The Future of Us
By Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
It’s 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.
Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.
Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on–and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.
Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.
This Blonde’s Review:
Emma got her first computer and is getting online for the first time. When she gets online she uses her email and password to sign on to a website called Facebook. She doesn’t understand what it is, only that there is a woman on there with the same name and birthday as her. Someone who looks a lot like she would if she were older. She shows her neighbor Josh and soon they start watching Facebook to find out how the things they do in their lives change their futures.
As Emma sees things in her future she doesn’t want and Josh sees things he does, it changes how they act and what they do. Emma and Josh are typical teenagers, so they use their knowledge the way teenagers will. They use it to change the things they don’t like or attempt to make sure things they want will happen.
I love that hey are imperfect teenagers. They both use the situation to their benefit, even when they don’t mean to. And just like many people they are unintentionally self serving, not thinking of how their actions may affects others or how they could help others.
As Emma and Josh live life in 1996 and watch the way minor things can change their future and see the way the bigger things change, they struggle to figure out how to make their future read the way they want it to. They struggle with the problems they have in their present too.
I enjoyed this one. It didn’t blow me away, but something about it left me feeling good about it. Like I said, I loved that the Emma and Josh felt real to me, they weren’t perfect and didn’t have perfect lives. They had problems, and even when things went right it wasn’t really right.
There were things about this story that were obviously going to happen, but I don’t think it took away from the story any. In some ways that was the only possible outcome, we only needed to see how much they’d put themselves through before they found their way, and how they can help the people around them without giving it all away.
It was interesting to read about discovering the internet, using dialup, and all of the old technology that I remember so well. I find it hard to believe that the internet and all of this that we depend on every day was new in my memory, since it feels so big. It was nostalgic reading about those things and great to see, since most books based in the 90s seem to make only rare mentions that are easy to move past. It was interesting to think of how I’d handle finding my future Facebook page and the things I’d be surprised to see. It makes me wonder what I might have wanted to change. I love when a book makes me put myself in that situation and imagine what I’d have done or felt, so this is all good for me.
This book doesn’t have the same impact as Jay Asher’s first book, and I haven’t read anything by Carolyn Mackler before, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good one. It’s an interesting concept and the authors kept me interested in finding out whether Josh and Emma would find something in their future to push them apart, pull them together, or change their dynamic to one that is more comfortable than it was at the start of the book.
I look forward to the next book that either of these authors put out and would enjoy reading another joint effort.