Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Future Of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Genre:Contemporary Young Adult
Publication.Date  November 21st 2011
Published By:  Razorbill   | 
WebsiteJay 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!

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About the Author
Evie 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.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

Great review. I never really thought of some of those things, but now that you mention I completely understand what you mean about some of the plot points not being developed that much. It definitely was a cute read and for sure it was more contemporary than sci-fi. Glad you still enjoyed it a little though!

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

Hi Evie!

I read another trusted blogger's thoughts on this (a male blogger, actually - I LOVE a good male POV) and he didn't really love this book either. When I initially heard about this being published, I got super excited because it sounds like an incredible premise, but now this is twice that I've heard that it wasn't explored very well. So...while I was super excited before I read the other blog post a while back, I actually moved the book off of my TBR for now. And your honest thoughts solidifies my decision...for now. I know that I'll read it eventually because it does sound like a fun, quick read and there is always a place for that, ya know? But with SO MANY incredible, jaw-dropping, mouth-watering books out right now, I just didn't want to take up a precious slot on my list with unexplored awesome ideas.

I know that sounds WAY HARSH. And I'm sure I sound pretentious for saying that. I really don't mean to. I just sort of agree with your thoughts....ahead of time, if you will. I'll get to this eventually. Just not right now.

Thanks for your honest opinion! As always, it brightens my day to see you pop up on my reader!! xoxo

Wendy Darling said...

I really like the concept behind this one, but I've been hearing a lot of mixed things. Many of the points you made would have bothered me, too, especially the sulky little boy thing, hah! Enough of that in real life, right? Thanks for the thorough review.

Amy said...

This sounded like a really good book to me, but I have heard a lot of mixed things about it. I may eventually try to read it, but I am not in any rush to get to it. Thanks for the fantastic review.

Evie said...

Thanks for all the fabulous comments, ladies! i really appreciate you taking the time to stop by and read my review *blows kisses*

I would definitely recommend to read it if you feel like something light and entertaining - it's not by any means a bad read. I just felt it wasn't explored to the fullest and had the potential to be so much more than just a silly contemporary novel.

Give it a try one day! :)

Shae Carcar said...

I just recently won this book in a giveaway, but haven't read it yet. Thanks so much for the great review. I'm a little disappointed that you didn't love it because I definitely agree that the concept is completely intriguing and unique, and you can do so much with it!
Shae @ Understanding Shae's Story

Lexie said...

Yeah, I've heard from a lot of people that the characters in this one are just generally annoying. :( Might still read it for the concept, but meh. In any case, awesome review. :)

roro said...

awesome review. :) i think not 4 me then

Enbrethiliel said...


I have very high standards for my Time Travel stories (which means basically anything in which the past, present and future overlap), and based on your review, The Future of Us is not going to meet them. =(

Thanks for your honest assessment of it. Now I know that other novels will be better worth my time.

Anonymous said...

I love the sound of this books. Might check it out!

Laurie Carlson said...

Even though it only got a 3 star review from you, I've been wanting to read this book! I like Adult Cont. Fiction, but some YA, and this is one that looks good.
I'm still going to get it to read!
In the 90's I already had 2 young kids! LOL!
Laurie Carlson
laurieisreading at gmail dot com

Gaby said...

I got this from the library because it sounded really good but it while it was good I feel like it should have been better.

Bookie Bee said...

This has been on my bookshelf for a while now...have been wondering whether to read it or not.Great review Evie! And I'm glad I came across your review because judging by the cover and the blurb, I was under the impression it was more of a sci-fi novel and kept putting it off.

Shirley said...

I read this book not too long ago, and I'm sorry to say but I wasn't as happy with it as I hoped. It wasn't as good as I thought, which was a real bummer. But it was an easy book to read nonetheless! Definitely doesn't compare to 13 Reasons Why though!

Shalena @ Writer Quirk said...

I have this book on my TBR, mainly because I love the premise and loved Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why.

I'm sad to hear about the undeveloped subplots, but glad it was enjoyable enough to finish and read in a day. I'll probably still give it a chance and it's nice to know it's an easy, fun read when I'm in the mood for one of those. Great review! ^_^

Kar said...

I remember this book! I was helping in its translation to Spanish. It was kind of weird when I first read it, because I was expecting something more like 13 reason why and this is definitely something else. But I enjoyed it anyway. I noticed about the subplots too, I would've like seen them more developed so we could really understand everything properly. But, well, for a light reading it's pretty cool, don't you think?

Jan Bethel S. Alson said...

I've had this book in my "maybe-I'll-buy" list for a while now. But after reading your review, I think I'll move it to my "just-gonna-ask-mom-for-Christmas" list. ;) Thanks for the great review.

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

I heard a lot of great things about this book! I've been dying to read it for quite sometime!

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

I heard a lot of great things about this book! I've been dying to read it for quite sometime!

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

I heard a lot of great things about this book! I've been dying to read it for quite sometime!

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

I heard a lot of great things about this book! I've been dying to read it for quite sometime!

Simona said...

I really like your review you made me really curios about this book;;). I think Jay Asher it's a very great author and I hope to put my hands of this book. I'm from Romania and I heard that this book will be published soon ( I really hope so:X )!

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