Friday, January 13, 2012

The Future of Us - Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

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

    

22 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

This book sounds great! I'm wondering why only 3.5!

Serena said...

I always wonder how collaborative books work and if the end result is what the authors had hoped it would be. I'm with Jill, why only 3.5?

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I get the 3.5, sometimes even if the book is enjoyable, it's a quick and forgettable read.

Darlene said...

This one is on my wishlist to read or maybe listening to would be a better idea.

Jenny said...

This sounds super cute. Even though it's predictable I think I'd like it!

Zibilee said...

This is one that I got too, and have been excited about. I can't wait to see what I think of it, and even if it is a tad predictable, as long as it's done well, I don't really mind all that much. Great review today, as usual :)

Alyce said...

Yours is the second review I've seen that gave it just an okay rating. I was hoping it would be spectacular. It sounds like it didn't explore the themes as well as it could have.

Ti said...

After Thirteen Reasons Why, I was excited for this one but a 3.5 rating from you means it was just okay. That gives me pause.

bermudaonion said...

I got this one at SIBA too and think it sounds like a book I'd like. I wish I had my copy with me - I could really use predictable right about now.

Brooke said...

After reading a couple of YA duds, I think this one sounds refreshing even if it's predictable.

Jenners said...

I just love the idea behind this too. It sounds delightful but not like great lit or anything. Still, delightful is just what I want sometimes.

Carrie K. said...

Yeah, I didn't mind the predictability, either - I think because the story had me hooked and I liked the characters so much.

Trisha said...

You are my kind of woman. I saw a review of this awhile ago that said it was inappropriate for kids under 16 or 17! I love that you put 13 or 14.

heidenkind said...

This sounds kind of fun! I'm glad I didn't get to see my FaceBook when I was a teenager. :P

Amy said...

This book sounds cute and fun. I love the use of Facebook as a fortunteller of sorts. I think this would make a great vacation or read or late night/insomnia entertainment!

Molly said...

What a terrific concept! I have yet to read 13 Reasons Why - although it is sitting on my bookshelf just waiting patiently (perhaps as a part of CBs challenge I should take it down...)

It sounds like it might be the kind of book that I would enjoy reading from the library, but perhaps I do not have to have it in my own personal collection.

Amy said...

I agree! This was a really fun, cute read.

Marie said...

it does sound like a fun book! i remmber it being popular at my former workplace.

Heather @ Book Addiction said...

I just finished reading this one today and I really liked it! It was totally fun and I didn't care about the "why" or the predictability of it either. I just enjoyed the time I spent with the book. :)

Meg said...

I enjoyed this one, too, though I agree it was pretty predictable. Still, I felt very happy and smiley by the close!

Julie P. said...

I think I might enjoy this one but I won't be sharing it with Booking Daughter yet!

Melissa said...

Sounds like an interesting premise...but with a 3.5 I think there are a lot of other books that will get read first.