What’s a blog?
In The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler set way back in 1996, some glitch with Emma’s AOL CD allows her to see her Facebook page. Freaked out, she shares her page with her estranged male best friend and neighbor, Josh.
What I Liked
– Obvs, I liked all of the ’90s references. I also quite dig that Emma and I are the same age. AND that this book is set the year I graduated from high school. Class of ’96, represent!
– I also liked them trying to understand Facebook and future technology in general. My favorite quote is “What’s a blog?” because blogs are everything! I am using one right now! But if you had told me that back in 1996, I would’ve reacted just like Josh.
– Even though this book involves time travel, the novel stays firmly grounded in contemporary realism. I guess because the future is all glimpses through the real life internet…that won’t exist for fifteen years. Hmm. What I’m saying is, I’d be very, very reluctant to call this novel sci-fi in any way, shape, or form. I mean, it’s speculative but not on any grand scale.
– Emma and Josh have different reactions and responses to their future selves and even knowing about their future lives.
– I was going to say that Emma clearly has never seen That’s So Raven because if she had she would know that trying to change the future can sometimes lead to the thing you’re trying to change, but, OH YEAH, THAT’S SO RAVEN DOESN’T EXIST YET.
– Discman! Dial up! Going to do something else while the internet boots up! Using a CD-ROM to load AOL! AOL! AOL DISCS THAT COME IN THE MAIL. All of those things were great for me because, duh, teen of the ’90s.
– Okay, okay, setting aside, I really enjoy the character work here. It took me a while to really get into the story, but after a certain point I was hooked and really wanted to find out what would happen with Emma and Josh, even if the ending was predictable.
– Loved the two best friends, Tyson and Kellan (I think; I returned the book already). I also liked seeing glimpses into their futures.
– I like that the future remains unresolved. (I don’t think that’s a spoiler; that’s basically the conceit of the entire book.)
What I Didn’t Like
– The book is all concerned with boyfriends and girlfriends and “I’m married in the future and unhappy, so clearly it’s because of my mate choices!” And there’s so much more to delve into here. Josh finds out something pretty big about his brother that isn’t really dealt with. Emma has more issues than Time magazine, yet instead of addressing any of that in a significant way…boys, boys, boys. I don’t mind teen romance at all, but this seemed to want to do more than that.
In conclusion: Great premise with interesting characters, I just wish it would’ve gone a little deeper.