Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Rating: 3.25 out of 5
Once I read the synopsis of All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder, I immediately thought of We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach. Now, I tried reading that book a few months ago and y’all know that I DNFed it so hard because the plot exploded into a crazy, incomprehensible story. Humans have only 24 hours left to live before the asteroid hits earth, so they better make the most of it. By picking up Schroeder’s All We Have is Now, I hoped for a second chance at a better storyline for this apocalypse-type story. While All We Have is Now is much calmer, logical, and thought-provoking, I did have my issues with it.
All We Have is Now, for the most part, is a solid contemporary read. We follow two main characters, Vince and Emerson, two teens who have been living on the streets of Portland for a year. When they learn about the imminent apocalypse, they find a man named Carl who has been “granting wishes” – doing good deeds for people who need them. Vince and Emerson decide that this is a good way to leave their mark on the earth, so they follow this same concept. From there, Vince and Emerson set off to help other people satisfy their last wishes before the asteroid hits the earth in 24 hours.
Throughout the story, we get the budding romance between Vince and Emerson, and learn about their family histories and struggles. The issue for me was that both Vince and Emerson are pretty flat characters, Vince more so than Emerson, but I didn’t find them to be particularly interesting. Emerson has more spark because she ran away from her family and sought independence, but Vince is just too nice. I understand that’s why Emerson grows to love him romantically: he’s kind, giving, and genuinely cares about helping others, especially strangers. But Vince seems to be without flaws, thus making him a little closer on the one-dimensional side than the three-dimensional side.
I don’t have much else to say about All We Have is Now. Schroeder includes some beautiful lines of poetry scattered throughout, but they felt a little forced, and didn’t seem to fit into the story 100%; nevertheless, the poetry added a nice touch of depth. I can’t say that this story is going to be memorable, nor did it leave its mark on me, but I can say that it was much better than We All Looked Up. Schroeder’s story is subtle, nice, and maybe a little too comfortable, but an overall good read.