Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Razorbill, 356 Pages
Released: November 21, 2011

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.
---------------------Goodreads summary

Notable Quote
"He broke your heart! How can you call it love when he hurt you so badly?"
Kellan pops another fry into her mouth. "It was love because it was worth it."

I loved the nostalgia factor to the book. 1996 was probably one of the first years fully in my memory, where I was old enough (I was 9 that year) to understand and process and have interests and be aware of my life - and this brought me back to a pretty good place.  The music wasn't what I listed to (long live 90s R&B jamz!) but it still elicits some strong memories, and I loved all the other references.

Unfortunately, that was pretty much the only thing I really liked. The story is ok, revolving around a typical scenario of best friends and the awkwardness of one wanting more.  But it was underdeveloped and very unexciting. There weren't any scenes I was particularly attached to, nothing that made me gasp or cry or really feel anything.

The premise of seeing the future via Facebook is interesting, and it's a fine literary device - but it felt like they could have done so much more with this.  Having access to everyone's future? Seeing the details of your life?  Seeing the changes you make in your life? Emma touched on it when she purposefully altered things, but not much else was done. It felt like Josh and Emma were supposed to play two very different views on seeing Facebook, but nothing ever came of it. Their feelings and actions just weren't strong enough.

I also found Emma to be incredibly selfish and bothersome and frankly, stubbornly cynical. Everything was about her future, her life, her likes, her husband(s), her unhappiness. She never had a positive view on anything!  I just wanted to slap her through the pages and tell her to find a silver lining or look on the bright side!

A disappointing foray, but still an ok story in itself. The derision Emma and Josh have towards Facebook is amusing and tacked on the +.5 rating.

2.5 stars / 5


  1. Rachel BrooksFebruary 16, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Stopping by for the book blogger love-a-thon! =)

    I finished this book a couple of weeks ago. Like you, I enjoyed the concept. I liked the Facebook status updates and the idea that they were seeing their future lives.

    But I was disappointed that they didn't seem more curious about HOW their future selves were communicating with their past selves. I'd be asking a million questions, and these characters just sort of accepted it like it was normal! lol

  2. Alexa S.February 16, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    It was an interesting read, but it also fell flat for me. I think it had a lot to do with my annoyance with Emma though, hehe.

  3. ChiKittieFebruary 17, 2012 at 5:45 AM

    Heya - Just stopping by for the Love-a-thon. Hope you are having a nice day.
    I kind of liked this book and maybe it was because I am old and grew up around the time when AOL was first coming out. LOL I am sorry you did not like it more.

    I am a new followers. Very nice blog, great content. :) I also added you on a few social networking sites.

    - Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment

  4. AlisonFebruary 17, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    Sorry you didn't really enjoy this! I still want to pick it up. It looks pretty interesting.

    Alison at The Cheap Reader

  5. Faye (Daydreaming_Star)February 17, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    It's a shame you didn't like this one! I've heard some really good things about it and actually have it waiting on my shelf to start myself!
    Good review though and I'm glad there were some things that you liked about it!

    Comment from the Love-A-Thon <3 :D


  6. Raimy from Readaraptor HatchlingFebruary 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Ive heard so many people say the same thing about this book, It's on my TBR as a friend passed it one to me and she said she wasnt impressed either... I cant wait to read it and see if I feel the same!

  7. Justin941February 17, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    This book wasn't one of my favorites either.. I really enjoyed aspects of it. But it just didn't do it for me, which is a shame because I had really wanted to love this book.

  8. SarahbotbonkersFebruary 19, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Thank you for your honest review. I read mixed reviews about this one now I'm really hesitant to pick up this book. Hmm..

    - Sarah @ Smitten over Books (My LoveAThon super late presence)

  9. AnonymousSeptember 11, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    This is the first time I have seen how a blogger handles a review for a poor book. I must say I have learnt a lot! Thanks.


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