Monday, November 7, 2011

The Future of Us, by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Good morning everbody! Thanks to everyone who left a question for Dave Farland on Friday. I'm going to email him the questions and post his answers later this week, hopefully. I apologize on Dave's behalf, I'm sure he's simply overwhelmed with all that he's bitten off. 

So, moving on, I sign up for these books on Around the World Blog Tours, and some weeks or months later, the book magically appears in my mailbox. This time, I opened the package and was like, "Really? I picked a "Facebook" inspired book?" I chalked it up a rushed moment, a moment of great optimism where everything looked good. But, I said I'd read it, so I did. And I'm glad, because it was actually a good book. 

1996 and Josh and Emma are best friends, or they were until Josh misunderstood Emma's signals (or lack thereof) and tried to kiss her. Now they pass each other in the hall and barely manage to nod. It was a small moment, which shouldn't really matter that much in the grand scheme of things, but it changed everything between them.

But when Emma loads AOL (100 hours free!) and a strange program called Facebook pops up, Emma calls Josh to come look. Emma of the future doesn't sound happy, but Josh is delighted to learn he's happily married to the school hottie. They have children together--which means they must have had sex at some point--how awesome is that? Emma is determined to save her future self from whatever mistakes she's headed toward, but Josh is desperate to make sure nothing at all changes, and that's when things get sticky.

It's a new twist on time machines, and I loved all the 90s references--discmans and nobody having cell phones--but it was the characters that made this book worth the read. I really enjoyed watching Josh and Emma struggle with their relationship to each other and their possible futures. I especially enjoyed how Josh felt as his future family gained and lost children because I think it would take a time machine to get most teens- esp boys- to consider that they will one day be parents.

My oldest just turned 11, and for a few weeks now he's kept coming up to me and telling me how weird it is to be old, because I've been letting him go on bike rides and to the school to play football with his friends. (I'll admit here it makes me nervous, but I know the other kids well, and Isaac isn't a good liar, and I've asked him some pretty direct questions about how everybody behaves without supervision. So far, so good.)

Anyway, the point was, I'm 33, and it's still weird. Anybody else surprised at how OLD they are? Read this book and feel really old, then!

Happy Reading!


  1. Oh, wow. Yeah, I remember AOL and their 100 Hours Free! floppy disks. (Just tape over the write-protect hole and you got yourself a free floppy!) It would take a modem from that time period 100 hours to load a Facebook page.

    I heard of this book awhile ago and thought it sounded like a premise that would be easy to screw up. Thanks for the review.

    (And remind to tell you about how I invented spam some time;)

  2. What an interesting concept. I'd heard of this book and was curious about it. Thanks for the great review. I already feel old, btw. I don't need a book to help me! :)

    What do you think-- are today's teenagers all that interested in reading a story set when their parents were teens? I wonder if this idea would have made it through the slush if it didn't have the names attached to it ... but that's just me being cynical, maybe. ;)

    Thanks again for the review. I am curious so I might give this a try.


  3. Ben, I wouldn't advertise that you invented Spam. But I guess if you're the kind of person who would invent spam, you'd advertise it naturally, right? ;)

    Amy- I wondered about that too. I think that those "ooh, I remember that!" moments won't draw in the teens, but the story stands well enough on its own that I don't think it will matter. And for those of us with a little more maturity, shall we say, it just makes it more fun. I don't think they were aiming for a timeless book, not with the references to facebook. Just had a fun idea and did it. *shrugs.*