The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Macker

February 10, 2012

Plot summary (from the publisher): 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.

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • Josh and Emma were a couple that the reader could root for. Both had their flaws and were annoying at certain points, but they seemed destined to be together.
  • The concept of stumbling on Facebook as a future portal and glimpse into your life 15 years down the road was an intriguing one. It was funny how Emma and Josh thought it was absolutely insane to “put their lives” on the Internet like that. I agree with that sentiment, and imagine if Facebook had come around a decade earlier, it might not have exploded into a worldwide phenomenon.
  • This was a very quick read and didn’t get bogged down with a lot of unnecessary scenes.

Disliked:

  • Josh and Emma didn’t really exhibit behavior that is consistent with teenagers. I mean, they showed amazing self-control by ONLY looking at Facebook when the other was present and NOT looking up everyone they knew to see how that person life turned out. Really??? Looking up everyone in the school is the FIRST thing 99.9% of teens would do! Hell, adults would do it too!
  • When you get a glimpse into the future like that, would you really only be concerned about your future spouse, whether or not you were happy, and food allergy information regarding your children? I doubt it. I’d look for posts on who won the Super Bowl or World Series in a certain year so I could make some cash!
  • I thought Emma acted way out of control in regards to Kellan’s future child. Emma herself said that Kellan seemed really happy with Lindsay, so WHY would Emma go out of her way to prevent Kellan from having sex and/or getting pregnant in high school? That was really none of her damn business.
  • I felt the book should have ended with a final glimpse into the future so we could see what became of Josh and Emma. Were they together still? Were they at least Facebook friends? That would have tied things up nicely.

Rating:
I downloaded this audiobook from my public library and didn’t realize it was a Young Adult title until I started listening to it. This would probably appeal more to the target audience than it did to me, but I thought it was a bit simplistic in places and fairly shallow overall. I give this one 3 stars out of 5.

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