Friday, July 26, 2013

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

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 familJey 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. (from GoodReads)

I was really excited to read The Future of Us because I thought the premise was so interesting! It would be cool to see how kids in the 90s would react to Facebook, especially since the Internet was a new and exciting thing. Also it's weird that 1996 is now considered "history" - it was not that long ago! But ultimately I was disappointed with the execution of The Future of Us.

I think I have a problem with books that are written by two authors - I'm just never a fan of them. I didn't like Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist or Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance, so I guess it makes sense that I wasn't riveted by another novel that has a man write the male perspective and a woman write the female one. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy my read of The Future of Us but I was expecting so much more than the shallow plot that I got. When Emma and Josh find Facebook, they are both only concerned with their future husband/wife. They don't look up many of their friends or family, don't look up what stocks are worth a lot and don't try to find out who's president! I would at least be a little curious!

I also didn't realize that Emma and Josh would be able to change their futures - I just assumed they were getting a snapshot of what their life would be like in 15 years. Emma doesn't like what she sees on Facebook so she does really stupid stuff to change what happens. At one point she knocks over a vase of water and just leaves it on her carpet. There is also the subplot of Emma and Josh's relationship with each other and I'm sure you can guess what happens there.There were some B-plots that were never resolved, like what happens to Emma's friend Kellan or her new half-sister?

I loved the 90s references even though some of them were a little forced. There were VCRs, payphones, cassette tapes, movie rental stores, Discman, etc. I was only 5 in 1996 but I was still able to get all the 90s nostalgia. It's still weird to think that the Internet was new then! I remember having dial-up but we always had two phone lines so I never had to worry about that like Emma did.

Overall, my disappointment in the execution of The Future of Us impacted my view of the novel. It was shallower than I was expecting, but still enjoyable as a light read.

Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.

1 comment:

We Heart YA said...

Hm, 7 out of 10 for something that disappointed you... Must not have been TOO awful, then?

We also tend not to enjoy dual-author books, so that sort of turned us off of this one. Glad to know we probably aren't ruining our lives by skipping it. ;P