10 December 2011

REVIEW: The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

Publisher: Razorbill
21 November 2011
356 Pages
Genre: Young Adult

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.

R E V I E W :

I loved the message this story told us. That a single thing in the present can create a ripple effect and change our future. I've always been interested in this (namely the Butterfly Effect) and seeing the way how something seemingly so simple and mundane can actually cause a huge, drastic change.

Anyways, enough philosophy-ing.

Not being a fan of the '90s, nor having lived through most of them, I didn't really get most of the references but it didn't impair my reading and enjoyment (although, this novel will probably fast become out-dated because of this). And reading about how the people back then lived, although it was only a minor part of this story, was interesting and I felt like I was in on a private joke. When it mentioned that Josh's father thought Ellen DeGeneres might be gay, I had to fight a snicker.

At first, I was expecting suspense at what this 'weird thing' between them was (although I had a hunch) but luckily, as I am not the patient type, it was mentioned near the beginning and I understood why Emma did what she did. I was kind of annoyed when Emma kept changing her future because whatever she saw, she didn't like. But I would've probably done the same thing, given the choice. The characters were likable enough, if you looked past Emma's no-emotion relationships (which I noticed a lot of people have a problem doing). It's not as if Emma's boyfriends were in love with her. They were all looking for the same 'fun times' without the emotion. As I was saying, the characters were likable but I couldn't really relate to them.

The plot. I think that was the best part of this novel. Emma and Josh discover Facebook. Which wasn't invented yet. And because of this, they get closer to each other. Then farther. Then closer again as they deal with what they see on Facebook. Emma decides that she doesn't like her future and goes about trying to change it while Josh, as future graphic designer and married to the hottest girl in school, loves his and tries to make it happen faster. After a few bumps in the road, Emma realizes that she should just live in the moment and not try to fix up her future while Josh realizes that he doesn't love Sydney. Now or probably ever.

The Future of Us was a fairly light, fast read but it was very interesting. I remember the time when I used AOL and how it kept holding up my phone lines. Annoying as hell.

1 comment:

  1. I do think this story makes light of everything. There are so many areas this story could have touched upon that would have made it darker. But, it's just a fun story that really makes you think about what you are doing right now might have some sort of effect on the future. I'm not sure how much today's teens will identify with the idea of no internet and few cellphones. But, I think adults who like to read young adult will totally get a kick out of this book!