Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: The Future of Us

Author: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Release Date: Nov 21st 2011 (US) / Jan 5th 2012 (AU)
Publisher: Razorbill / Simon & Schuster AU
Add it: Goodreads
It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present
When Josh gives Emma a free CD AOL CD he received in the mail, the pair use her new computer to log on to the world wide web.... and find a strange site called Facebook. It's 1996 and Facebook isn't even a  seed in the mind of Mark Zuckerberg. But somehow Emma has logged on.... to her account 15 years in the future. It's such an intriguing premise, using the internet to take a peek into your future. I found myself so compelled to learn what new updates Emma and Josh would find on their profiles and how it would affect them in the present. One ripple in time can change your future in astounding ways. A small thing like spilled water could have a domino effect and change who you marry or where you work.

I was surprised just how much the characters grew on me. Both Emma and Josh are engaging narrators. I loved watching as they matured and their emotions spiralled out of control both from Facebook and one another. Once best friends, Josh started to grow a crush on Emma which resulted in her rejecting him. Cue awkward tension that's lasted the past 6 months. Josh is still into Emma, but she doesn't feel the same way. It was so enjoyable to watch as they rekindled their friendship (with plenty of arguments along the way!) and for Emma to eventually come to terms with the fact that deep down, she might just have feelings for Josh too. Jay and Caroline captured all the awkwardness, confusion and raging emotions of teenage love perfectly.

Josh was a delightful character and it was often amusing reading from his perspective. Despite his disappointment and heartache over being rejected, he wasn't moping around. He still regretted that Emma rejected him, but that didn't mean he wasn't getting on with his life. While initially reluctant with Facebook, he saw what his future could offer and like Emma, that knowledge affected his daily interactions. Although his actions were sometimes a little less deliberate Emma's. He was trying to embrace his, whereas she was constantly trying to change hers because she didn't think she was happy based on her status updates. But we all know social networking sites are a breeding ground for whining (no offense anyone, but we ALL do it haha). She sometimes made stupid decisions that frustrated me, but in a good way, because she felt so realistically flawed. And I could relate to her growing obsession with the future, because I think curiousity would instantly overcome me and I'd be hitting that refresh button 50 times a day just to see if my life was as awesome as my overly exaggerated fantasies suggest it will be.

Knowledge is power. If you had foresight into the future and knew that one small thought or action could change things, would you actively try to alter it? Where would it end, though? It's a downward spiral if you become too invested. You're forever living to create the dream life you want, always looking forward, but never living in the now. The Future of Us is as much a thought-provoking novel as it is a fun and nostalgic look back at the 90's. Endearing characters, friendly nods to the past and a uniquely fascinating premise make this such an addictive read!

4/5 golden apples!

13 comments:

  1. tnx 4 sharing you're thoughts
    i need thois be i turn 20/why why do i need 2 age
    ^_^

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  2. The premise of this book has always intrigued me! Sounds so awesome, and Josh and Emma seem like great characters too. And of course, looking back at the 90s would be really fun as well. Really glad you liked this one Brodie, can't wait to read it! Great review :).

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  3. Great review. I loved this book so, so much. Jay Asher is a great writer!

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  4. Why does everything sound so much more intriguing when you talk about it? :) This book sounds so thought-provoking. I've always loved those settings where any sudden movements might alter the future entirely and this one sounds perfect! The 90s wasn't really my time period (LOL) but it would still be fun to read about! Great review :)

    Sonia

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  5. This sounds great! It's always interesting to find books talking about Social Networks and the future. The cover looks good too! Awesome review :)

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  6. I have to agree with Sonia; you make every book sound so much more intriguing!I'm glad it's a thought-provoking read - love books that make me wonder about things. Can't wait to get started on this :D It'd be interesting to read about life in the 90's, since I certainly don't remember much from that time period :S Awesome review <3

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  7. I definitely enjoyed the nostalgic parts in this book! I remember Shen AOL came out, I loved it! Do glad you enjoyed the book. :) this is the first time I've seen this covers, I love it as well!

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  8. I think I would love this novel and I know my co-blogger Nina liked The Future of Us. I have no trouble relating to a world where Internet is practically unknown. I remember so well when my siblings and I were younger and we begged our parents to give us twenty minutes online each Saturday and Monday LOL And NO facebook.

    Great review, Brodie.

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  9. I've done my review of Forgotten! Here's a link-
    http://wherethewritercomestowrite.blogspot.com/2011/12/forgotten-by-cat-patrick-review.html

    Romi.x

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  10. I'm even more psyched to read this now! I own it but haven't gotten around to reading it yet! It's so cool that it's set in a world in which the future is NOW, if you know what I mean :D Fantastic review! Yay for realistic and engaging narrators. Cannot wait to read this :D

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  11. Brodie, you just convinced me to get a copy really soon. Hehe
    Great review, by the way! ;)

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  12. Great review! I've read several good reviews on this one. I used to be a semi-Facebook addict (now I'm a tweetaddict) and I know what it's like to be into it. I'm so curious as to how this novel wraps around the idea of Facebook. It's interesting though - I would've freaked out if that happened to me!

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  13. Mwaha! I remember those free AOL CD's! They were awesome! And the AOL chatrooms! I spent HOURS AND HOURS in AOL chatrooms. Oh goodness, how old AM I?

    I've seen a few pretty amazing reviews for Future Of Us but seriously, this sounds UH. MAY. ZING.

    I'm gonna try grab a copy of this one... soon... Goodness knows when I'm gonna read it, but I want to OOOWWNN it XD

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