Spotlight Wednesday: THE DAY BEFORE by Lisa Schroeder

I met Lisa online many years ago, and we've shared our work and lives with each other. I consider her a good friend. But the bonus here: I REALLY like her writing. She possesses the ability to pack a lot of emotional punch in very few words. And not just emotion, but three-dimensional, empathetic characters, lyrical writing, and wisdom. I have yet to close one of her books and NOT ask "How did she do that?" I respect her professionally and personally. The Contemps exists because of her hard work, and her kindness and generosity is a gem in the YA community.
Lisa's latest offering, THE DAY BEFORE, is my favorite yet. I read it on the plane (I should have known better) and the man next to me kept asking if I was alright because I went from sniffling to weeping. Both Amber and Cade go though such an incredible journey in a very brief amount of time, and the reader is able to experience each moment, each verse, as it unfolds. I've also highlighted a few poems and read them again and again since I read this novel. This is by far the most impactful book I've read this year.


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.


"Schroeder is the author of several teen books, including I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME (2009), an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers. Reluctant or not, readers will find plenty of appeal factors in this outing. The basic frame is a sort of noir Ferris Bueller's Day Off, in which two teens decide to spend a perfect day together before their respective fates claim them." (Spoilers omitted) "Cade, meanwhile, is handsome and brooding -- and his particular crisis delivers a punch at the novel's end. Schroeder has Amber narrate through free verse, the kind of jottings that might appeal to teens used to texting. This device gives Amber's revelations an immediacy and economy that add up to a surprising amount of tension. Fans of Lisa McMann's Wake series should gobble this up." -- BOOKLIST

“The Day Before is lyrical, vivid, and poignant. Like hidden gems that sparkle in the sand, each verse tells its own story; a heartfelt reminder that life's treasures -- friendship, love, and compassion -- are often discovered when we least expect them.” -- Sarah Ockler, bestselling author of Fixing Delilah and Twenty Boy Summer

"I didn’t want to say goodbye to these characters, and that’s just so thematically perfect and satisfying." Caroline at Crowding the Book Truck

"THE DAY BEFORE perfectly exemplifies the beauty of words tied together through emotion - this story is poetic, lyrical...and just overall spectacular." YA Book Queen


And because I am in a very swanky coffee shop right now, listening to a man speak french to my right, another... korean? to my left, I too am feeling swanky. Swanky and genorous. And so, I offer a copy of THE DAY BEFORE, and heck, I'll throw in my book SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD, to one lucky commenter (contemps! Feel free to play along!). Just answer this question:

What did YOU do the day before a significant day in your own life?

(My answer: The night before my wedding night, my family was putting up lights in our backyard and my soon-to-be husband disappeared. I found him at his parents' house, sitting in a corner in a dark room, alone, staring at the wall. Forget cold feet, his whole body was stiff. We talked, and I went to bed that night around, oh, four, pumping with anticipation and excitement and nerves and praying that my fiance would SHOW UP THE NEXT DAY.

He did. But eleven years later, I remember my emotions more from the day before than the day OF. And Lisa's captured all of that in this delightful jewel of a novel. I implore you to read this book.


LindsayWrites said...

yay!!! i love giveaways. i am dying for this book! =] =]
my answer would be, the day before I had to leave for this HUGE singing competition in new york city, my senior year, I got super sick and ended up in the hospital to get my appendix out. It was sort of a bummer. Missed the competition BUT i still got to go to NYC and have a blast! =]

americangirlie1991 at yahoo dot com

Suzanne said...

This book looks really great! I can't wait go read it!

Kenzie Audacious said...

What did YOU do the day before a significant day in your own life?

The day before I moved sixteen hours away for college, I spent the night with my boyfriend. We went out for dinner, and then to the bookstore, and he held me when I cried. It was really hard since I was leaving three days before our anniversary. But everything has worked out for the best.

kenzieaudacious at gmail dot com

njsunbunny said...

The day before I gave birth to my daughter, we went to a large barbecue at a friends house. We had a really nice time and it wasn't until the day my daughter started preschool some three years later that they day became etched in my memory. Several people at that barbecue died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Anna said...

Uhh, lucky me, if I get nervous enough I thrown up which is NOT something I like to do. Generally I just try to take it easy so that doesn't happen. :]

Princess Vanessa said...

