YA Friday: The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Friday, March 16, 2012

Title: The Day Before
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Genre: YA, contemporary, verse novel
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 2011
Source: Library
Read for: Fun, because Ashley recommended it :)

Amber's life is about to change drastically. The day before it does (baha, get it?) she decides to take a day for herself in the place she loves the most. What she doesn't expect is to find someone who understands her instinctively, instantly. As Amber and Cade go through the day before their lives change forever, they experience a love and understanding that buoys them up for the day ahead.

This book

I should write
this review
in verse.

Just kidding! Don't click away yet! I had my doubts about a verse novel. I think the only one I have ever read was Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Does anyone remember that book? I absolutely loved it when I was a small person. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I wasn't sure how I would like reading a book in verse. I wasn't sure if it would be poetry, or just random line breaks. And while this is the only verse novel I've read for years and I don't have much to compare it to, I think it was fantastically well done. Because the story is written in verse, the language is sparse, and the words have to count for much more than a prose novel. Lisa Schroeder managed to pack so much emotion and power into each little page, despite the fact that they rarely had more than fifty words. Occasionally, she also used a sort of word-art device (I don't know what the official name for such a thing would be) that could have seemed immature, but instead really conveyed the excitement and giddiness Amber was experiencing with Cade. For example, one line says that starfish are "m*a*g*i*c*a*l." This could have looked silly, but it worked, and it gave me more than just writing the word "magical." I'm going to give you one little taste of one of my favorite images in the book:
He wipes away a tear
so gently
it's like an invitation
for more to fall. 
I also want to discuss the relationship between Amber and Cade. I know young adult novels are often criticized for the insta-love phenomenon. This story takes place over the course of one day, so obviously things don't take too long to progress. However, this wasn't the Twilight or Romeo and Juliet type of insta-love, where two characters glance at each other and are immediately intertwined without exchanging a word. Yes, Amber and Cade see each other and are interested, but as they spend the day together and slowly reveal what they are dealing with in their lives, they help and support each other and grow very close in only one day. I know this is possible because I have experienced it -- if you run into someone who can understand you at a very vulnerable time, you are going to be friends for life, and it doesn't take long for that friendship to solidify. And everything about this relationship was perfect, not an I-can't-believe-it-because-it's-too-good perfection, but an I-can-totally-see-why-these-people-relate-to-each-other-and-I-hope-they-love-each-other-forever perfection. The way everything was slowly revealed and the way the events came together were so satisfying and lovely.

This litte book only took me about an hour to read. I tore through it on a very stressful day as I waited for the train. It suffused the rest of the day with a m*a*g*i*c*a*l (haha) contentment, despite my stress. It is different than the mainstream novel, but it is rewarding, and definitely short enough to be worth an experiment, if nothing else. You'll be happy you gave it a try.

4.5 stars

Warnings: Making out scenes, maybe some swearing


  1. Nice Review. Elizabeth is one of my favorite Ya authors...I cant believe I haven't picked this one up yet!

    Im so thrilled to have found your blog today it is lovely...:D

    1. Thank you! This is a great book, I recommend reading it soon!

  2. I love verse books, and I can say this because of Ashley at Basically Amazing Books. I have read a Lisa Schroeder book before (although not this one) and I *LOVED* her writing. It was fluffy and beautiful, like dancing lightly around. I know that sounds crazy, but that's what I felt like when I read her book. I've wanted to read this one for awhile now. Definitely need to look into it.

    1. I know exactly what you mean about her writing. I want to read her other books now! There is another verse novel I want to try as well, I can't remember the title, but it is on my Goodreads. It takes place in Idaho, where I grew up. So few books take place there that i knew I had to read it!

  3. I just checked this book out from the library yesterday! I'm so glad that it's good. I love Shroeder's other verse novels a lot, especially Chasing Brooklyn, so I can't wait to finally read this one.

    P.S. I love the new blog layout! (It's new, right? I haven't just been oblivious?)

    1. Oh good! You were probably on hold for it after me, because I had just turned it back in, haha! I haven't read her other novels, so it is good to know that they are also worth looking into.

      Thanks! I've had it for a couple of weeks now!

  4. I've wanted to get to this one for awhile now. I didn't know it was in verse. Yay! Now it'll be a quick read. ;)

    1. It was very quick! I almost wished it had been longer because it was so awesome.

  5. This book caught me completely by surprise as I have attitude about verse novels but it was amazing. I adored this book so much and loved the writing.

    1. Me too. I don't really read verse novels but this one was so impressive, I think I am going to read more of Lisa Schroeder's work.

  6. I loved this book too. And you absolutely must read more novels in verse. I suggest Heartbeat, by Sharon Creech and one that I recently read, May B., by Caroline Starr Rose.

    1. I used to really love Sharon Creech, so I am definitely going to add that to the TBR. I've heard a lot about May B. as well lately, so I"m going to have to look that one up too! Thank you for the recommendations!


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