Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mini-reviews: All We Have Is Now and A Window Opens

Today is the last day. Tomorrow an asteroid will strike the Earth and America will likely be decimated. Emerson and Vince have been living on the streets. The two teens think about ending it before an asteroid can do it for them, but then they meet Carl. He has been spending the past few days granting people's wishes. Emerson and Vince take up his mission and go through the city helping people to have a few last minutes of happiness. But will they be brave enough to grant their own deepest wishes?

This book unfortunately fell pretty flat for me. I'm not sure if it is because I just finished another book about the world ending. I never really found myself caring for Emerson and Vince. Strangely enough, I was much more invested in Carl as he thought to help other people in humanity's last moments while trying to get back to his loved ones. The author chose to intersperse the chapters with poems without ever discussing any of the character's love for or habit of writing poetry. I also really hated the ending. I'm not going to give it away, but it really did not work for me. I didn't love this book, but it might work for you if you are looking for a quick YA read about what we would do on our last day on Earth.

All We Have Is Now
By Lisa Schroeder
Scholastic July 2015
272 pages
From the library

Alice Pearse works part-time at a magazine and spends the rest of her days caring for her children. When her husband decides to leave the safety of his job and start his own law firm, Alice needs to make a change too. She is offered a job at a hip new start-up and can't say no. Scroll is a company that will open reading lounges that offer high-end snacks and high-end books. While she manages to balance a new career and her family for a while, things quickly start to fall apart. Alice's husband's law firm doesn't take off right away, her father becomes ill, and their long-time babysitter is thinking of moving to bigger and better things. How can Alice find time for a job and loved ones who need increasingly more of her time and attention?

Stories about moms trying to balance a professional and home life are nothing new, since we all struggle at times to do it in real life. It was easy to relate to Alice's excitement about getting to work for a new company that seemed to love literature as much as she did. But I was sometimes confused about how much she knew - at times, she is portrayed as a clueless woman expecting to work with a typewriter but in other moments, she navigates her smartphone with ease. I also had trouble wrapping my mind around some important plot points at her new job that just never made sense. Alice is an everywoman and she is certainly relatable. While I don't think A Window Opens does anything revelatory, it is nice to see your inner debate over how much time you give to your career and how much you give to your family play out on the page.

A Window Opens
By Elisabeth Egan
Simon and Schuster August 2015
384 pages
Read via Netgalley


  1. How would you spend your last few days, if you knew that the world was going to end? I think it's a terrifying concept for me. Sorry the book fell flat - I probably won't read it, but it sounds like something my roommate would love!

    1. It is a really interesting concept, isn't it? I think it's the knowing that is so terrifying as opposed to the actual end of things.

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