Monday, March 17, 2014

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

Release Date: November 21, 2011
Info about authors: Jay Asher (Goodreads - Twitter - Website), Carolyn Mackler (Goodreads - Twitter - Website)
Publisher: Razorbill
Age group: YA
Pages: 356
Buy the book: Amazon - The Book Depository

Rating: 3/5

Description (from Goodreads):

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.


As a fan of both Mackler and Asher, I was super excited to read this one. The synopsis sounded amazing – finding your Facebook page fifteen years in the future. Even though it did not reach the levels of awesomeness both The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things and Thirteen Reasons Why reached, The Future of Us was an entertaining, fast paced read that will really make you think what you would do if you would be able to see your Facebook page from the future.

Emma and Josh have been friends since they were kids. They live next door to each other, and everything used to be familiar and easy between them. But then Josh decided to tell Emma something she did not expect and everything got difficult. When Josh's mother gives him and AOL CD-ROM to give to Emma, they have not talked for months. After getting the CD from Josh, Emma installs it to her new computer and everything changes – Facebook appears to her desktop and she can see the profile of her future self. As she goes through it more, she finds also the profile of Josh and several of her friends.

The future Emma does not seem happy, whereas the future Josh is married to the most popular girl in school. When Emma notices that the actions of today can change her future and that Facebook will record those changes, Emma starts to do things differently – but as she notices that she is able to control her life in a way she never expected she would have, she starts to be disappointed with every result. Josh is happy for his future, and is afraid that the actions of Emma will make his shining future disappear. As more and more starts to happen, both in the recent day and the future, both Emma and Josh realize that they should keep themselves in the moment they are in and let the future unfold later.

The narration jumps between Emma and Josh and thus the readers gets to see and experience the both sides of the story and their relationship. This brings more depth into the story – both characters are well established and you feel for both of them. It is hard to take any sides because both have their weaknesses and strengths- both Emma and Josh are extremely realistic and human, just like our friends and the people in our lives. It was interesting to see something so everyday to me like Facebook, included in a story. The ending is pretty obvious all the way from the beginning, but the fun is not really in what happens but how it happens.

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