Friday, October 28, 2011

Review: The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future of UsThe Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Scoop:

It's 1996 and Emma and Josh have been neighbors their whole life and best friends almost as long. Their friendship changed when Josh wanted something more and Emma didn't. Emma's father buys her a computer and when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail he brings it over for her to install. However, she doesn't only install AOL. When Emma logs in to her AOL account she is automatically directed and logged in to her Facebook page. A Facebook page from fifteen years in the future. After figuring out exactly what Facebook is, Emma and Josh realize that they can see the immediate effect of anything they do in the present on their future. What they have to figure out is if they really want to know what happens or if they want to wait and see what the future holds for them.

My Thoughts:

This book was written in the back and forth, chapter-by-chapter style that is usually employed when there are co-authors. I have to say, the writing flowed seamlessly from one character to another. I have read books with a similar style and felt the clunkiness of two people writing together but I totally forgot I was reading a book written by more than one person.

The story was also a real pleasure to read. It's so much fun to read a story where the cause and immediate effect of an action can be seen in the future. I enjoyed a similar plot line in Sarah Mlynowski's Gimme a Call. When Emma changed such a tiny thing like spilling the dirty water from a flower vase onto the floor and then noting the change in her Facebook status it really makes you think about all the little decisions in your life and how they add up to change your future. I also thought that Emma and Josh were solid characters. They has their agreements and disagreements and their "teenage" moments (such as the discomfort they had around each other since the change in Josh's feelings) but I felt that they were written in a real way and I could envision them as a couple of kids in the lunchroom at my high school or friends hanging out after school.

I also enjoyed the "historical" content in relation to the year 1996 because I grew up in the time period that Emma and Josh were living in and it was fun to think back to my high school days and see some similarities in their activities, conversations and likes and dislikes.

Overall it was a very enjoyable and fairly quick read (it probably went faster since I was enjoying it so much). I think these cause/effect, past/present books are going to be one of my new favorite genres (if there are enough of them out there to be categorized as a genre) after the fairytale/folklore retelling stories. It amuses me to no end to see what the characters will do to change their life and then to see that the outcome isn't what they expected they frantically try to retrace their actions to reset their future. Ah, good times! (For the reader, at least--those poor saps trying to fix their futures are probably stressed beyond belief!)

I received an advanced copy of the book for a fair and honest review. The Future of Us will be available for purchase November 21, 2011 by Penguin Young Readers.


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