Reviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Amber just wants one day to herself at her favorite place, the beach, before her life gets turned upside down forever. While she is at the aquarium watching jelly fish, she meets Cade. Like Amber, Cade is running from something. The two spend the rest of the day and night together, pondering over fate and whether or not we as humans get to make our own choices.

My summary above doesn’t really do Lisa Schroeder’s The Day Before justice, but I cannot really say much more without giving away entirely too much. This is one of those books that requires you to blindly dive right in, trusting that the journey will be worth it. And for me, it really was. I normally prefer to read fantasy or paranormal, and have generally shied away from reading “true life” contemporary YA fiction. After reading The Day Before, I’ve gained some appreciation for a sub-genre that I wasn’t really willing to consider reading, with the exception of friends’ recommendations here and there.

The Day Before is written from Amber’s perspective, almost like poetry. At first, I really didn’t like this. The further I got into Amber’s life drama, the more I decided that this was the perfect format for her story. Amber has been going through a lot in the past year, and the poetic narrative helps in a way to brighten the darkness.

The pacing is perfect; The Day Before neither drags nor rushes. It’s also not predictable. I was fairly certain I had Cade’s future figured out, and was pleasantly surprised. The ending was perfect, but I couldn’t help wanting The Day Before to continue on for just a few more chapters. It’s a little ambiguous because we don’t get to find out what exactly happens to Amber and what her feelings are now that she’s living the life she was running away from, but somehow we just know that everything is alright without having it spelled out for us.

Rating: 4/5

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon Pulse. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.