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You are here: Home » Book Review » Two Stars » All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder Book Review

All We Have is Now by Lisa SchroederALL WE HAVE IS NOW by Author Book Review
Publication Date: July 28th 2015 by Scholastic Point
Rating: – Poor

Book Summary: 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.

Book Review Overview:

  • A light apocalytpic novel with the feel of a contemporary novel
  • Failed to make a connection with the characters
  • The premise of the plot doesn’t make sense at all

In just over 24 hours, an asteroid will make impact with earth. All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder follows two teens who decide to make the most of their last day on earth by making people’s dreams come true. With the constant onslaught of post-apocalyptic/dystopian worlds, it’s refreshing to see a light apocalyptic novel with the feel of a contemporary novel. I like the idea of the characters embracing life during their last moments and living it to the fullest.

Vince and Emerson are two homeless teens living in Portland, Oregon. Emerson is a runaway, who left home after she could not get along with her mother’s new boyfriend. Her best friend, Vince, is a foster kid who decided to leave the system and try living on his own. Unfortunately, I failed to make a connection with either of these characters. The lack of connection made it very difficult for me to empathize with their problems.

It is made obvious from the beginning that Vince has feelings for Emerson, but Emerson has made it clear that she does not want any romance for fear of ruining their friendship. Emerson values Vince’s friendship too much to risk it. But as the last hours on earth winds down, Emerson slowly realizes that she needs to take advantage of everything that life has to offer. While I’m usually a fan of romances that blossom from friendship, my issue with the characters made it difficult for me to enjoy the love story. I did not feel any chemistry between Vince and Emerson to the point that reading the romantic scenes bordered on cringe-worthy.

My biggest problem with All We Have is Now is not with the characters but with the premise of the entire plot. Halfway through the novel, Vince and Emerson meet a group of naysayers who think that the asteroid is a complete hoax. They debate various theories about the government and how they could engineer such a widespread lie. To me, none of these so-called theories are believable, but they actually made the characters second-guess their situation.

Spoiler Alert //

At the end of All We Have is Now, it turns out that the asteroid was a hoax after all and everyone panicked over nothing! Within a year, Emerson and Vince are living even better lives than they had pre-asteroid. The apocalypse actually made everything better!!!

The ending makes me angry the more I think about it. It reminds me of a poorly-crafted ending you come up with in beginner creative writing classes: the protagonist wakes up and realizes that everything was just a dream!

The worst part is that Lisa Schroeder doesn’t offer a concrete explanation at the end of the book, except for the poorly-crafted theories earlier in the book. Readers are just supposed to accept that the U.S. government has turned the country upside down causing riots, deaths, and mass hysteria for no reason at all except they’ve just given up?

If it was indeed a hoax, it doesn’t explain how one government can actually trick the entire world that an asteroid will collide with earth but no one can see it? Schroeder gives an explanation that the government has actually imprisoned all the world’s leading scientist so no one can disprove their asteroid claims, but that doesn’t make sense at all. If a big enough asteroid were to hit earth, I bet loads of amateur astronomers would be able to see this coming. Communications are cut so late in the novel that I would also think that word would get around from all the nations of the world that the U.S. is basically just making things up!!!

To be honest, I really wished that the asteroid hit the earth and everyone died. It would have made for a more satisfying ending. It would have made sense!!!!

//End Spoiler

All We Have is Now is one of those books that I knew I wasn’t going to like after 20 pages, but I read through the end because it was a “quick” read. I should have quit while I was ahead because this book made me angry more than anything else. I was really hoping that this book would be similar in vein to Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It (another apocalyptic novel) but it didn’t even come close. All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder was a disappointing read.

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i think the idea of a 'mental health day' is something completely invented by people who have no clue what it's like to have bad mental health.
- David Levithan, Will Grayson, Will Grayson


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