Book Review: The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

THE FUTURE OF US by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Publication Date: November 21st 2011 by Razorbill
Rating: |

Summary: It s 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have never 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.

Review Overview:

  • Alternating perspectives with fantastic characters
  • Culturally relevant but at the same time a blast into the past of the 90’s
  • I can’t wait to buy the finished copy and reread!

If I could describe THE FUTURE OF US using a movie, the obvious choice would be The Social Network. The plots are no where near similar, but the the lasting feeling that I got from watching the film and reading THE FUTURE OF US was the same. I was able to relate to these characters, partially because of a website, but mostly because of the well-written characters.

I admit that I knew nothing about this book before I snatched it up at BEA. I picked it up randomly since I hadn’t read any of Jay Asher’s other works and at the time, I had no idea that he co-wrote it with Carolyn Mackler. When I finally went through my books later that afternoon, I knew that I had something epic when I read the book’s summary. Josh and Emma discover the wonders of Facebook. The problem is, it’s fifteen years in the past just when dial-up Internet is starting to get popular. They discover themselves on Facebook, and at first it’s a bit of a shock.

Asher and Mackler provided me an insight into a world before the technology boom that we have today. I know that the Internet wasn’t widely used in the 90’s. I learned all about it in my Media Studies class this past spring semester – but I wasn’t thrust into their world when I read my media textbook. THE FUTURE OF US is a historical read in a sense where teens were just dying to have beepers – not even cellphones! – and couldn’t talk via Instant Messenger because the people who had IM was very limited. It was definitely a flashback into the past.

I loved the alternating perspectives between Emma and Josh. It made both so relatable knowing what was going on inside their heads. It was so fun to root for the main characters and read about them toy with the destinies. The book is also laugh out loud funny. Just the silly observations that Emma makes about Facebook had me cracking up. Yes, in reality there’s no way a person could have over 350 friends. Emma and Josh had fantastic chemistry and I loved every scene that the two best friends were in.

Since I did get an ARC of this book in May at BEA, I feel like there still could be (and probably will be) substantial changes to the book. This is one of the reasons why I am so excited for this book’s actual release. The changes that can be made can only strengthen the novel and make it even better.

I loved THE FUTURE OF US because it is so culturally relevant at the moment. It made me question my actions online and hesitate before I post a silly Facebook status. THE FUTURE OF US was such a fun read. I hated to put it down, and I wish I could have put my life on hold so I could gobble it up in one sitting. THE FUTURE OF US is a fantastic concept with equally brilliant execution. Do not miss out on this one!

About the Authors

Except for six months in Wyoming, Jay Asher has lived his entire life in California. It was during those six months in Sheridan, Wyoming that he came up with the idea for Thirteen Reasons Why. He has worked at an independent bookstore, a chain bookstore, an outlet bookstore, and two public libraries. Before those jobs, he worked at a shoe store, a trophy shop, and an airline. His very first writing award earned him a free fruit smoothie every day for a year. He has won a lot of awards since then, but that one tasted the best!

Carolyn graduated from Vassar College. When her book The Earth My Butt and Other Big Round Things was named as one of ALAs Top Ten Banned Books of 2006, Carolyn became an advocate against banning books. She lives with her husband and son in New York City.

Find Jay Asher

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Find Carolyn Mackler

Website | Twitter | GoodReads


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