All We Have Is Now, by Lisa Schroeder

All We Have is Now

A novel about what matters most–when time is running out. What do you do with your last day on earth?There are twenty-seven hours and fifteen minutes left until a meteor 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 last year. Since then she has lived on the streets, relying on her wits and 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 that he has been granting people’s wishes. He gave his car away so a woman could take her son to see the ocean for the first time, and he gives Emerson and Vince all the money he has in his wallet.Suddenly this last day seems full of possibility. Emerson and Vince can grant a lot of wishes in twenty-seven hours–maybe even their own.

I’m not sure how All We Have is Now came to my attention. I think it was because it was listed as a chart-topper on Goodreads. I’m often slow to read chart toppers, but I decided to give AWHIN a whirl.

The Good: AWHIN is a very believable story. I try to write my characters as believable as possible, so much in fact that I got a degree in human behavior. Lisa Schroeder apparently agrees. I could empathize with different characters at different times, and at no point did I believe that the characters were not real. That’s always a big plus in my book. The adventure through a city in a world about to be destroyed is such an uplifting and heart-warming story that I almost dreaded the ending. I was so thrilled with the ending, and it was the perfect ending to an excellent book.

The Bad: Some other reviews felt it necessary to add a trigger warning about suicide. There is a lot of it in this story. It’s not graphic by any means, and I would think that given the circumstances portrayed in the book, people would decide to end their life. Perhaps some people are concerned that this book is targeted at young adult readers. (It is a scholastic publication, after all.) The idea that as a society, we need to protect our children from uncomfortable things is balderdash. Many teens either knew of someone who decided to end their life, or has seen it in the news. AWHIN doesn’t romanticize suicide, and the general theme is that life, no matter how much is left, is worth living, if nothing else, to do good things for other people.

The Beautiful: I mentioned it before, the characters are so well written, I was flabbergasted. I can only strive to write my characters as well.

The Final Word: An excellent read. When I finished it, I thought about the story for days after. Get All We Have is Now, and enjoy this hopeful 4.5-star read.

Lisa Schroeder

Once upon a time, Lisa Schroeder wanted to join Encyclopedia Brown on his fun adventures. Since that didn’t work out, she decided to be an author instead. Lisa’s written over a dozen books for kids and teens including the popular verse novels for teens I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and CHASING BROOKLYN, and her most recent YA novels, THE BRIDGE FROM ME TO YOU and ALL WE HAVE IS NOW. She’s also the author of the middle grade novels IT’S RAINING CUPCAKES, MY SECRET GUIDE TO PARIS and THE GIRL IN THE TOWER. Her books have been translated into foreign languages and have been selected for state reading lists. Lisa is a native Oregonian and lives with her family outside of Portland.


About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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