The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
If you could get a glimpse of your life 15 years into the future. Would you want it? Would it make life easier or more complicated? If you found things not to your liking would you change things? These are the questions we´re faced with in “The Futre of us”.
The year is 1996. Emma and Josh have been neighbours and best friends for most of their lives. Well, best friends until a few months ago that is when Josh did something that has made things very uncomfortable for them. The story starts when Josh´s mom makes him give Emma an AOL cd they got for free. The cd makes it possible for Emma to go on the internet, something not very many people were doing back then. When she signs on she is directed to a site she´s never heard of called Facebook. But Facebook hasn´t been invented yet and what´s even more strange they are looking at themselves 15 years in the future.
Emma reads comments made by her future self and comes to the conclusion that she isn´t happy. Her marriage is failing and she is unemployed. So she begins to wonder; can she change the future? And what will the new future hold in store. Josh on the other hand finds his future self married to the beautiful Sydney. The girl every guy in school wants to be with and he can´t quite fathom it, how did that happen!? Both of them, either knowingly or not begin to alter things in their daily lives (big or small) to either accomodate or change the futures they´ve been show on Facebook.
I loved the little looks at how things were back then (not that long ago actually) like the description of how the modem crackles and beeps as it logs you on to the internet. Young people who are Emmas and Josh´s age now must thing it strange; a world where you weren´t online all the time, where you didn´t have access to everyone and everything. And they will probably wonder what a modem or a cd-rom is!
This was a very quick read, granted I was on vacation while reading it but still, it flew by! The main plot was certainly unique and interesting and I that´s what I liked most about the book. I´ve read some reviews where they´ve stated that Emma annoyed them and I can see that. One reviewer stated that she spends all her time worrying who her future husband would be. That´s a bit harsh in my opinion. Yes, she worries about it, but for me Emma saw a glimpse of her future self and noticed that she wasn´t happy. And how depressing is that! Who wouldn´t worry about that and want to change that! And what about Josh? He starts talking to the hottest girl in school because he saw his future self was married to her. This could have been an interesting paradox; he started talking to her because they were married in the future and they were married because he started talking to her. It´s kind of like the chicken and the egg question.
On a downside it was predictable. In some books that´s a major flaw here it´s just a minor one. Another flaw is that plotlines are brought up and then dropped never to be mentioned again. Examples are Josh´s brother and Emmas best friend Kellan. So all in all, it was an ok book. As I said that premise was interesting and for that I give them props I just wish the execution and been done slightly better.