Sunday, 22 January 2012

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

In One Line: In 1996, two teens go on the internet for the first time and find themselves on Facebook 15 years in the future!
Genre: Contemporary uber-awesome
The Gist:
Welcome to small-town America, 1996. Emma and Josh have been best buds and next door neighbours their whole lives (we don’t mention the fact that Josh made a move on Emma six months ago. You hear that? We Don’t Mention It). Emma gets a computer and a CD that allows her some free hours on some new thing called the Information Super Highway (I don’t think it’s going to last). She logs on, and some weird website comes up on her screen called Facebook. You ever heard of it? No, me neither. What she discovers is that she’s looking at her own profile fifteen years in the future! Told in alternating He Said, She Said chapters, Emma and Josh realise that by dabbling with the present, they can change the entire course of their futures. Mostly this involves interfering with their own love lives, because it appears Emma has a particularly bad run of future husbands. Meanwhile, Josh apparently ends up married to the school hottie! But is what they see in the future what they really want?
The Cover:
This cover is a holy-moly suckerpunch of fantastic! Which is handy, because it means when I shove the book in people’s faces (as I have done quite a bit over the last couple of days) I don’t necessarily have to shove it right to their eyeballs to get them to notice it. 
Why You’ll Love This Book:
But seriously...
  • The concept is just genius, especially as I have this image of Mr Asher and Ms Mackler getting really drunk somewhere, reminiscing about their pasts and then going “Hang on....” *hiccup* “I have an idea!”
  • I love Emma. I didn’t love her so much in the beginning of the book, but by the end I wanted to be her best friend.
  • The line about Pluto made me laugh out loud on a packed tube train. Poor Pluto!
  • Super sidekick friend alert! Secondary characters Kellan and Tyson pull a superb performance here. They are just So Real and So Amazing and I want to hang out with them always.
  • This book made me let my pizza get cold so that I could finish it. 
  • I’m thinking about BIG THINGS. I’m thinking about my future, and about my present, and how even the tiniest little steps in one direction or another can make everything turn out completely differently. Everything you do in every single moment creates ripples in every single direction. 
  • The soundtrack! The soundtrack! Seriously, there is a point in this novel where you actually will end up humming Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves in real life. Just embrace it and everything will be fine. 
  • I'm hugging Facebook. You can't see me doing this, but I am. I am actually hugging Facebook.

Why You May Not Love This Book:
  • Not for technophobes. If you are going “what is Facebook?” right now as you read this, then don’t read this book. It’s not for you. 
  • I’m scared about how this book will do in the long run. Will it date? Will it look stupid in ten years time when society has moved on and we all have hoverboards? I hope not, but I have to admit that this is a book very much ‘of its time’.
  • This is me being incredibly and probably unnecessarily harsh, but Josh didn’t ‘ping’ for me. Not that it actually mattered much, but I found myself drawn to Emma much more.
  • The voices are a little too similar. To the extent where I had to sometimes flip back a couple of pages to check the chapter heading to see which character was talking. I don’t think I should have had to have done that.
  • Running. Why does everyone run in America? I just don’t get it. Loads and loads of female characters in books I’ve been reading over the last few years seem to run. Perhaps even all of them. Except Bella Swan. I don’t think she runs. I think she just falls down a lot. But I digress... 
  • When you really think about it, Facebook is kinda weird.

The Hypersomnia Test:
PASSED with flying colours in all realms of the spectrum. Even ultravoilet. I would quite happily put my entire life on hold (and very nearly did) to read this book. 
Final Verdict:
So have I emphasised enough how much I loved this one? It filled my tummy with rainbow bubbles and made me sparkle. And after a few mediocre reads in a row it is so refreshing to find something that makes me want to explode with excitement. I know it’s only January, but it is the best book I have read this year so far, and will take some topping! Read it and you will not regret it. 
Further Reading:
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Paper Towns by John Green

To buy The Future of Us click HERE!!!

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