Friday, November 29, 2013

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

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Goodreads Summary
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.


So I think I avoided this book for a while before I finally decided to pick it up at the library. I had read 13 Reasons Why a while ago and I guess because I don't remember too much of it, I assumed the same would happen with this book. Regardless, I picked it up and I'm glad I did.

I really liked Josh from the beginning. Emma? It took me a while to get used to her. But eventually she grew on me, too. Both of them annoyed me at times. But if I were in the same position... I can't say I blame them.
Josh, for example. He ends up married to some rich, apparently hot girl. It's sweet of him to realize that she's a real person. But it was so annoying to see how long that took. He was so focused on being married to her and having kids and being "successful". Can I understand? Sure, I guess. Who wouldn't want an attractive spouse and a big house and beautiful twins? It was just hard to reconcile that future with what was going on in the present.
Emma was more annoying, though. She denied a very obvious fact. Right from the beginning. And then she was upset about her future. I get that a woman shouldn't have to give up her happiness for a guy. Example: in one future, she becomes a marine biologist but has to move far from the ocean because of her husband. I can see why that's upsetting. She's not happy in the future. But what did she expect? In the present she's shunning her best friend and has a crush on some jerk.
Like I said, it's understandable. I still love them, because they're real. These are real issues, you know?

It started off slow, what with the plot and character building. I was lost for a few pages, because I was trying to figure what the heck had happened to Emma and Josh. But then it was revealed and my annoyance subsided and I realize it wasn't so bad. It was a good little mystery.
The whole concept was intriguing. Especially with all the twists and turns. The futures Josh and Emma "originally" had (I use this word loosely because everyone who's read about time travel knows how complicated it can get) were pretty crazy. Josh is totally excited for his, but Emma is totally not. So she does everything she can to change it and...
Well I won't give the plot away, but I thought it was pretty believable. If you're not happy with your future, you're going to try to change it. If you're not happy, you're going to do whatever you can to not change anything.
That being said, it was a really great book. I enjoyed it very much.

Side note:
This book made me think a lot about the future. What do I want? How far would I go to change it?
It also made me think about the present. What am I doing now that could negatively affect my future? What should I do, or not do, to positively affect my future?
Now, some of these are obvious. Don't do drugs, stay in school, all that good stuff. But I mean other than that. Who are my real friends? Who's friend's kids will call me their aunt? You know?
What kind of person do I want to marry? Do I already know that person? Should I have to make sacrifices to be with that person?
Good questions for later.

Rating: 4 stars

Why: Really enjoyable. It made me think a bit. I didn't absolutely fall in love with it, but I do like it a lot.

Recommendation: Contemporary readers. Sci-fi readers. Mainly people who like time travel and romance.

Favorite quotes:

“"I don't know exactly what it is, but it looks like interconnected websites where people show their photos and write about everything going on in their lives, like whether they found a parking spot or what they ate for breakfast."
"But why?" Josh asks.”  

“Why does it say she has three hundred and twenty friends?" Josh asks. "Who has that many friends?”  

“What the hell happened to Pluto?!”  

“How can you call it love when it hurt you so badly?"
"It was love because it was worth it.”  

“I've always protected myself when it comes to love. And maybe that's the problem. By not letting myself get hurt now, it ripples into much bigger pain later.”

“If I had a chance with him, I missed it. No, I didn't miss it. I threw it away.”

“People grow apart, and sometimes, there nothing anyone can do about it.”  

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