The Day Before
Simon Pulse, 2011
I'm still new to verse novel-reading, but so far I am definitely liking what I read. I think telling stories in verse can have a variety of effects, and in the case of The Day Before, the poems help build suspense and create mystery. As I was reading, I had absolutely no idea where I was going to end up. The poems suggested a great struggle, a big change coming that will change Amber's life - and her family's lives - forever. There's a rawness to the wording, and a realness. Then letters start slipping in, and the story starts to slip into place. Things start making sense, and I can understand Amber's impulse to spend 'the day before' doing her thing.
And yet, the mystery remains. Cade, the beautiful, unusual boy Amber meets in the aquarium, has a story of his own. As we get to know Cade through Amber's eyes, we see the confusion, feel the tension, the mystery. There's a dark, pressing need to spend 'the day before' on his own terms for Cade as well.
With the give-and-take flow of the ocean they both love, Cade and Amber spend a single, beautiful, magical day together. As they fight their own personal demons, they find strength in being there for each other. Strength in unity, in believing in someone else's success. It's a simple story, taking place over a single day and night. But there's a strong sense of reality, of connection and the pressing need to find out 'why.' I found The Day Before to be a beautiful, moving read. It's definitely one you need to read for yourself, so you can experience the journey without getting distracted by the details.
Book provided by my personal library.