30 November 2011

THE FUTURE OF US by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

BIBLIOGRAPHY   Asher, Jay & Carolyn Mackler . 2011. THE FUTURE OF US .  New York, NY: Penguin Group. ISBN 9781595144911.

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives.  They've been best friends almost as long - up until last November, when everything changed.  Things have been awkward ever since, but when Josh's family gets an America online CD-ROM in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so Emma can install it on her new computer.  When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto Facebook.....but Facebook hasn't been invented yet.  Josh and Emma are looking at their profiles fifteen years in the future.  Their spouses, careers, homes and status updates - it's all there.  but it's not what they expected.  And every tim ethey refresh their pages, their futures cahge.  As they grapple with the ups and downs of what their lives hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.

This book was written for the Young Adult audience, but as with many YA books, appeals to a far wider audience.  It is appropriate for sixth grade up.  Most readers will find it captivating as every decision, no matter how small, affect future events.  It is odd but refreshing to be living in what is their future and look back and realize how much has changed in the past 15 years. 

""The Future of Us" is a novel for young adults, but it might be even more appealing to Gen X readers, who'll experience it as a nostalgic walk down memory lane. In 1996, when the action takes place, caller ID had just been invented, prom night involved dancing the Macarena, the Dave Matthews Band played regularly on FM radio, Cindy Crawford was the boys' bedroom poster of preference and athletes strapped Sony Discmans to their arms to go running."  — Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times

"Reading the book should get contemporary teenagers wondering: Where will I live 15 years from now? Whom will I marry? What kind of life can I dream of? And what, exactly, is a “CD-ROM”? Prepare yourselves, parents, for the disbelief that will follow explanations of such historic artifacts as dial-up Internet, the Disc­man and busy signals. Prepare yourself as well for the post-traumatic ’90s flashbacks you’ll suffer when one character earnestly explains, “As a guitarist, Dave Matthews is so under-appreciated.”  — Dan Kois, New York Times

"Asher and Mackler’s concept is fascinating—how closely today is tied to tomorrow—and the alternating voices of the two main characters keep each chapter fresh and provide distinct perspectives on the events of the story. Though readers will not necessarily be surprised by how things turn out, the enjoyment—and the underlying message—is in simply allowing the journey to unfold. "  —Publishers Weekly 

AWAKEN by Katie Kacvinsky is a great pairing in that it deals with the future although in a different way.  Both are thought provoking.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Jay Asher's first book, and look forward to his next project. And although I haven't read anything by Carolyn Mackler, I was intrigued by what the partnership might bring to the story. I ended up liking it just as much as I thought I would.