Review: The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

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Okay, so this is hard.

One of my main reasons for wanting to start a book blog was because there are SO MANY great books out there, and I have so few people to talk about them with in real life, and sometimes I just want to shout from the rooftops how great certain books are!

This is not one of those books.

And I don’t want to be all rant-y about it, and discourage someone from potentially reading this book because, well, that would just be awful of me, wouldn’t it?

But I also feel this obligation to be honest…

I think it’s awfully presumptuous of me to assume that there is anyone reading this right now, but is this something that other book bloggers struggle with?  How do you handle it?

Here’s my attempt…

What I liked

The concept!  It’s 1996, and Emma and Josh are next-door-neighbors and besties.  Or they were, up until Josh puts the moves on Emma and she shuts him down.  Now things are a bit awkward.  But anyway, Emma’s dad gives her a computer because he’s moved away and started a new family and feels guilty about that.  And then Josh gives her a CD-ROM with 100 hours of access to AOL.  When Emma logs on, Facebook magically appears from fifteen years in the future.  She can see profiles and status updates, and basically anything you might want to know about what you’re up to in fifteen years.

When I read the blurb, I had visions of Big and 13 Going On 3o in my head.  What a fantastic idea!  I loved it!  Then, I read it.

The nostalgia!  I feel like I would have enjoyed this book even less if I hadn’t gotten all of the ’90s pop culture references.

What I didn’t like

Emma.  She is such an unlikeable character.  When she sees what her future holds, and how unhappy she is, she sets out to alter it.  Which is totally fine, I would do the same (who wouldn’t?), but she doesn’t take anyone else’s future into consideration in the process.  She is just totally self-serving.  Also, she’s not that great of a friend.  I found myself wondering what Josh really sees in her?

The (lack of a) plot.  I feel like so much could have been done with this idea!  I mean, think about it.  If you knew where you were going to be in fifteen years time, and had the opportunity to change it in some way, to do things differently, to make your life better in some way, what would you do?  Ahhh, I feel like there could have been so many amazing stories that could have been told!  I’m calling a do-over.

This is no fault of the authors, but there were quite a lot of typos in this book.  I can forgive the occasional misspelled word, or even the omission of a pronoun.  But on page 351 of this book, there is this sentence: “He places both hands on the .”  Wait, wha?  Did I miss something…?  I’d like to know what copy editor was asleep at the wheel for this book.

Would I recommend it?

If you read this review, and this book still sounds intriguing to you, absolutely!

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