Title: The Future of Us
Author: Jay Asher, Carolyn Mackler
Genre/Audience: Young adult
Publication: Razorbill, 2011
Summary: Emma, a teenager in 1995, has just gotten her very first computer. After her best friend and neighbor, Josh, gives her an AOL CD to download, something strange opens up on her computer: Facebook, a site that she’s never heard of and that has yet to be invented. The Facebook page is of her… 15 years in the future. She also finds Facebook pages for Josh, her friends, and everyone she knows now, and sees what their futures will bring, including unexpected pregnancies, unexpected marriages, and other strange occurances. She and Josh soon discover that they can change their future by tweaking things right now. Each time they log back onto Facebook, they find that their futures are changed by every little thing they do and small actions they take. Emma, dissatisfied by what she sees, is constantly doing things to alter the future, while Josh is hesitant and afraid to do so. Meanwhile, Josh is battling heartbreak after Emma, who he’s loved for a long time, has turned him down, and Emma wonders if she made the right choice in doing so.
My Thoughts: The Future of Us is a compelling read with a very unique and intriguing story line. We all wonder what our futures will be like, so can you imagine being able to just boot up your computer, and BAM, there you are in 15 years… plus all your friends and families? If given the opportunity to know my own future, I think I’d take it, but it’s one of those hard questions that you never really know the answer to until you’re presented with the situation.
The book offers quite a moral dilemma. Emma and Josh have the ability to change their futures by changing their present. They change something now, then sign back onto Facebook to see that their entire future has been shaped by one small change. Emma is gung-ho about changing things to try and arrange her life just so, but Josh is against it. Of course, Josh’ future appears happy and romantic, where Emma’s is always dismal, and she keeps trying to change things so that she will marry someone different, or live someplace else… and it works, but she’s still never happy. This future changing thing is a scary idea, and in a way, the two are playing God, so I was really intrigued by this, and liked thinking about it.
The story also had a lot of fluff things too, which I liked. It kept the story fresh and lighthearted, and prevented it from getting too philosophical or deep when I really just wanted a fun read. I loved the friendships Emma and Josh had both with each other, and with Tyson and Kellan, their best friends. I also must say, I loved the dynamics between Josh and Emma, lifelong best friends, who may or may not be falling in love after Josh admits he loves Emma, and she turns him down. I was always rooting for them, and really liked Josh, a lot more than Emma, in fact.
I’d definitely recommend this book! I wasn’t blown away by it or anything, but I really did enjoy it and kept turning the pages to see what their futures would bring. I loved the future-changing dilemma, and the tension between Emma and Josh who were trying to figure out if they should be together. Overall, a fun read for fans of contemporary YA with a little twist.
My Rating: 3.5/5