The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future of Us

It’s 1996 and less than half of all high school students have ever used the internet. Facebook will not be invented for another eight years.

Josh and Emma have been neighbours their whole lives, and best friends almost as long – at least, they were until last November, when everything changed. Things have been awkward ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mum makes him take it over so Emma can install it on her new computer. When the two friends log on, they discover their profiles on Facebook – fifteen years in the future.

Everyone wonders what their destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out. (Source – back of book)

I don’t normally read romance books that are just romance books. There’s always a hint of action or something else. However, The Future of Us really is a romance novel. Just putting that out there right now.

However, the idea is pretty inventive and cool. I was born in 1998, and never had a dial-up or anything (well, I probably did, just not in living memory). So, this book provides valuable insight into the near-past, which I am too young to know (gosh that makes me sound really naïve (which I am, but let’s not dwell on that)).

Emma seemed like your typical mood-swingy teenage girl, to be honest. She played with Josh’s emotions a bit during the middle of the book, just to see how it would ripple time (uh…you’ll understand) which I didn’t think helped her in being a particularly nice person. She has dated a few guys, but I wouldn’t say she was a player – more, lonely, almost. However, she did just choose them for their looks, and she could be pretty annoying and shallow. Perhaps jealous of her friends, Tyson and Kellan, who have an (almost) steady relationship.

Josh was a pretty nice guy. Laid-back, caring, and I like how he was the one who always looked at things in the long-term whereas Emma was like, “Yeah, what harm can this do?” He seemed to actually realise the implications of what they could be doing. I think this shows the two different types of potential time-travellers out there – the ones who think, “How bad can this be?” and the ones that think, “Pretty bad.”

I haven’t really read any time-travel books (although this doesn’t really count) and I liked how Asher and Mackler showed how the ripples in time worked and their effect on the future – kinda makes you think.

Speaking of Asher and Mackler, their writing style is very similar, which makes the book move in a fluid way. I kept forgetting it was written by two authors, and not one; it really doesn’t interfere with it. I’d definitely read another of their novels (either singularly or together).

However, I wish there had been more of Kellan and Tyson, who were the two main supporting characters. For the scenes they were in, they were great. But they weren’t in as many as I had wished.

The ending, albeit cliché, was very cute.

I recommend this to anyone who likes a romance and/or their Facebook. But it didn’t really hold much excitement for me, although I was kept turning the page (I don’t know why. It’s one of those books where you think (it’s not exciting, but I need to know what happens right now).


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