The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Genre(s): Young adult, romance, contemporary
Number of pages: 356
Publish date: November 1st, 2011
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository
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.
I read this one a bit ago, but it was interesting enough to stick with me and get a read-over. It poses the question “What would you do if you could see your future?”. Sure, everyone jokes about superpowers and how it would be nice to know, but if you think about it, seeing the future comes with complications.
At first Emma thinks this website is a joke, and though I can’t remember how, she accepts that it’s actually the future. She makes some quips asking why she’d be so open about something like going to the psychologist, which makes you think about the fact that we do overshare quite a bit now, and it has become very commonplace.
It doesn’t take long for Emma to start trying to change the future. She goes after a new boy, changes her situation, and makes friends with the sole purpose of seeing how her future ends up. Josh, on the other hand, doesn’t think this is quite a good idea, and I’d be inclined to agree with him. They eventually get into quite the fight, and Emma begins depending on the information far too much.
Overall, the themes on the dangers of technology and knowledge of the future really stuck out to me. Eventually Emma learns her lesson and lets things be, which shows some good character growth on her. I did enjoy the book, enough to read it twice, so I would certainly suggest it to others 🙂
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