Book Review: The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
The Future of Us By: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler Published: Nov. 21, 2011 Publisher: Razorbill Source: Purchased Add to Goodreads GR's Summary: 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.
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler was such a fun story! Those of you that were in high school during the 1990's need to read this book. It is the perfect read if you're feeling nostalgic and want to reminisce about your teen years. Josh and Emma grew up next door to one another. They had always been best of friends, but six months ago everything changed between them. They still casually hang out in a group at school with their good friends Kellan and Tyson, but they aren't as close as they used to be.
Then, Emma gets a new computer from her father, and Josh's mom sends him next door to give Emma an AOL CD to receive 50 hours of free internet. However, when Emma logs on to her new computer, it takes her onto a website that she's never heard about before; Facebook. On Facebook, it is no longer 1996, but 2011. At first, Emma and Josh think someone is pranking them. However, after further investigation, they realize that Facebook is not a prank, and is indeed revealing fifteen years into their future.
Soon after, Emma becomes obsessed with having the perfect future. Josh and Emma realize with every action, there is a ripple effect or consequence. As Emma keeps doing things to try to improve her future, she only seems to be making it worse, while Josh is excited to see that his appears to be everything that he could possibly want. As Emma and Josh begin to change their present circumstances, they learn what is most important in their lives and how to live in the present.
The Future of Us took me back to the days when I was living at home with my siblings and parents, and dreaming about becoming an adult. What would my husband be like? What career would I have? Would I be happy? The future was bright, and the possibilities were endless. It's ironic that now, I look back on my teenage years and feel nostalgic. I think about my innocence, lack of responsibilities, and my friendships. As I get older, I find myself reminiscing about the good ole' days. As a teen, I was in such a hurry to grow up, but as an adult, I realize how special and fleeting youth was.
Mr. Asher and Ms. Mackler did an excellent job of taking me back to the 90's. So many pop culture references made me feel as though I was traveling to my past. These authors nailed the technology, music, and general lifestyle of the late 1990's. I appreciated the two main themes in the story. One was to live in and appreciate the present, and the other was that sometimes we take the most important things in our lives for granted. We need to appreciate what we have, because if we don't, we just might lose it.
Josh and Emma were both great characters. The authors nailed the teen voice perfectly. Josh was a sweet heart. I thought he was a wonderful friend, and I loved reading from his point of view. Emma came off as a bit self-centered, but she didn't mean to be. I think she was unaware of how her actions effected others. I enjoyed watching her mature and grow as a character. I also loved the secondary characters Kellan and Tyson. Kellan was optimistic, bubbly, loyal and kind. Tyson was goofy, fun, a very loyal friend, and a typical teenage boy.
The Future of Us was a quick read, and a really fun book to get lost in. I recommend it to those of you who grew up in the late 1990's, and would like to take a walk down memory lane. This story was unique, and I really enjoyed the fresh concept. I give, The Future of Us, by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler, 4 A Glimpse into the Future, Best Friends, Growing Up, and Learning What's Most Important Filled Stars!!!
Except for six months in Wyoming, I've lived my entire life in California. It was during those six months in Sheridan, Wyoming that I came up with the idea for Thirteen Reasons Why. I've worked at an independent bookstore, a chain bookstore, an outlet bookstore, and two public libraries. Before those jobs, I worked at a shoe store, a trophy shop, and an airline. My very first writing award earned me a free fruit smoothie every day for a year. I've won a lot of awards since then, but that one tasted the best!
Carolyn Mackler is the author of the popular teen novels, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things (A Michael L. Printz Honor Book), Tangled, Guyaholic, Vegan Virgin Valentine, and Love and Other Four-Letter Words. Carolyn’s novel, The Future of Us, co-written with bestselling author Jay Asher, received starred reviews and appeared on several bestseller lists. Carolyn’s novels have been published in more than twenty countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, Denmark, Israel, and Indonesia.
Carolyn lives in New York City with her husband and two young sons. Her seventh novel for teens, The Infinite in Between, will be published in September 2015. Her first middle grade novel, Best Friend Next Door, will be published in May 2015.