Author: Lisa Schroeder
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 28, 2011
Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Source: Galley Grab
Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.
Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.
The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.
I like Amber. She's a drummer. She likes loud music and jelly beans and the beach. The reader gradually gets to know her through the verse and flashbacks of a series of letters. It is obvious that she is attempting to be free of something that she cannot control, and what it is that she is running from is revealed in time. The bigger mystery is Cade, whom she meets on her indulgent day of escapism. He is also spending a day alone, contemplating, avoiding, escaping. So of course they end up escaping together, agreeing not to discuss the reasons that they're each avoiding the world. The development of their relationship feels believable even though they only spend one day together, partly because of the vulnerability of their situations - they find in each other someone who understands the desire to spend a day avoiding thoughts about what comes next. They might only spend that one day together, but it is the quality of the time spent that makes Amber's concern for Cade feel authentic.
The verse fits the moods of the story and adds to it the effect of being suspended in time on this one perfect day, the day before. It's a quick read (it took me a couple of hours) which really captures some of humanity's fundamental fears and brings them to life in these characters.