Thursday, July 12, 2012
Review: The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Publishing Date: November 21st, 2011
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 356 pgs
Source: borrowed from my local library
Rating: 3 stars
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I was very excited when this book came out. I was in high school during the late 90s and I felt like if there was any book that I could relate to it would be this one. The book takes place in 1996, (which is when I started my first year of high school), and is about two teens, Josh and Emma, who discover their Facebook pages from the future. The whole premise of this book is awesome. I can remember in 1996 the internet was just starting to get big and many people didn't have the internet just yet. I lived in a smaller town in Ontario and in order to get the internet, we had to download AOL Canada and dial a long distance number to get internet service. I was one of the first people in my class to get the internet and it was a big deal. I can remember sneaking onto the internet when my parents weren't around to browse the Seventeen page or to chat with random people I didn't know. Oh boy, did I get in trouble when my parents got the long distance bill.
As you can tell, this book was nostalgic for me and I could relate to a lot of the references they made to things like Dave Matthews Band and Green Day. I loved the book for this and it kept taking be back to different memories from the past. I also found the concept of seeing your Facebook page from the future so interesting. How often do we write something completely random on our status and then regret it later. Imagine your past self reading these messages and taking them seriously. I also think that in 1996 I hadn't yet met my husband and most of my good friends. I think that would have been a bit sad to see my Facebook page back then and wonder what happened to my good friendships that I had in high school.
So, while this book had me reminiscing on the past, I have to admit that the plot line didn't quite do it for me. I found that not much really happens in this book. Josh and Emma keep messing with the present in order to change the future but other than that it didn't have a lot of driving plot. I can see that the message of the value of apologizing and forgiveness comes into play but I think that the authors could have gone a little deeper. Again, I enjoyed reading the book, but I was left wanting a little bit more. Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 stars and I definitely recommend it to all those who grew up in the late 90s.