Release Date: November 21, 2011
Age Level: Young Adult
Recommend? I recommend this to fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher's first novel.
It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.
Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.
Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.
Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler was unlike anything I had ever read. Set in the mid-90s, it gave nostalgic feelings to back when I received my very own first email and copy of AOL.
The travel though time theme in The Future of Us is done very uniquely-- through the internet and more specifically, Facebook. While the connection between the two main characters lack chemistry, in my opinion, there were a lot of other factors that made this book enjoyable. Having grown up in the 90s myself, the nostalgia factor was part of this. The pop culture references made this book that much more enjoyable.
The lack of chemistry and interesting lead characters is a huge flaw in The Future of Us. You are expecting more until the very last page, to which you are sorely disappointed. Jay Asher's first book (which was also a stand alone novel), Thirteen Reasons Why, gave me huge expectations when going int The Future of Us to which I was left without fulfillment. I felt as though everything that made Thirteen Reasons Why great was lacking from The Future of us, especially a successful ending to which I believe Thirteen Reasons Why contains, but The Future of Us was lacking.
While I am familiar with Jay Asher's other novel Thirteen Reasons Why, I have not read any of Carolyn Mackler's previous novels. I am always skeptical when it comes to co-authored books since sometimes you can feel the dual natures of the authors, but in The Future of Us's case, I was unable to differentiate the voices and felt no such dual personality from it.
There are several reasons I did not particularity like Emma's character. A lot of the reasons she did things and even the crushes she had on particular boys felt unnatural to me. She was a character I had a hard time relating to, which is always a problem for me when I read novels. I usually try to find ways to relate to characters or somehow get an understanding of a character, but in Emma's case, I was unable to do so. It is hard reading through a novel where the main character is alien to you. I had a better time getting an understanding of Josh, to which I was relieved.
My favorite scenes in The Future of Us were those that involved the minor characters. There was a bonfire scene that not only put a lot of insight into certain characters and their development, but allowed our main characters to interact outside of their comfort zone, which always adds a different layer of characterization.
The Facebook aspect of this novel is very interesting and unique. Social networking in today's world is very common, but in the early to mid 90s, we had really never heard of it. However, the idea of being able to see into your own future Facebook, and within that your future self, is interesting to me. To see not only what you look like and are currently up to and observing how everything you do in the present affects what happens in the future would be a jarring experience. Prior to this novel, I had never seen anyone utilize the idea of Facebook as a portal into our future were our past selves able to glimpse it and how that would have affected our lives, say if we believed ourselves to be unhappy.
I enjoyed The Future of Us and look forward to reading more from both Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler.
Source: Purchased from store.
Source: Purchased from store.