Tuesday 29 November 2011

Book ~ "The Future of Us" (2011) Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

From Penguin.ca ~ 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.

This was an interesting concept - mixing 1996 with 2011 - and it worked for me.

It's 1996 and Emma and Josh are just entering the world of AOL ... remember the days of modems and dial-up? Somehow after installing the AOL CD giving them 100 free Internet hours, they are able to access Facebook and their 2011 profiles. Amazing considering Facebook wasn't even invented yet (Mark Zuckerberg was only 12 years old!).

They are able to see what their futures will bring. At first it mystifies and scares them but they soon realize that any actions they choose to do today will impact their lives 15 years in the future, which they can keep track of on Facebook. If they don't like the outcome of their lives in 2011, they have the power today to change things instantly ... just spilling water from a vase on a carpet has an impact. It's kind of like time traveling (and I like time travel stories).

This is considered a young adult book (directed at ages 14+) but I didn't find that it was juvenile. Emma and Josh and their friends are in high school and act their age ... a mixture of innocence while entering into maturity.

It's a quick read. Though it's almost 360 pages, I read it in about 3.5 hours. I enjoyed the writing style and the short snappy chapters. The narrator of each chapter alternated between Emma and Josh.

I'd recommend this book for mature young adults (there are discussions/actions of sex and drinking) and adults (they would probably enjoy reminiscing about the music, movies and limited Internet). Everyone will be amused at the 1996 confusion of ipads, texting and being able to surf in your car.


Isabel said...

this sounds really cute. Another book i have to look for.

Feisty Crone said...

wow, this sounds like a fun book. I'm going to look for this at the library. thanks!