It isn't often that I have a five star read, but today, I am thrilled to present a must read book that is beautiful, impactful and one that I won't soon forget. I especially appreciated the messages imparted in All We Have Is Now by Lisa Schroeder. In this book, the Earth is on a cataclysmic collision course with an asteroid. With only a day left to live, what would you do? Would you live a life without regrets and pay forward kindness? That is the heart and soul of this book. I loved this one and I urge you to check it out. I am thrilled beyond measure to host the talented Lisa Schroeder here today, even more excited because Lisa is a fellow resident of Portland, Oregon and her book takes place right here in my city. So without further rambling, let's meet Lisa:
Lisa Schroeder is the author of over a dozen books for kids and teens, including the YA novels I Heart You, You Haunt Me and The Bridge From Me to You. She loves tea and cookies, flowers, family hikes, books and movies that make her laugh and cry, and sunshine. Living in Oregon, she doesn’t get nearly enough sunshine, but the hikes are amazing. You can visit her online on her Website as well as on Facebook ,Twitter and
Can you describe the premise of your book in a tweet?
If you were facing your last twenty four hours of life, how would you spend it?
I loved the setting of Portland, Oregon in the book. What restaurants, sites and places do you think are must visits when coming to Portland?
If you had the ability to grant wishes to anyone, who would you pick and why?
Do you think if humanity was facing our final few hours that we would do it with dignity and kindness like in your book, or do you think we would resort to violence and terror?
Some of my favorite parts of the book were the chapters written in verse. Do you find it harder to write in verse?
What is the message that you want readers to take away from your book?
Why did you choose to center the book around two homeless teens?
What is your best advice for living a life without regret?
What is next for you?
Here is my review:
All We Have Is Now by Lisa Schroeder
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.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: July 28th 2015 by Scholastic Inc.
Five stars: An impactful and beautiful read that you won't soon forget.
Emerson feels restless, especially knowing that life as she knows it will end in just a little over twenty four hours. An asteroid is scheduled to hit somewhere in Idaho tomorrow night. With a day left, Emerson is terrified. She quickly convinces her best friend, Vince, to go with her to the suicide bridge to end it all before the impact, but once they get there, they meet a man who changes their mind. Carl is also on the bridge, and once he sees them, he insists on trying to grant one wish. Vince says it would be nice to have money since he and Emerson have been living on the streets for the last year and a half. Without further thought, Carl hands over his wallet packed with bills, his only request, is that they try and find a way to pay it forward. With just a few hours left, Emerson and Vince change plans and decide to try and make their last few hours count. With the clock ticking, they are faced with how to spend their last few remaining hours. What would you do if all you had was here and now?
What I Liked:
- Wow! What a simple, impressive and beautiful read. I loved the writing, the story, the characters and the lovely messages of the book. This is a book that will resonate with you long after you finish. This is a read for young and old. Definitely a book to ponder on.
- I was expecting this to be a dramatic, scary read filled with desperation as people are faced with their impending demise, but Ms. Schroeder gives us another angle. She focuses on the good of humanity. She delivers a story about people trying to make the best of a hopeless situation. I loved the positive messages, and I truly hope that if humanity was every faced with their ultimate demise, that we would choose to act kindly toward one another.
- At the heart of the story are Vince and Emerson, two young, homeless teens. I loved both of these characters. Emerson is an innocent girl who ran away from home when she clashed with her mother's boyfriend. She has spent the last year and a half living on the streets of Portland. The only reason she has survived is because of her best friend Vince whom she met on the streets. Emerson is battling her regrets as she goes through her last hours. Should she try and contact her family? Vince steals the show. Even though he has had a hard life, bouncing from foster home to foster home after his mother died when he was eight, he remains kind, positive and optimistic. I loved how he was so selfless, always thinking of others. I loved watching Emerson and Vince pay kindness forward. I truly cared about them by the end of the story.
- The romance is subtle and perfect. It blooms after a long time friendship. It is genuine, heart felt and lovely. No angst, drama, insta love or love triangles. Simple and just right.
- The main message of the story is all about making the most of your life. When faced with the end, will you act with love and kindness, will you live without regret? I loved the message of the story, and that the author chose to write a positive and uplifting story set against such a dire background. It gave me hope for humanity.
- I loved the setting. Of course, living in Portland, Oregon, I enjoyed exploring the city through the eyes of Emerson and Vince as they live their last day. They had so many terrific adventures. From karaoke, to recreating Paris in a French cafe, watching the sunrise from a mountain top, and so much more. Ms. Schroeder definitely captures the heart and soul of Portland in this one.
- The writing is amazing and lovely. I loved the emotion and the depth of feeling. I also was most impressed with all the short verse chapters between the main chapters. Ms. Schroeder's writing is gorgeous, emotional and heartfelt. I am wondering why on earth I have not picked up one of her books before!
And The Not So Much:
- I can't go into details without spoiling the book for you, but the ending left a little to be desired. It builds and builds to the cataclysmic moment, only to end rather open ended. I was left stunned and wanting to know so much more. It was a bit of a let down and I was scratching my head afterwards. Why?
- Even though I liked that the book excludes the terror and violence and mass panic that would ensue if humanity was faced with the end of the world, I felt like the story was lacking since it didn't really mention much about how the mass population first reacted. Not a big deal, but the story was a bit unrealistic since it didn't include much of the bad.
All We Have Is Now was a most impressive and impactful read. This is a book I picked up and read in one sitting. I loved the writing, the characters and the beautiful message behind the story. This is a book that will stick with me and leave me pondering. Ultimately, I was left asking myself if faced with the the end of the world, would I have lived a life without regret? Would I be sowing kindness and love during my final hours? I hope so. I urge you to check out this beautiful and heartfelt book.
“They used curling irons for microphones and sang it like they meant it. Emerson told Frankie
“You’re amazing. You could be a star.”
Frankie smiled and said,
“But there’s a million stars. Maybe I want to be the one and only moon instead.”
“He’ll miss the sound of rain on the rooftop. The smell of cookies baking in the oven. The warmth of the sunshine on his skin.”
“And then, behind her closed eyes, she sees stars. Stars full of light and love. To kiss him is to sail across the night sky. To travel on a moonbeam. To dance across stardust. Where there are stars, there are wishes. A hundred, a thousand, a million all the same. Let us live so we can love.”
“Because no one regrets a hug. You only regret not giving one when you had the chance and didn’t take it.”
“The best kind of days are the ones that make you feel like you are living inside a kaleidoscope, twirling and swirling with dazzling joy.
It doesn’t happen often,
But when it does, yo hold on tight and wish for the delight to go on and on and on.
“It’s not about going home. it’s about the feeling. The feeling of being home.”
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.