Review: The Future of Us

The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Release Date ~ November 21, 2011
Razorbill ~ Penguin
ISBN13:  9781595144911
Review copy received from Penguin Canada
Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

The Future of Us is a very different book; told from dual perspectives of two former friends who stumble across a secret that brings them together, as they try to sort out what this secret means for their futures.

But it raises a lot of questions for the reader to ask themselves, and includes a healthy dose of nostalgia that will endear many readers to this story.
  1. Great 90s nostalgia:
    This is reason enough to read The Future of Us. If you grew up in the 90s (even if you were a baby like I was, since I was only born in late 1990) you will love the descriptions of the 90s lifestyle. There are so many pop culture references that brough to my mind all these old memories. I LOVED that, and it's a great way to revisit memory lane with a nostalgic feel. But even for those who didn't grow up in the 90s, you can still get a good chuckle out of it imaginging that at one point in time, scrunchies were actually cool.
  2. A message that will make you reflect upon yourself:
    I actually really loved the overall message that came across; it's much more than just a fun book, and I think Jay and Carolyn did a great job bringing up some questions for readers to ask themselves about how they live their lives. I appreciate it when books incorporate a deeper meaning and have characters make some thoughtful considerations that the reader can identify with.
  3. Widespread appeal:
    I think a lot of readers are going to be interestted in this one, because it doesn't fit neatly into a little niche category. It's told from dual gender perspectives, which really fleshes out the story and between Josh and Emma's personalities most readers will be able to strongly identify with one of the characters. The nostalgia it brings will appeal to older readers, and I would suggest even those who don't typically read YA. But it's unique premise and excellent writing will hold the interest of younger readers as well.
But I did find the story to be just a bit far fetched for me to fully buy into it; I enjoyed it thorougly while I was reading, but I also had a lot of questions that really aren't answered. They clearly aren't important to the story, but I really would have loved to have found out why the events in The Future of Us transpired, even though the story revolves around other related issues. But it was such a strange phenomenon that I couldn't fully enjoy the story without any sort of reason for it occuring- I really like background for stories.

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Christina Kit. said...

I absolutely loved The Future of Us! Josh is one of my favorite characters, and I too agree with you that there are some very deep issues and themes in this story.

I kept thinking, if I saw my future, what would I do? Would I change it? Accept it? Would knowing change it?

It's such a unique premise and both these authors are so very talented that it's no wonder this was such a great book.

ccfioriole at gmail dot com

Angkarina said...

I haven't read this book yet, but I have it on my bookshelf. I bought it on a splurge when I read the first few pages at a friend's.
Aaah, your blog keeps reminding me of all the books in my bookcase that I NEED to read (& buy haha).
I probably need a new bookcase too, with all those book currently lying in heaps on the floor...Thanks for the review!

angkarina_angkasuwan at hotmail dot com

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I thought this was a really cute book, but there were a lot of things that I felt were just kind of glossed over and that I really wanted more of an explanation, like the whole thing with her friend. It was fun just for the 90's nostalgia though!

Lexie said...

I've been debating whether or not to read this one--I've heard some iffy things and some awesome things. But I think I may have to pick it up, even if it's not going to be the most fabulous thing ever. Awesome review. :D


ChristasBooks said...

This was a really fun book, but it just didn't have the depth I was expecting - especially after reading 13 Reasons Why. But you're right the nostalgia was fun!

franchie15 said...

Great 90's Nostalgia! Very great reason! :)


Unknown said...

I've heard sort of mixed reviews on this one, but I like the sound of it. I also was born in late 1990, and I remember a lot of the things referenced in the synopsis. Maybe if I'm looking for a fun, easy book I'll pick this one up :)

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