Monday, December 5, 2011

The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

Release date: November 21, 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 356
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Ebook available from: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.

Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.

Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.
I wasn't sure quite what I thought about the idea of The Future of Us when I started reading it. I wasn't surprised to find that I enjoyed it enough to finish it in one sitting. I loved the little nods to so many things of the nineties; the pagers, Walkman, tapes, and AOL. Mixed in with all this is a great story of really growing up and realizing who you are and who you want to be.

The story begins with Josh giving Emma an America Online disk for her new computer. She installs the program and logs on to find a website called Facebook. When she logs on, she finds her profile from fifteen years in the future. As Emma and Josh explore more of the site and discover that it's not a hoax, they realize that each and every tiny, insignificant action has repercussions to their future. They struggle with obsession over their futures and their presents, trying to fulfill what is to come at that moment. They have to learn how to deal with the knowledge.

Emma and Josh both have very understandable reactions to their new knowledge. Emma is obsessed with checking how her future changes and fixing it to make her happy now. Josh struggles to make his seemingly perfect future come true as soon as possible. Neither knows just how their life ends up the way it seems to, but both want to affect it. I certainly don't know how I'd be able to handle that kind of knowledge, especially if it didn't happen the way I wanted it to.

This was one book that multiple narrators was an asset to the novel. It would have been hard to get to know whichever character was not narrating, and it's effective to know their thoughts in the situations. Emma and Josh were both interesting and individual characters that were fun to get to know.

The Future of Us is a story any teenager will enjoy and it is a story for our time. We have to learn how to grow up in a time unlike any other before us, and Emma and Josh are on the cusp.

Risk a paper cut? The Future of Us is not only a great read, but a great lesson completely worth some risk.

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