What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

I bought this book for my Sis, because it sounded like something she'd enjoy. She reads more contemporary fiction than I do. But she was reading it at my house, and kept laughing, so I couldn't help but be curious, so after she finished, I borrowed it to read. This was the first book I've read by either of these two authors so I had no idea what to expect.
Here's the 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.
What I Liked: 1) This book was like one big trip down memory lane for me. In 1996, I was in 6th/7th grade and I remember those AOL cds being everywhere. In the mail, at the checkout counter, at the dry cleaners. Seriously, you never had to be without AOL. I can remember spending hours at the computer, instant messaging with my friends! Ah, good times. Plus everything else they were talking about, the music they were listening to at the time, the way they wore their hair...that was really fun. 2) The humor. There was a lot of funny stuff going on in the book. A lot of what was funny to me was the way that Josh and Emma were reacting to their future selves, and how their lives are in the future. And of course it amused me remembering all of the things that were important in 1996. Can't go anywhere without my discman. My sister, on the other hand, who is 7 years younger than me and therefore wouldn't remember a lot about 1996, found the whole book to be really funny too. So don't think that you have to have some sort of nostalgic reaction to this time period to enjoy the book. 3) The premise. The main idea (as I interpreted it) was that even small decisions we make during the day can have big effects on the rest of our lives. Josh and Emma (Emma in particular) would race through her day to get home and see how her future had changed. It was a nice message to be reminded of. 4) The ending. I frustratingly loved the ending. It was the best way that the story could have ended, but I still wanted to hit my head with the book, because there was so much more that I wanted to know. I think this was another little subliminal message that we take away from the book. As much as we may want to, we aren't supposed to know the future. Can I just bargain with Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler? Okay, I don't have to know my future, but can I know Emma and Josh's?? Please!?!

What I Didn't Like: I didn't really connect with the characters in the way that I really like to in order to sink deep into a story. But for me this book was more about the differences between 1996 and 2011. So it really wasn't that big of a deal. But I did have to put that out there, since I always comment on the characters and their personalities. It's way more plot-driven.

Overall thoughts: The Future of Us is a funny story of two teens who accidentally stumble upon their future while browsing this new-fangled thing called the internet. The plot drives the story forward, and readers will constantly be guessing what's happening next. You'll laugh at the comparison of 1996 to 2011, and take away a great message. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who likes contemporary fiction with a humorous slant.

My rating: 4 shots

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1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this book too. I thought it was pretty funny, reminiscing on the memories of old school technology :)
    If you liked Jay Asher's writing in this, I definitely recommend his book Thirteen Reasons Why! It's a heart stopper.


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