like the almost whimsical feel was appropriate given that the setting was Portland, Oregon, since that’s basically Portland in a nutshell.
TL;DR: A whimsical story with beautiful writing, but I felt too much like a spectator.