My memory too is the day before I got fiancé and I got in a huge (our 1st ever huge) fight the morning before. I was so worried that the wedding was going to be called off. But it was then that we both realized how deeply we loved each other and how we couldn't live without each other. We made up by afternoon and by that evening were even more in love than before....I can still remember his smiling, smitten eyes meeting mine during the rehearsal dinner.:)

Ps I already read and own Sean Griswold so feel free to give that away to another lucky winner! Share the wealth;)

jpetroroy said...

The night before I got married, I was staying at my parents house and read portions of one of my favorite books from childhood before I went to bed, Anne of Avonlea. It was the perfect way to link my past and my future

jpetroroy at gmail dot com

Chen Yan Chang said...

I'm trying to think of significant events in my life, but it's hard to remember what I did the day before...

But I can say that the day before first days of school, I'm always nervous. I would write down the classes on my hand b/c I didn't want to look uncool by whipping out my schedule. I would decide what to wear and what to bring :)


G.Clyde said...

The day before my first day of college I was so nervous. I am the first in my family to go to college so I know I had a lot of pressure to succeed. I sat alone in my room watching movies and writing my favorite inspirational quotes in my book. The next day while I sat in class nervous, I read those quotes. Four years and a bachelors degree in forensics later I'm glad I toughed it out.

Frishawn said...

I spent the day before the biggest night of my life talking to the rounded mound that was then my very pregnant belly.
I knew that mound would soon be my beautiful baby girl and I couldn't wait to meet her. My husband had been hard at work transforming my hospital room into a haven of tranquility; complete with dim lights, fluffy blankets from home, and the soothing sounds of Kenny G.
I can still hear the gentle beep beep of the baby moniter as it seemed to keep time with the music, counting down the time to her arrival.

Lauren said...

I was just reading up on this book today; it's funny you should mention it! I've heard nothing but amazing things about it - so hooray Lisa Schroeder! I'm excited to read it.

I'm 27, but I can still vividly remember the day before leaving for college 10 years ago. (Perhaps I remember it so vividly since my 10 year reunion is around the corner). The day was nothing too special - last minute packing - but that night I spent with my friends. We went to the mall, grabbed ice cream, and just sat and talked, laughed, hugged. I drove home feeling...full. Nervous,excited, but extremely loved and supported. The drive was so weird, because I knew it was the last time I was doing it for a while. At home, I just sat on my bed, looking at my boxes, and waiting for the morning.

Lisa said...

Well they day before any big event in my life, I generally spend not sleeping. I have a hard enough time falling asleep every night, but you add the anticipation and stress of a big event, and forget sleeping. So the day before my wedding I made(threw a temper tantrum) all of my bridesmaids go downtown with me to a rib festival to help get my mind off of wedding stuff. We had to rush back to get ready for the rehearsal dinner, but it was a nice break for that little bit of time. Then I proceeded to not be able to fall asleep until about 4 a.m.

leyser73 at yahoo dot com

jenniferpickrell said...

I can't remember what I was doing the day before, but two days before my wedding, I went out with some friends to karaoke (first time I'd ever gone) and sang "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner and "Come Sail Away" by Styx.

Melissa Sarno said...

This book sounds really interesting. I am intrigued.

Is it bad that I can't think of a significant moment of my life and what I was doing the day before it? haha. Whatever it was, I was probably NOT sleeping. I'm usually much too excited to sleep before big events.

Grace said...

The day before...

I went to camp. Camp was a place to reinvent yourself every year. That could work for your favor or against it. I was worried that people wouldn't like me, or that they would think I was weird. The next day was filled with laughs and happiness. I didn't need to worry, but the night before, my insomnia kicked in and I stayed up into the early hours of the morning.

wordslikesilverblog at gmail dot com

Kailia Sage said...

The day before I moved from Atlanta where I'd lived for half of my life, I hung out with all my friends and cried like a baby. I also remember not getting any sleep!

Sarah @ StoryboundGirl said...

The day before I got married, I wandered around NYC with my mom, sister, and BFF. We got manicures & pedicures, ate at this delicious, tiny Tex-mex place, and gawked at Grand Central. (It was a destination wedding. We were also vacationing.)

Would LOVE a copy of this book!
sarah {at}

zara said...

the day before I moved to a different country, I spent my day with my grandma knowing that this was the last time I will be this close to her.

I hope this is open to canadians

Dani. said...

The day before my boyfriend of almost a year asked me out I figured out exactly what I wanted to go to college for... guess that could be a significant day too. ;P

Would love both books... am dying to read them! Thanks for the giveaway!


Lindsey Leavitt said...

Congrats to Grace!

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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