Monday, 20 February 2012

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

The Future of Us
Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Publication date: 21st Nov 2011

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbours 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.

"If you want," I say, mainly to fill the silence, "you can come over and try AOL sometime."
Josh pushes his hair away from his eyes. "Tyson says it's awesome. He says it'll change your life."
"Right, but he also thinks every episode of Friends is life-changing."

The Future of Us is a bit of a blast from the past. I loved all the 1992 references: AOL's "You've got mail," thinking Wayne's World phrases were hilariously funny and the dodgy music. It reminded me of when I got my first computer at University and thought the underwater fish screen saver was amazing.

I loved the idea that by installing AOL Emma and Josh someone how end up seeing their future via their future selves Facebook posts. Their amazement and confusion at Facebook made me laugh.

"I don't know exactly what it is, but it looks like interconnected websites where people post their photos and write about everything going on in their lives, like whether they found a parking spot or what they ate for breakfast."
"But why?" Josh asks

Good question Josh. It does sound completely mental when you think about it, that we all update our Facebook status with every minor detail of our lives, often personal stuff we wouldn't tell our own mums.

Although I loved Josh, he was sweet, sensible and fairly chilled out, Emma drove me mad. I just wanted her to get a grip and work out that the perfect guy was right under her nose if she would just give him a chance. Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler's teenagers were spot on and I chuckled along throughout the whole book.

My rating: A blast from the past- 3.5 out of 5

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