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review 2016-02-13 15:31
Review of The Future Of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
The Future of Us - Jay Asher,Carolyn Mackler

**SPOILER FREE**

 

I really loved this book guys! 

 

So the year is 1996. Emma and Josh have been friends and neighbors their whole lives, until everything changed the year before. Emma has just been given her first computer, and when Josh gets an American Online CD-ROM his parents make him give it to Emma. When Emma downloads it on her new computer and logs in, she is automatically logged into Facebook. The only problem is, Facebook hasn't been created yet. Josh and Emma are able to see their entire lives 15 years into the future. They find that every move they make has the power to change their entire lives.

 

One of the reasons I loved this one was for all of the 90s references. Everything from the opening night of Toy Story to the Bill Clinton scandal. I loved the humor and sarcasm that was written into this book. It takes jabs at Facebook and how people literally write their entire life story on their page. 

 

I enjoyed reading from both Emma and Josh's perspectives. I found them both very relatable. I was rooting for them and their personal development. I loved how at the end we really saw Josh and Emma's development from the beginning. They learned to confront their feelings and what they are doing right and wrong in the present. 

 

Would definitely recommend! 

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text 2016-02-13 02:57
Reading progress update: I've read 275 out of 356 pages.
The Future of Us - Jay Asher,Carolyn Mackler

This book is too funny!

 

Ahhh the 90s

 

"Tyson's dad leans forward and presses the power button on the TV. Two men appear on CNN, arguing about President Clinton and sex."

 

"You ejected our blank tape to watch Wayne's World," my mom says, pressing her lips tight. 

I shrug. Maybe I ejected a tape. I cant remember.

"We were taping Seinfeld," she says. "We had it programmed."

"I'm sorry."

"We tape it every Thursday, Emma. You know that. Martin and I are concerned about your lack of respect for this house."

 

I LAUGHED SO HARD

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text 2016-02-12 01:23
Reading progress update: I've read 94 out of 356 pages.
The Future of Us - Jay Asher,Carolyn Mackler

I'm Loving the 90s references in this one! Friends, Papasan chairs, walkmans, and the opening night of Toy Story. Loving it so far!

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review 2015-09-30 08:22
The Future of Us/Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
The Future of Us - Jay Asher,Carolyn Mackler

What if you could see how your life would unfold--just by clicking a button?
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.

 

With an incredibly sweet story, this book was touching and had an interesting glimpse to the butterfly effect.

 

I really enjoyed this one, and it left me with that strong feeling of love that makes your heart clench a little bit. Though it wasn't particularly complex or deep, it was a very well told love story.

 

Seeing the two with their various goals and desires was intriguing, and though the whole book was leading in one specific direction, I still had the urgent desire to read to find out what would happen. The conflicts between the two felt very real.

 

I loved Josh as a male YA character--he seemed to stand out from the crowd and though his voice felt real, he also didn't feel like the stereotypical jock guy that a lot of central YA boys do.

 

It was also fun seeing what people might have thought about Facebook upon seeing it today. I feel like Emma was also growing up in her various futures.

 

The ending was obviously predictable, but this didn't take away from how incredibly sweet it was. I may or may not have shed a few tears.

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review 2015-08-17 16:44
Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler - The Future of Us
The Future of Us - Jay Asher,Carolyn Mackler

The amount of people registered on Facebook is higher than the population of any country. Ever since the internet’s inception, its been affecting our speech and thinking. Popular sites are especially effective at this. The whole ‘intellectual property’ discussion became huge thanks piracy. File sharing sites proved there’s something between selling and buying. Social networks became an essential part of people’s lives. Facebook is perhaps the most important one. We expect pretty much anyone to have a Facebook account, just like we expect anyone to have a phone number. If you don’t think Facebook deserves to be a center for a novel, you and the zeitgeist are probably not on speaking terms.

 

The premise of The Future of Us can sure sound gimmicky, but exactly because it’s Facebook that has the potential to be great. It doesn’t get there, but that’s because the authors are hesitant to try hard enough. They got enough confidence and intention to not make this a typical romantic comedy, even if the tropes appear often. The novel is more concerned with the characters and the themes than trying to great a romantic thrill, but not enough.

 

The novel’s highlights are the descriptions of the relationship with Facebook. Facebook plays a different role in this story. It serves as some sort of prophet, rather than a social networking site. Yet the character’s relationship with it mirrors ours. They’re obsessed with their future selves like one will be obsessed with a crush. They look at the surface details, base their whole conclusions on them and do what they can to change them.

 

Despite being a culture with a lot less internet, Facebook quickly takes the same power it has on them like it has on us. That’s because it’s a site that allows you to get easy and quick information about other people. It allows you sum yourself up in a few statuses and pictures. It would have been successful during any time. The desire to know others and expose ourselves was always there. It’s what communication’s all about. It’s not unique to an internet-obsessed culture like us.

 

It also helps to have good two leads. Emma and Josh aren’t boring romantic leads. They’re two people, each with their own distinct view on things. It especially helps how Mackler breaks stereotypes without really trying. Emma’s existence isn’t one guy. In fact, she’s a fairly promiscous and sexually open person. It’s not presented as something to be cured, or as something bold that makes Emma a feminist icon. It’s to give her a different worldview than Josh.

 

Josh isn’t just the nice guy that the girl needs to grow up in order to appreciate. By the time he becomes the right choice for Emma, it’s less because ‘he’s not a jerk’ and more because of the relationship between them and his other qualities. Asher didn’t write him as a martyred nice guy, but as a more laid-back person that counters Emma’s ambitions.

 

Having the right ingridients isn’t enough though. Asher and Mackler are competent, but there’s nothing here that raises the novel above merely ‘good’. It may be the prose, which flows well and is free from bullshit, but contains no unique voice or insight to the characters. It may that the side characters don’t have a life outside the plot, and they exist mostly to be the wise men who give the main character’s advice.

 

The plotting is also generic. There’s a side-plot that feels very out of place. It felt like it was ripped from an old draft that was written more like a comic thriller. It may worked there, but the end result aims for something much deeper, so the sudden shift in tone doesn’t help. The progress of the romance is also disappointing. It’s more natural than most novels, and the authors don’t commit the sin of having the characters suddenly decide they’re in love. Yet, by the time they are, there isn’t enough basis for their relationships. There’s enough for them to be good friends, but they make unconvincing lovers.

 

There is room in the world for novels like this though. It’s not one that uses ‘light hearted’as an excuse to cover up flaws. It’s a genuinely entertaining story with good characters and interesting themes. It may not do more than that, but masterpieces can be exhausting. If romance or the internet are subjects you’re into, there’s more to enjoy than get angry at inThe Future of Us.

 

3 likes out of 5

Also posted in my blog:

https://allcoloursdotorg.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/jay-asher-carolyn-mackler-the-future-of-us/

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