Monday, July 18, 2011

[Review] The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Title: The Day Before {goodreads}
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Publication (dd/mm/yy): 28/06/11
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Age: 14+
Pages: 320
My Rating:

Summary:
Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.


Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.


The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.
My thoughts: 

Powerful and beautiful, raw and heartfelt. This book reads like a dream.

Told in verse, THE DAY BEFORE is about two teenagers who by some twist of fate, meet on the day before the end of their lives. Both seek refuge at the beach, and they are JUST what the other needs, just for today...

What I usually have problems with with verse novels is connecting with characters. But considering there are, essentially, only two characters of focus throughout the whole book, it was very easy to understand them and like them and know them well. If all of Schroeder's books are like this, sign me up, because this was a beautiful contemporary YA novel! Reminiscent of One Night that Changes Everything and Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, among others, due to its 24-hour time-span.

And yet, over that one day, Schroeder interweaves the past and the future so that the gaps and histories of the two are filled in. Amber, the main character, recalls letters and conversations that she has over the last couple of years that led her to 'the day before'. At the beginning I was so confused, and I'm sure that we're meant to be. No details are mentioned, it's all very vague as to who these letters are from or what the issues being discussed are really referring to.

The actual circumstances revolving around Amber and Cade are unique to me - so far I actually haven't read where an author/character FOCUSES on the issues, and I thought that it was refreshing to gain some perspective. As I don't want to spoil anything, I can't discuss much further . . .

The verse is just beautiful.
The poetic qualities are MODERN, original and never boring:--
I like

the memories
because they remind me
I haven't always been
this girl,
constantly
mad or scared
or confused.

I don't like

the memories
because the tears
come easily,
and once again I break
my promise
to myself for this day.

It's a constant battle.

A war between
remembering and forgetting.

(p. 40)

The books ends definitively, but even so I can't help wanting to know more of what happens after that day.

THE DAY BEFORE was a quick read - as most verse novels tend to be - but despite its fair shortness, it came with a surprising level of depth to it. The verse is well planned out, witty and beautiful. Schroeder assumes a unique voice for Amber in her venture towards and through 'the day before', and in that Amber finds more than she ever hoped to. And it all started with jellyfish.



Quotes:

Favourites
"Hidden, there,
behind the face
of a beautiful boy,
I see you.

The real you.

...

                        I see you.

Because in you,
I see me.

(pp. 150-151, shortened)



Links:


Author Site




I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.


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