Genre: Contemporary Young Adult Publication.Date November 21st 2011 Pages: 356 Published By: Razorbill | Website Jay Asher | Carolyn Mackler The Future Of Us - Goodreads My review copy: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Chapters
It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.
By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.
"Emma!" my mom shouts. "Josh is here."
Now that's a surprise. Josh Templeton lives next door, and when we were little we constantly ran back and forth between our houses. we camped in our backyards, built forts, and on Saturday mornings he carried over his cereal bowl to watch cartoons on my couch.
I'm talking about the future. I'm never going to be happy.
Sydney looks over at me and smiles. Here's my moment!
"I... I like this auditorium we're going to."
Really? That's the ice-breaker that seals our fate?
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and and Carolyn Mackler was a cute, enjoyable little read. The plot line was anything but solid and well-thought-out, the characters (especially Emma) were tiny bit annoying at times, their decisions - quite random and weirdly motivated, but all in all the futuristic Facebook theme, the intriguing premise of being able to take a sneak-peak into your own future AND change things around, together with the adorable snap-shot of the 90's, made for a decent, pleasant read. As long as you don't take the whole thing too seriously.
It's year 1996. Emma and Josh have been friends their whole lives. They live on the same street (door-to-door), they're both quite nerdy and equally clueless when it comes to relationships. They would still probably be "besties" if Josh wouldn't completely misread the signals Emma was sending him, and didn't decide to try and kiss her. Awkward much? After that their friendship has hit an emotional Ice Age and they started avoiding each other. They would probably never have spoken to each other again, if not for the weird AOL CD that arrived in Josh's mail one day. Josh's mom made Josh give it to Emma so that she can install it on her newly bought computer. When they logged on, a weird web page popped up. A Facebook page. From. The. Future. On this page, not only they can see their future selves, but they also discover that every decision they make in the present, affects what happens to them fifteen years from now.
It was an OK read for me. It took me one afternoon to finish it, and, I won't lie, I enjoyed it quite a lot. It didn't blew me away or anything, but nevertheless, I had a good time reading it. In terms of readability, it's definitely a crowd-pleaser. In terms of emotional engagement, as well as plot line and character development - not so much. I just couldn't shake of the feeling that the authors stumbled upon a fantastic (if not epic) idea, but failed to explore it to the fullest. Which is kind of sad, because this book could have been so much better! But then again, it's not really a YA Science Fiction, it's a sweet little contemporary novel with some vague sci fi elements, and no aspirations whatsoever to be anything grander than that. Not to mention that the plot line had more holes than a Swiss cheese. For instance, when Emma learns (on Facebook) that her best friend, Kellan, is about to get pregnant, she freaks out and is wrecking her brain for ways to prevent it. What happens next? Well, nothing. The whole plot line is dropped, as if it never really existed. Same goes for Josh and the plot line involving his brother (Josh learns on Facebook that his brother is gay). Instead of focusing time and energy on developing the main characters and their story, the authors decided to start a bunch of meaningless subplots that didn't even get resolved in the end. The sad part is, I really liked the subplots and would love for them to be properly concluded. Bummer!
Same goes for the characters. Let's face it, they both kind of fail as reasonable human beings. Josh is a sulky little kid, who doesn't know how to fight for the girl he supposedly secretly loved and admired for God knows how long. Gee, you got rejected once, is running away and hiding for the rest of your life the best you can come up with? Why not try harder to win her heart instead? Why not step up and invite her on a date, sweet-talk her a little, show her you're serious about this relationship? Not that she deserves that or anything, cause Emma is an even weirder creature. She's immature, self-absorbed and unlikable. All she cares about is how hot a husband she'll end up with and if there will be a nice picket fence around their cute little house. And nothing else matters. And she's picky, too. No one is good enough for her. The whole thing is basically about Emma changing her future to ensure she'll end up with a good-enough husband. Ugh, talk about frustration!
Thankfully, there are some aspects of this book that I genuinely liked. For exapmple, the narration is very smooth and enjoyable. It alternates between Emma's and Josh's POV and makes for quite a pleasant read. I also enjoyed going back in time to the 90's and remembering how different life was just the 15-or-so years ago. Your first computer. Your first ventures into the World Wide Web. Receiving your very first e-mails! Good times! Overall, although it might not be THE best YA book out there, The Future Of Us is still a fairly fun, quick and enjoyable read. It has its own charm, and, being extremely readable as it is, I'm sure it will prove to be as entertaining for you, as it was for me!
About the AuthorEvie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and chatting with fellow book-worms.