All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder is one of those books that I felt I absolutely needed to read. The premise sounded absolutely amazing – a young adult novel about making the most out of the small amount of time that you have left.
Teenagers Emerson and Vince have been living on the streets for years, hopping from one homeless shelter to another, never knowing when their next meal will be. The only thing they have is each other, and their friendship is the bright star in an otherwise dark and bleak night sky. While Emerson’s mother kicked her our years ago, she has always felt she had family in Vince, and they’ve spent practically all their time together since.
Now, the experts have found that an asteroid is going to hit North America, most likely taking out everything in its path. Those who were able to moved to different parts of the word to get away from the impending destruction, but those who were unable to, or simply chose to stay, are running out of time. When the book begins, there is a little over twenty-four hours (28 hours and 25 minutes, to be exact), before the asteroid is set to hit.
Emerson and Vince have one more to day to spend together. But Emerson and Vince don’t want to wait. They believe that they should make the decision of how much time they have left on their own terms, so they decide to take matters into their own hands. Except, they run into Carl, a man who is sure he has seen the last of his wife, who has gone to spend time with her family before the event occurs. Carl is on a quest to do nice things for someone who has done something nice for him. He decided to spend his last hours making the dreams and wishes of others come true, to the best of his ability. When he asks Vince and Emerson what they wanted, Vince said it would be nice to have some money. So Carl hands over his wallet, because really, what does he need it for at this point? He has only a small bit of advice for Vince and Emerson, which sets the stage for the remainder of the novel.
“Pay it forward, if you can. Look for those who have wishes or regrets.”
So Emerson and Vince set off to try and help others, as Vince has helped them. This is how they decide to spend their last day, while coming to some important realizations about themselves, each other, and the people that they thought they no longer mattered to.
This book is one of those rare gems that I could not help but fall in love with from the very first chapter. With chapters from Vince and Emerson’s point of view, and Carl’s point of view, as well as poems about Emerson that complete the missing pieces of her story, it’s an amazing, emotional read that will stay with you for a long time after you finish the last chapter.
This book is beautifully written and makes you wonder…what would you do with your time?
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.