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.
** Finished copy received by Penguin Group Canada**
I was nine in 1996 so I feel like it's safe for me to say that I don't remember much about the invention of the Internet, nor AOL for that matter. I also should say that I can barely remember life before the Internet. What I know is that the Internet was a fairly prevalent role in the lives of many by the time I turned thirteen in 2000, and when I graduated high school in 2005 the majority of my friends were on Facebook, and it was the "cool" thing to have at the time. So to imagine a life where the Internet isn't all the important in the lives of teens a little difficult. Which is what I had to do in The Future of Us.
I had read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher earlier this year and it totally broke my heart. It was one of the most powerful books I have had the chance to read. The story Jay Asher told in that book was incredible as was his writing. So when I heard that he was collaborating with Carolyn Mackler in creating The Future of Us, I was excited, however, I was also a little disappointed. I was hoping for more from just him and I wasn't sure how I felt about literary collaborations. I hadn't read anything by Carolyn Mackler before (however I do have her novel Tangled on my wishlist/to read someday list). I have to say, I had nothing to be nervous about. The Future of Us was a fantastic read. I really, really liked it.
The Future of Us introduces us to Emma, and sixteen year old girl who has just received a computer for the first time and now had 100 free hours of Internet use. We also meet Josh, Emma's next door neighbour and one time best friend. When Emma log's onto the Internet for the first time, she discovers Facebook (which has not been created yet) and herself fifteen years in the future. After some initial confusion, Emma shares this discovery with Josh, and together they explore the site.
I found this concept to be refreshing and original. I loved the characters and how they interacted with one another. Some found Emma annoying and self serving, I found her hilarious and a little neurotic, but in a good way. I liked Josh and how he was able to handle Emma. Even when they weren't getting along he worried about her, and her well being. It was cute. The story itself had me laughing out loud a number of times, and I loved that. I really found The Future of Us really funny, and I frequently found myself wondering "what if?"
I was pleasantly surprised with The Future of Us, as I loved the story that Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler created. Much thanks to Penguin Group Canada for the opportunity to read this book. The Future of Us is available now, wherever books are sold (do I sound like a commercial?).
~Happy Reading Everyone!