Monday, 3 February 2014

Caragh Reviews - The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Caroline Mackler

Published - 5th January 2012
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Format -Paperback
Synopsis - It's 1996 and very few high school students have ever used the internet. Facebook will not be invented until several years in the future. Emma just got a computer and an America Online CD. She and her best friend Josh power it up and log on - and discover themselves on Facebook in 2011. Everybody wonders what they'll be like fifteen years in the future. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

Not too long ago I read Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and it really impressed me! So when I saw this for £1 in a local bookstore I had to have it and I read it pretty much immediately. I was born at the end of the 80's so I grew up without the internet and I remember it's impact as it started filtering into our every day lives and in peoples homes rather than at school. My first internet provider was also AOL and so this was right up my street.

The idea of not just being able to get glimpses of your future but through Facebook is terrifying and insane. I wonder what my past self would have thought if I could see the Facebook status's I post about my life now. I probably would have given up all hope! That's the beauty of this book, and it's really moralistic. Context is everything. Sure, if all I saw of my future was how I have baby food in my hair and no social life to speak of, i'd probably want to do everything I could to make my future a little bit more pleasing but in reality - I probably was happy about that. 

The Future of Us had so much potential that I scrambled to the end to get the satisfied feeling I was craving from this book. It just...sort of didn't happen. I did enjoy it! It was a fun, quick read but I felt like it really missed an opportunity to do something amazing. Instead, The Future of Us focuses on the petty romance/friendship between Josh and Emma and perhaps more infuriating - Emma's obsession with having a good husband. Somebody should inform the writers that a girl does not equate her lifetime happiness with whether she has a decent husband to make her happy. I thought that perhaps Emma would see the error of her ways and realise that she doesn't NEED that man to have a happy future - but she doesn't. The teens do learn valuable lessons of course - live for the moment and see what the future brings. It was just disappointing that both in the present and the future, these two kids are preoccupied with being in love. I'm not sure if it's a book I would really recommend to people unless they specifically wanted something like this but it was cheap and passed a couple of hours so it wasn't too bad.

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