Two homeless teens wander Portland, Oregon, as they await the impact of an asteroid that will kill them and all other inhabitants of the American northwest.
Emerson, a white girl, has been hanging with Vince, an African-American boy, even since she left home. She and Vince decide to jump from a bridge rather than die in the asteroid impact, but then they meet Carl, a man who has chosen to spend his final hours helping people. He gives them his wallet, stuffed with cash. Vince and Emerson decide to continue Carl’s mission and look for people they can help. They find a boy with a dream of becoming a rock star and locate an active karaoke bar. They find a woman who dreams of visiting Paris and take her to a bistro. She gives them her car, and they use it to take two children to an amusement park. Meanwhile, Emerson’s family frantically searches for her, hoping to find her before the end. Vince focuses on the good that can be experienced in their last hours. Schroeder also focuses on the positive in this spin on the end-times theme. Interspersed snatches of free verse express the emotions of her characters and make her point that life is best lived in the moment. If the book’s conclusion takes some liberties with coincidence, who cares?
Uplifting. (Science fiction. 12-18)