Monday, January 16, 2012

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future of Us was on the radar of the YA book blogging community for a long time before its recent release. I heard about it awhile ago and have been wanting to read it ever since. You may know from our review of Hourglass by Myra McEntire and the episode of Haymitch Happy Hour where Mary & I discuss Hourglass, that I have been fascinated with the idea of time travel and the repercussions it can create ever since I was little. (I thank Marty McFly. Back to the Future II is the best movie ever, right?!?)

While The Future of Us isn't necessarily about time travel, some of these questions and issues come up. In the book, two high school teens in the year 1996 go to login AOL and end up seeing their Facebook pages in real-time in the future. (So for example, they on May 8th 1996 will see status updates from themselves on May 8th 2011.) The really interesting part comes when they start to discover that things they do in the present are affecting their lives in the future.

I literally tore through this book in a matter of hours. Asher and Mackler write so seamlessly it's pretty much impossible to tell that there were two authors of this book. I loved the fact that the chapters were short -- this kept me want to keep reading. Also, I simply had to know what happened next to Emma and Josh, their friends, family and classmates. As I said before, a lot of the issues of time travel are addressed -- Emma finds out something about their friend Kellan that she struggles with, as far as whether to try to prevent it from happening. The knowledge of who they are supposed to end up with affects both Josh's and Emma's actions and decisions in the present.

I particularly enjoyed the character growth of Emma in the book. Yes, there were times when it felt a little rushed. (The whole story takes place in the span of about a week.) But through this experience Emma comes to realize that how she is in relationships now will have an effect on how she is in relationships in the future. Finally, without giving it away, I enjoyed the ending. I thought it was realistic and very well-done way to end this story.


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