The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Publication Date: November 21, 2011
Source: Purchased the hardcover on Amazon
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 was one of those books that I couldn’t put down until I finished! It’s such a unique idea — two teens in 1996 put their AOL CD-Rom into their computer, only to discover that they can log into their Facebook pages from 15 years in the future. I loved all the references to 90’s stuff! I was pretty young in the 90’s, but I definitely remember the days when downloading AOL to your computer took 98 minutes, going online required hogging up one of the telephone lines, and you listened to music on a Discman instead of an iPod.
One thing I love about time travel stories (or peeking into the future in this case) is that the reader sees how everything you do in the present affects the future. This book does a great job at showing how the decisions the two main characters make determines how their lives end up. With one changed decision and one press of the refresh button, everything can change — from their future spouse, children, job, etc. I loved seeing the consequences of their actions! There’s also a lot of humor thrown in, and I found myself smiling a lot while reading this book. For example, in 1996, Emma reads a future Facebook status update she wrote in her car, and she wonders how people have computers in their cars in the future. (They can’t even imagine the concept of an iPhone!) Josh sees a Facebook status someone wrote where they say, “Poor Pluto,” and wonders if Pluto got hit by an asteroid or something. This book was just lots of fun to read!
Another aspect of this book that I loved was the relationship between the two main characters, Emma and Josh. Even though they lived in 1996, they still felt like contemporary teens. They’re next door neighbors and have been friends for their whole lives, so their relationship was genuine, and I was rooting for them to get together the whole time I was reading.
The Future of Us was one of my favorite books of 2011. It’s fresh, quick, and original, and is a book you don’t want to miss!
Ooh I just got this one in the mail today I was so excited I heard nothing but great reviews about it!!
They are controlling their destiny plus the other people around them. If there is one thing to take from this book, I hope this it: what you do effects others and not just yourself. I think if kids/people today realize this perhaps they might choose different behaviors.
It was a fast read so I think it should be something you read and it just might make you think differently.