The Future of Us
Author: Jay Asher &
Pub Date: November 21, 2011
Rating: 3 Birds
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.
I was really excited about reading The Future of Us after seeing it around the blogosphere and reading the blurb. A story set in the 90's, about two kids who see their Facebook profiles – from 15 years later? YES! This had to be good. Right?
Well, sort of. I was rather disappointed to be honest. It was exactly as described but I felt a bit ripped off. The Facebook idea quickly became a background story and the whole thing read like a typical contemporary. Much effort was used to tell us (show NOT tell guys) exactly how different the 90's was – very obvious mentions of Walkmans and Toy Story and tape cassettes in cars, which all felt like they were shoving this in my face as much as possible and really dragged the story down.
The idea certainly made me curious though – would I want to see my Facebook profile, 15 years in the future? Honestly, no BUT I would be too curious to stop myself! I'm surprised that Josh and Emma didn't look at as many profiles as possible, I certainly would. And gone through some pages, to see which future events would be happening.
Josh and Emma, who you can see from the blurb are friends-who-happen-to-like-each-other, were okay. Not memorable but they kept me reading, to see if they'd end up with each other or not. Josh's obsession with his potential future wife got a bit on my nerves after a while, as did Emma's possessiveness. There was a potential gay couple (future) stuck in a bit later, but this was never explored properly.
The Facebook idea could have worked in a different situation but it felt more like they had a rubbish contemporary love story and wanted to beef up the background a bit to sell more copies. Definitely not a memorable plot and not something I could see myself recommending!
Find Jay Asher:
Find Carolyn Mackler