The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Published by Razorbill. an imprint of Penguin
Emma and Josh have been neighbors and best friends almost their entire lives, but recently things have been weird and awkward between the two of them, so they haven’t been hanging out as much. The year is 1996, and Josh gets a free AOL CD, which his mom tells him to take over to Emma’s so she can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they are taken immediately to Emma’s Facebook page – which is strange, since Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. They quickly discover they have been granted a peek into their lives fifteen years in the future. Each time they refresh their pages, they realize that the decisions they are making in the present day have drastic consequences for their future. As they become obsessed with their future selves, they are forced to deal with the decisions they are making in the here and now.
The Future of Us was SUCH a fun read! There are so many adorable things about this one that I’m not sure to start. Obviously the book requires some suspension of disbelief because the concept of a computer that takes you to a website that hasn’t been created yet isn’t exactly realistic. But it’s fun, for sure. And if you can get past that, you are in for a nice treat with this one.
I loved all the ’90’s references – so much of this book reminded me of my own childhood. While I have to admit that I didn’t have a computer until college, I remember the excitement of dialing in to AOL while at friends’ homes and the endless arguments with friends’ parents about tying up the phone line while we were in chat rooms for hours (what we were actually chatting about, I haven’t a clue, now that I think about it). I loved the concept, and I think that Asher and Mackler executed it extremely well. I loved how Mackler and Asher did such a good job showing how Emma and Josh’s actions and decisions had huge consequences for their futures. It was an interesting take on the idea of time travel, and it worked really well.
And Josh and Emma are so adorable! I loved the idea of them going from being best friends all their lives to barely speaking in their teen years, and this Facebook thing brought them back together again. I have to admit that the ending to this one is a bit predictable, but I also enjoyed where the story went so I didn’t mind.
I enjoyed The Future of Us immensely. Recommended for fans of YA novels.