Review: The Future Of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future Of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Release Date: November 21, 2011
Publisher:  Razorbill
Pages: 364
Source:  Purchased

Josh and Emma are about to discover themselves–fifteen years in the future

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 everything changed. Things have been awkward ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD-ROM 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 Facebook . . . but Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. Josh and Emma are looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

Their spouses, careers, homes, and status updates–it’s all there. And every time they refresh their pages, their futures change. As they grapple with the ups and downs of what their lives hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right–and wrong–in the present.

 

Review:  The premise of this book had me hooked from the beginning! Imagine that you receive a new computer and a CD to log on to the internet…back in 1996. AND, once you log on, you see something called Facebook with pictures of someone with YOUR name…

This is what happens in the world of Josh and Emma. Emma receives a new computer because her Dad and his new wife have a new baby, and a new family…she feels left out. Josh’s mom doesn’t want him using any type of CD where the phone line will be tied up and suggests that he gives it to Emma. What really confuses Emma is that the picture that pops up of a person with her name also has a different last name added on…and types sentences that imply she is very unhappy.

Over time, Emma is convinced that she is seeing her future self but Josh is skeptical and thinks that someone is playing a prank on her using what they know about her already, like using pictures from their yearbook, etc. As Josh accepts that they are indeed seeing the future, he is very pleased and astonished that he’s managed to snag the hottest girl in high school. He LOVES his future.

Emma, on the other hand, keeps tabs on herself and doesn’t like her future at all. She determines that she will change it – and does. What she doesn’t expect is that Josh doesn’t want her to do one thing that will affect his future also…soon, they aren’t talking and their friends have no idea what’s going on.

What makes this story so very sweet is that Josh and Emma are neighbors and childhood friends. As they grew up, Josh started having a crush on Emma but she didn’t return his feelings. As they work through present problems trying to avoid future problems, they both have to decide what’s most important to each of them – and deny the temptation to see other people’s future as well.

I really enjoyed this story which was a joint collaboration between the authors.  At times, I disliked Emma’s character since she seemed so selfish but, over time, she grew on me.  She was simply a teen trying to figure out her feelings and what she wanted.  I liked Josh’s character from the very beginning and he continued to be a character I enjoyed.  The plot of this book was so different that it really had me turning pages late into the night wondering how it would all end.