Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Future of Us

The Future of Us by Jay Asher, Carolyn Mackler
Paperback, 256 pages

Published January 5th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
(First published November 21st 2011)

My shelves: books-i-own, contemporary, magical-realism, 
read-in-2012, sci-fi, young-adult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads
It's 1996 and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Facebook will not be invented for several more years. Emma just got a computer and an America Online CD-ROM with 100 free hours. When she and her best friend Josh log on to AOL they discover themselves on Facebook... fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what life has in store for them. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

My Review

I was a little weary of picking this book up after having some issues with a central character, Hannah, in Asher's Thirteen Reason Why, and not having read anything by Mackler before. However, as soon as I heard the premise of this book, I knew it was something that I just had to pick up - it sounded extremely interesting, relevant and fun.

The Future of Us is set in the 90's, when the internet is relatively new and it's a very exciting thing for our two protagonists, Emma and Josh. Using an AOL CD-ROM, they open the internet and discover Facebook, which shows them, their friends and family, fifteen years in the future. I am a 90's kid and a lover of Facebook, so these things combined meant a book that I could relate to and that I could really get stuck into. Sure enough, this novel provided me with great memories of the 90's and it really hit-home how much we have all been changed by technology.

The Future of Us definitely shows how much technology has changed and how it has affected our lives. It is definitely interesting to sit back and be shown the comparison from the 90's to now and how in such a short period of time, our lives have changed and we've become more open about displaying things on the internet. It's also fascinating to ask yourself whether or not you'd like to see yourself in the future and after reading this, I don't think I would.

I really liked Emma and Josh as they felt like very genuine people. I especially liked Josh - he was down to earth and had a well-rounded personality of someone that I'd really like to be friends with. Emma was a little annoying at points, but this aspect of her personality definitely contributed to the story and helped towards exploring more issues that Facebook could create. Their friendship, although difficult at times, certainly felt real and it was interesting to see how, together, they coped with the discovery of something so life affecting.
I did like reading about Emma's best friend, Kellan, and how Emma would deal with certain situations regarding her after she had discovered her future, but I think that it would've been nice to see how they interacted together more. Tyson, Kellan's on-off romance, was a little underdeveloped but was still a good addition to the story.

The only issue with this book was that, when Emma and Josh were changing their future, I was a little confused as to exactly how it affected the present, past and future. I don't think that this was made clear enough to the reader and so at points it did seem a little messy and it could've perhaps been handled or explored slightly better. I also think that sometimes Emma jumped to conclusions about what her future-self was thinking or feeling - though maybe this is because she was not fully aware that you can't get the whole story from a short Facebook status.

In conclusion, I really did enjoy this book and it's something that I would recommend, especially to those slightly older Young Adults who can remember the first days of the internet. This book has a unique, intriguing idea, is hugely compelling and I found it very difficult to put down.


  1. cool tags; my tag 4 it is; book -i-want. lol
    tnx 4 sharing you're thoughts


  2. Great review! I haven't read this yet but it is already on my list. The only question is whether I ever get round to it! :D Still, I'm intrigued to finding out for myself how well the different time aspects are handled. I'm a little nerdy when it comes to the future and all things future-related. I will have to make an effort to read this soon. :P

    Sam @ Realm of Ficton

  3. thanks for this review, it sounds like the book was really good for you, I'm a child of the nineties too! (I had tons of those AOL cds! and dial up and it really racked up my phone bill! LOL)

    But I was neverous about this book because, though I love Carolyn Macker's writing (you should check out her The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things, is awesome), I didn't like 13 Reasons Why. At All.

    But this sounds loads promising!

  4. Thanks for the honest review. I've wanted to read this ever since I first heard about it. I'm not sure if I'll like it or not but I stil really want to read it!

  5. Okay, I have to say the cover you have which I'm assuming is UK is so much better than the US one!! It makes you want to read the book!! The US cover makes me think the story is about post-apocalypse which is why so far, I have not pay much attention to it ^_^; Need to correct that.

    I think I will pick this book up eventually :) It sounds fun :) and i kind of like books in which the protagonists can change their future :)

    Thanks for the review!

  6. I so wanna read this book!! i loved Asher's 13 reasons why and Mackler's The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things... Thanks for the review!

    Btw new follower and love ur blog!

  7. I've got a copy of this book on its way to me. It's cool that the two MCs aren't romantically involved with each other I didn't know that.

    I like both of these authors, so I'm pretty sure I'll like this book too.

  8. I have it but haven't read it yet. Love your review. I'll read it soon

  9. Oh my, now I'm even more excited to read this! This book sounds like it has a lot more to it than I initially thought. I can't wait to read it.

    Very nice, thorough and informative review! =)

  10. Great review - I just got this last week! I can't wait start, it sounds fabulous. :)


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