First Lines: No one saw it coming. Because this particular cosmic death star came from the direction of the sun, we were blind.
I got this from Scholastic in a book order for my class, and I decided to snag it and read it before my kids took it and lost it in their lockers or whatever happens to all of my missing books. I’d read Lisa Schroeder books before, so I knew what I was getting into.
In just 24 hours, an asteroid will destroy the United States as we know it. For those who didn’t or couldn’t leave, this is the end. It’s the end for Emerson and Vince, two homeless teenagers who have nothing but each other. But Emerson’s life really ended the day she ran away from home, a choice she feels she was forced to make. With Vince, though, life doesn’t seem too bad. The city’s quieter now with many of the people gone, but that’s just fine with Emerson and Vince. When they meet Carl, a man who says he’s been granting wishes all night, they feel their last hours changing. Carl gives them his wallet–now Emerson and Vince have money to spare and a few hours of possibilities. What will they do?
I really liked the premise. I like the idea of examining what you would do if you knew you only had a day left to live. Would you do what you’d always wanted to do or would you continue to live life like normal? Would you help others or help yourself? It’s an interesting question.
For those of you familiar with Lisa Schroeder’s writing, you know she’s pretty well-known for her verse writing. There are some poems in this story, but it’s mostly told like a normal story. It’s really only Emerson’s flashbacks/memories that are told through poetry. I liked what was in poem form, but I also liked just having a normal story.
The characters were interesting. I have a serious soft spot for Vince, who definitely stole the show with his laid-back, friendly attitude and caring spirit. He’s the eternal ray of sunshine in this story about the apocalypse. I liked that he managed to have such a positive attitude. Emerson’s a little more realistic, in that she has regrets and desires and tends to whine when things don’t go her way. But wouldn’t you be a little whiny too if you were 16 and knew your life was about to end?
This is a short book, so the plot always kind of keeps moving. It does take a chapter or two to really get into the story (after Carl gives them the money), but it picks up. Yes, there are cliches. Yes, it’s a lot of fluff. But it was cute and I wanted to keep reading. The plot kept me wanting to read.
It’s a sweet story. It’s really just meant to be cute, I think, which is totally fine if that’s what you’re looking for.