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The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

The Day Before (edition 2011)

by Lisa Schroeder

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1743268,238 (3.99)2
Title:The Day Before
Authors:Lisa Schroeder
Info:Simon Pulse (2011), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, To read

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The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder



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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Every now and then a book comes along that is so vivid, so beautifully written that you wish you could rewind the clock and savor it again for the first time. This is such a book.

My Twitter friends were raving about The Day Before, so I grabbed it at Borders while I was trolling their shelves last weekend. I didn't even open it; I just hauled it to the counter and paid for it. It wasn't until I cracked it open last night that I even saw the book is written in verse.

It's a collection of short poems that tell a story, and I wasn't sure I'd like it at first. There was so much white space on the page. It felt too light and airy, seeing the words floating on the paper, rather than being lined up in nice, neat rows. It didn't take me long to realize that nothing about the book was comfortable or familiar. It was shockingly different, new, and absolutely breathtakingly, hauntingly beautiful.

What once was strange and unfamiliar soon became a visual representation of freedom, which is ironic since the two characters in the book are anything but free. The power and simplicity of the poems reminded me why I love telling stories, and why I love to read. It made me feel, it made me ache, it made me cry, it made me smile. But above all, it made me want to write. Schroeder's work of art is a touching example of how words are like brush strokes in a painting: some are bold, some are light, but each one is important in portraying the full picture.

I can only hope to someday wield a brush as majestically as she has done with The Day Before. Thank you, Lisa! ( )
  CyndiTefft | Feb 6, 2014 |
I have never read a YA book written in verse before so this was a first for me. I tend to be biased towards prose and drama in my English lit studies as well but I thought it would be interesting to give this one a go to see if the choice of medium would be suitable to tell a story and how affecting it would be.

To be completely honest, I didn’t really connect to this book. The choice of verse to tell Amber’s story wasn’t completely successful in my opinion, although there are a few moments where the poetry is very effective and well done. Many times it felt like fancily rearranged sentences rather than carefully composed poetry. I can understand the choice of medium for capturing emotions rather than events but there were times where it just felt awkward, such as Amber discussing her favourite musician, Pink, and the movie guessing game she forms with Cade. The frequent shifts from verse to letter form to reveal more of Amber’s situation felt clumsy and shoved in at the last moment.

Amber’s situation is one that’s easy to sympathise with and her emotions are understandable, but no literary medium can make me interested in an instant love story with next to no development or even interaction. At one point Amber compares her and Cade’s situation to that of the wonderful movie “Before Sunrise” and it did feel as if “The Day Before” was aiming to be a poetic teenage version of that wonderful film. However, that film’s strength lay in the witty and very moving interactions between Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply to the point where even this romantic cynic was caught up in their fleeting love, something which just isn’t present in “The Day Before.” Amber is immediately taken with him and they barely speak to each other; when they do talk it’s over mundane things that have no real bearings on them as people. As such, their instant perfect connection never felt authentic and I was never emotionally invested in them as a couple.

I think one’s development of this novel will lie in how much one enjoys verse novels, but for me, this novel just didn’t click. “The Day Before” occasionally succeeds in capturing the complex emotions of its conflicted protagonist, but on the whole it felt underdeveloped and rushed, trying to live up to “Before Sunrise” (which I highly recommend). But while “Before Sunrise” made me believe two strangers could make a genuine connection over the course of one day, “The Day Before” did not. I’m definitely interested in reading more verse YA though; I want to see the medium truly rise to its potential.

“The Day Before” will be released in USA on June 28th. I received my ARC from Simon & Schuster’s Galley Grab program.
( )
  Ceilidhann | Sep 20, 2013 |
This book makes you really feel that emotions of the main character. Throughout the whole book I could feel and understand what the character was going through. I read this book because it was by the same author who wrote that last book I read.
  edspicer | Apr 28, 2013 |

4.5 stars

Wow, this book really affected me, I'm kind of reeling from it at the moment and I owe a huge thanks to Jasprit who sent me the galleygrab newsletter for this. To be honest, if it wasn't a galleygrab freebie I doubt I would have ever read this beautiful, moving novel.

I was surprised to find it written in verse, my experience (generally centred around the novels of Ellen Hopkins) is that this can do wonders for a novel or send it sprawling flat on it's face. In this case, it worked so so well. Schroeder is a true poet, it flowed, was never dull and the entire effect left me needing to read more from this author.

The story is about a girl who finds out she was switched accidentally at birth. It all comes out when the baby she was switched with dies from leukemia at 15 after discovering that her supposed parents were inadequate blood donors. But at the same time another story is being told: the love story. It's an odd one, basically Amber (the protagonist) meets a boy (Cade) at the beach and they bond talking about jellyfish. This simple conversation leads to a day-long excursion, in which these two characters find something to alleviate their troubles and worries in each other's company. Something that starts out as nothing more than a cure for loneliness turns into genuine affection through subtle conservations and a mutual understanding that is so... touching.

Certain elements of this novel reminded me of If I Stay, though this one was in some ways much deeper. But they are both about finding something to live for in the smallest of pleasures: music, dancing, laughter... and jellyfish apparently. Their message is that even when your life seems to hit rock bottom, there is still always something to feel lucky for.

( )
  emleemay | Mar 30, 2013 |
Overall Feelings:
Heartbreak full of hope.

My Thoughts:
A somewhat unbelievable tale but heartwarming nonetheless. Told in verse, Amber shares the story of her day alone. Her life is about to change in a huge way and she needs to be alone for one last day. Her story was moving, as was the story of the mysterious boy she meets at the beach, but overall, a little too far fetched.

That's not to say I didn't really enjoy this book, because I did. Verse books are usually quick reads and a story that only encompasses 1 day in the life of 2 people, in my opinion, should not take all that long to read. For this reason, the verse prose was perfect.

Amber is facing a situation that really, very few (if any) people have faced before. She feels alone and betrayed and even though her family is expecting her to be in her bed that morning, she can't help but escape away. As a reader, we get small glimpses into her life - leading up to the 'big reveal' and the real reason she feels the need to run away.

On this solely remarkable day, Amber meets Cade who in fact is having a terrible day of his own. The two become friends in an instant, spend the day together and eventually share their stories.

In the end, the fact that Amber and Cade's stories were a little too much to believe was overshadowed by the raw emotion behind what was happening to them. Their struggles and the connection they manage to make in one day really made The Day Before a powerful read for me.

I'm really draw to book in verse and Lisa's are always fantastic. I would love to add all of hers to my collection. ( )
  WilowRaven | Jan 21, 2013 |
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Sixteen-year-old Amber, hoping to spend one perfect day alone at the beach before her world is turned upside down, meets and feels a strong connection to Cade, who is looking for his own escape, for a very different reason.

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