19/09/2013

Review: The Day Before {Lisa Schroeder}




 
One moment can change it all. Amber's life is spinning out of control and all she wants is to blast her music loud enough to make the world fade away. When she sneaks off to the beach to finally breathe, Amber meets Cade and she can tell that he's looking for an escape too.

Not bound by past, fear or regret, they share a perfect day together. But the more time Amber spends with Cade, the more she realises that he's not just living in the now. He's living like there's no tomorrow.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0062347047?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creativeASIN=0062347047&linkCode=xm2&tag=litbirboo-21http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0062347047?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creativeASIN=0062347047&linkCode=xm2&tag=litbirboo-21 

 
Having studied poetry for three years at university, it might seem strange that this was my first book written in verse. But, really, I've never been interested in verse books; I like to keep my prose and poetry separate. Unfortunately, reading The Day Before cemented that feeling.

I couldn't connect with this book or the characters. Amber's story didn't interest me and I didn't find it plausible. To avoid spoilers, let's just say that there was a custodial situation and the judge's ruling was completely ridiculous. Especially considering how old Amber's was and the effect it would have on her education. 

I had similar problems with Cade's story. He didn't seem like he was living each moment like it could be his last, so when his big reveal came it felt forced. 

Of course, this wouldn't have all mattered if the characters drew me in but, sadly, they didn't. Amber was not someone I felt connected to. Her situation was so complex and yet the narrative didn't succeed in capturing her emotions and so she felt underdeveloped and bland.

I also found her relationship with Cade to be rushed. Maybe it's because the verse structure didn't allow for their connection to develop enough or to portray their emotions adequately. Either way, I wasn't feeling it. There was no authenticity to their relationship and I was never invested in them as a couple.

As for the poetry itself? I didn't find it very poetic and it seemed more like broken up prose. There were some moments of magic, certain lines that really resonated and showed that Schroeder is a gifted writer. But those moments were few and far between and, unfortunately, weren't enough to carry the book.

 
The rare moments of poignancy saw me through to the end, but I finished this feeling disappointed. However, I've never been interested in verse books, so maybe it's  my preference for prose shinning through.

"Many times when I read a book, I want to savour each word, each phrase, each page, loving the prose so much, I don't want it to end. Other times the story pulls me in, and I can hardly read fast enough, the details flying by, some of them lost because all that matters is making sure the character is all right when it's over."


 
 

Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.
https://twitter.com/allie_LBBhttps://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8969137-allie-little-birdie-bookshttp://instagram.com/allie_LBBhttp://www.pinterest.com/allie_LBB/pins/http://outofkoolaid.tumblr.com/

13 comments:

  1. I had the same sort of reaction, though I did end up rating it 3 stars. Like you said, it felt like it was in verse for the sake of it — as someone put it the other day, "prose with extraneous line breaks". I think the story she was trying to tell in The Day Before had the potential to be touching and meaningful; like you, though, I really struggled to feel any sort of connection due to the format. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely! The synopsis sounded so intriguing and I really felt like there was a great story to be told. But that story just got lost in disjointed format. It's such a shame!

      Delete
  2. Aw, so sorry to hear that you weren't able to connect with the characters

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry you didn't like this one. I've only read like two verse novels, but I really enjoyed those. One was the first adult title by Ellen Hopkins and I loved that. I hear she's great with her YA titles too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You might connect with this one where I didn't then :). I think verse books are kind of Marmite in that way - you either love them or you don't!

      Delete
  4. A whole book written in verse must be a little hard to read, even if you love poetry! I have steered away from verse-stories myself, and I think I'll continue to do so.

    Great review, Allie!

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That might be a wise decision! I just think it's hard to write good poetry and a book at the same time, which is why this just seemed like disjointed prose. I wanted so much from this that it couldn't deliver, unfortunately

      Delete
  5. Such a shame that you didn't enjoy it! When you brought up poetry in books, it sort of reminded me of The Book Thief, have you read that one? It's beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't, but I've heard it's absolutely magnificent! I should really read it, so many people of all different ages have recommended it.

      Delete
  6. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one as much. I've been wanting to check out this author. Great review and thanks for the honest opinion!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, people write entire books in verse still?

    Just kidding, I'm not really surprised. Thanks for the honest review, as always!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm just so surprised that this is written in verse. It's been sitting on my shelf all this time, and I had no clue! I'm a little stunned, and I prob won't ever read it now because poetry just isn't my thing. But...still, shocked. Wish you enjoyed this one more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just as shocked when I opened the first page and realised it was poetry. I ordered it not knowing!!! It through me for a loop, but I figured I'd give it a go ... which didn't exactly work out for me. Still though, it was interesting to read a verse book. I just wish it had been more descriptive and fed my imagination a little more!

      Delete