The Future of Us
Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Release date: November 21st, 2011
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.
Growing up in the 90s, I got a real nostalgic feeling while reading this. Talk of Walkmans, VCRs and scrunchies was simply amusing. I did feel there were a few unnecessary parts thrown in only to add more ’90s detail, but they worked to dig up old memories. It’s not a deep, emotional read like Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, this is a lighter, much more fun story.
From the dual perspective of Josh and Emma, you’ll realize thatseeing the future may not be as fun as you’d think. The mere fact of having dual gender point of views gives the book a fresh vibe. Josh and Emma are both great characters with normal teenage insecurities, which grows tenfold after seeing what their future holds. Time travel can be a touchy subject for me. I often find big loop holes that make the story illogical. However, Asher and Mackler constructed it smoothly and, under the circumstances, credibly. You don’t like what you see? Make a new stain on the carpet – refresh: new future. I was always intrigued by the new developments in their lives. I even got anxious each time they logged on to see what was in store for them. As for their future selves being contemplated in 1996, that was incredibly fun due to the true nature of it: If you would have been told, 15 years ago, that announcing on the Internet what kind of sandwich you ate that day was “the thing of the future” – seriously, you would have laughed!
Even though the outcome is predictable, the story is fun and unique, with a lot of charisma. I’m not sure how younger readers will relate to this book, but for those like me who grew up in the 90s era, you can’t help but feel that this was written just for you.
|4 Hot Espresso|