Friday, November 18, 2011

Future of Us (fiction)

Oooh, tell me about my future!!
I'll have hundreds and hundreds of friends!?
I'll look like that in 15 years?
I'll be incredibly... miserable?

Seeing into the future is a form of time travel, and best friends Josh and Emma have stumbled onto a window into their own destinies through an AOL disk and a dial-up modem.

Somehow, the view from 1996 (when getting online is new to most teens) into their adult lives isn't as rosy as they'd hoped. Emma decides to try and tweak her future by making some changes right now, checking that Facebook thingie to see how it works.

There are two distinct voices in this book, as Carolyn Mackler writes Emma's chapters and Jay Asher writes Josh's, alternating to tell their story.

You can become a fan of the book on Facebook, of course! The Future of Us is being released on Monday, November 21, 2011, and Warner Brothers has already purchased the film rights.

Book info: The Future of Us / Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler. Razorbill, 2011. [Jay's blog] [Carolyn's website] [publisher site] [book trailer]

Recommendation: Events from 15 years in her future are the last things that Emma expects from her new computer in 1996! A birthday gift from her dad and stepmom, it even has an internal modem to dial-up and “get online” so her best friend Josh brings over an AOL install CD-ROM.

After dialing up on mom’s phoneline, Emma gets an AOL “welcome” message and something called Facebook with pictures of all these people she doesn’t know. Curious, she searches for other Emma Nelsons on the Facebook and finds one, someone who went to her high school, who has the same birthday, whose picture looks exactly like Emma…15 years older! This Emma has a rotten husband – you can tell by her messages to her “friends” (who could have hundreds of friends?). And the future Josh is married to the most popular girl at their high school! Josh, who’s too shy to talk to anyone except Emma and his best friend Tyson?!

Getting ready for the track meet, telling her boyfriend Graham that it’s all over, Emma wonders if she’s been pranked somehow with this Facebook thing. But when she tears up her application to the college that the future Emma attended, suddenly the Facebook entries are different. The future Emma is less-stressed about her husband (a different one!), but unhappy about her work… hmmm.

As Emma’s updates on the Facebook site change, Josh decides that he’d better start making his big-house-and-a-boat future come true, so he gets up the nerve to ask beautiful Sydney on a date. Never mind his long-hidden feelings for Emma and that awkward try at kissing her a few months ago.

So, can Emma completely alter her own destiny just by changing a few things now? Is Sydney going to be the best thing that ever happened to Josh? Do they really want to know ahead of time about their futures or would they rather go back to the way things were before?

Josh and Emma react to their view into the future in alternating chapters written by Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why) and Carolyn Mackler (Vegan Virgin Valentine and The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things) - would you want to know about your future? (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy courtesy of the publisher.


  1. This was such a great book... I was honestly surprised at how good it was. It helped me realize that YA is not drivel, puppy love sort of books. Great review!

  2. @Espana - just like every other genre, YA has great books, okay books, and tons of copycat so-so books. I highlight the best ones here (you can't imagine the number of books that I read and don't recommend!) - and never give away the endings.



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