At SIBA this year, there was a session where each of the publishers were allowed one minute to stand up and promote the upcoming books they were excited about. And Penguin talked about this one. I couldn't help but get excited too, and snatched up a review copy. Listen to the premise, and I bet you'll have the same reaction:
Synopsis: Josh and Emma have been best friends and next-door neighbors for their entire lives. That is, until six months ago, when Josh made his true, more romantic feelings known to Emma and scared her off. Things do seem to be thawing a bit, and Josh decides to let Emma borrow an AOL download disc for her new computer. It is 1996, and home computers and AOL are all the rage.
Strangely, when they install it, there is a link to something called Facebook. The kids are stymied when they open it and see their lives, 15 years in the future. At first it seems like a hoax, but they soon are convinced this is something bigger. Emma is horrified by her "husband" and the life she seems to have. Josh, however, is thrilled to see that he is married to the high school hottie. They also find that when they make certain "tweaks", their future changes...break a vase, get in a fight, or just make up your mind you will or will not ever make a certain decision. The two teenagers become obsessed with their future, and wonder if their lives will ever be the same (or sane) again.
My thoughts: Penguin YA has cleverly partnered two of their hottest authors Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why) and Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things) to create a very thought-provoking and sweet love story that is bound to hit a note with the Facebook generation.
I love that Asher and Mackler don't get caught up in the "why" of the story. They are having a little magical fun that gives the reader some food for thought. Do you really want to know what lies in your future, or would it just drive you crazy and make you second guess every move you make? They also weave in some typical teen themes...crushes on unattainables, dealing with family issues, and friendship.
The story was very predictable, but it didn't lessen my enjoyment of it. The prose makes for a quick, fun read. I would offer a word of caution to parents of tween-aged kids...the book does make reference to teen pregnancy, use of condoms, and contained some scenes of heavy make-out sessions, so use your judgement for anyone under 13 or 14.
3.5 out of 5 stars