The Future of Us

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The Future of Us
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Age Range
14+
Release Date
November 21, 2011
ISBN
9781595144911
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It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM. Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what their destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Editor reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.9
Plot 
 
4.0  (3)
Characters 
 
4.0  (3)
Writing Style 
 
3.7  (3)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

You've Got the Future in Your Hands

The power and popularity of social networking seems so common place to us now. It is hard to image life without tweets and status updates.The Future of Us takes the reader back to 1996 where facebooks where actual books college freshmen received, where AOL was new and sometimes a little unknown. 

This book brought back a lot of memories of high school and the first time my friends and I signed on to AOL and heard that familiar ding and "You got mail." The characters in The Future of Us are relatable and real. Characters I would have been friends with in high school. Emma and Josh are easy to relate to whether you grew up in the 1990s or 2010s. My students have even commented that they didn't want to finish the book , they didn't want to say goodbye.

Besides the great characters, The Future of Us brings a new twist to time travel and changing the future. What would you do if you could figure out how every single action you did today, affect your future for better or worse. If you could control your future, would you? What if it meant losing your best friend? Or feeling like you have no way to control your happiness?

Great addition to anyone's library for a fun read. My students have been raving about the book for months!

Good Points
Fun concept
Great characters
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(Updated: October 16, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Can You Change Your Destiny?

I was very intrigued with the premise of two teens in 1996 coming across their future via Facebook. I mean, who wouldn't be curious to know what happens to them in the future? A fun twist on the time travel idea similar to a reverse 13 going on 30.

I really wanted to love this book and at the beginning I was pulled in with the characters stumbling across something that hadn't even been invented yet. Josh and Emma are likeable enough but I didn't feel much chemistry between them. It was totally believable on their reactions to finding out about themselves and even their attempts to 'change' the future. I did find some of the pop references off, which did take me out of the story a few times. What did pull me back in was the snowball effect of Josh and Emma in either trying to accept their so-called destiny or trying to change it. I really liked how Emma decides to take matters into her own hands even when the outcome might not turn out the way she'd hoped.

An interesting read with a big twist on the whole 'What if' scenario.

Good Points
Intriguing premise
Fun time travel idea
Likeable characters
Believable way characters deal with issue
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Overall rating 
 
4.0
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4.0
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4.0
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4.0

The Future is Now

It’s 1996 and Emma and Josh are both high school juniors. They live next door to each other and have been best friends until six months ago when Josh misread the signs and kissed Emma. Since then things have been sort of uncomfortable. Emma’s father, divorced and living with his second wife, gets Emma a computer and Josh, being the nice guy he is, brings her an AOL disk that she can load and connect to the internet through her telephone line. After loading, she hears “Welcome” in that AOL voice and, all of the sudden, the program changes to Facebook, a social networking site that didn’t exist in 1996.

Emma immediately calls Josh and they start navigating the site, understanding what it actually means. Josh finds out that in 2011 he’s married to Sydney Mills, one of the hottest girls in school. Josh, however, is not one of the hottest guys in school. How did they end up together? Emma sees that she’s married to Jordan Jones, someone she doesn’t know in 1996 and she’s not happy. As the status updates change, Josh and Emma realize that every little action taken in their 1996 lives will have a ripple effect and change their 2011 lives. Emma wants to change out of her bad marriage. Josh doesn’t want any changes. He’s got his dream girl…or does he?

In The Future of Us Carolyn Mackler, author of the Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things, among other fun YA novels and Jay Asher, author of the still popular Thirteen Reasons Why have created a new romantic twist. The collaboration results in a cute, fun read about what’s important now and how every little thing you do can impact the future. Emma and Josh are great characters as are their friends Tyson and Kellan. The storyline is fun and makes you think. What would you do if you knew the future and didn’t like it…or did like it and didn’t want it to change? Do you even want to know the future? The Future of Us takes place during one May week. As such, it’s a good summer read. So, snatch up your copy now and be ready for the summer…or read it now and read it again during the summer.

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Overall rating 
 
4.7
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5.0
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4.0
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5.0

The Future of Us

Oh, the 90s, how I miss thee! This book was such a fun trip into the past. It made me remember when we got our first computer and AOL in 1998; the beginning of my internet addiction. Back then I couldn’t even begin to imagine Facebook and how much the internet changes our lives. But Emma and Josh get a peek at their lives 15 years into the future when Facebook magically appears after Emma sets up her e-mail account.

This was trippy! Emma and Josh not only see what they’re doing and who they’re with in the future, but they’re directly altering what happens. Any decisions they make during the day are then reflected when they checked out their Facebook pages that night. Of course, what they see on their pages changes how they behave the next day, which in turn changes their futures again. It’s a spiral that never ends. This poses the question: are our lives run by fate and destiny, or do we have the power to control our lives?

“One little ripple today could create a typhoon fifteen years from now.“

The Future of Us was another book that I just could not put down. The 90s nostalgia made me smile until my cheeks hurt, but aside from that, the story was great. The sci-fi time travel aspect was mind boggling and awesome, and I even loved watching Emma and Josh’s relationship change as they explored their possible futures together. Sure Emma seemed to only care about boys boys boys, and what college she should go to in order to meet the right boy, but she’s not too different than many teenage girls. Josh is that best friend who wants more, and I adored him! I really wanted him to have his perfect future.

I’m just wonder what people will think 15 years from now while reading this? Probably the same thing Emma and Josh did: What’s Facebook?! :P

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(Updated: August 25, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Crazy dejavu of the 90's!

I can honestly say I adored this book! The year is 1996 and the authors made it seem so realistic. They take you back to when we were all just starting to get home computers or envying over the fact that our neighbors had one and we didn't. I was born in '95 so this would have taken place when I was only a year old, but I can still feel that connection with Josh and Emma. Not just over how Facebook didn't exist, but many factors that authors Jay and Carolyn made sure to include in the story. They even throw in what I found to be a funny fact about how someone posted a status about how they feel sorry for Pluto because it was always their favorite planet and Josh and Emma are pondering about what could possibly happen to Pluto in the future. I found it funny. Not sure why, but I did. (I guess I'm just cheesy like that.) This book has some other major aspects other than Facebook. Ofcourse, you have romance. BUT it's not you're average romance, all thanks to Facebook. This book made me smile through it all. To be quite honest, although it doesn't necessarily bash Facebook, it made me want to delete mine. I know I can't see my future on it, but it made me realize how much drama really does come of it, especially during you're teen years. This book does carry an awesome story about foreseeing the future and having the ability to manipulate it, but I think it also touches on some of today's social networking issues. This book definitely earned 4.5 stars from me. Just amazing. :)

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Overall rating 
 
2.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
2.0
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3.0

The Future of Us (A Room with Books review)

The thing I most appreciated about The Future of Us was probably that Emma and Josh didn’t just accept that Facebook was real. I’m sure I’d be freaking out if I discovered something as strange as that my first time out on the internet! It definitely helped a storyline that was super crazy feel a little more realistic.

I appreciated that Josh and Emma already had a history. A lot of times the whole best-friends-in-love thing is the entirety of the story, but that wasn’t the case this time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a best friend relationship, but it’s cool that Asher and Mackler came at it from a different angle.

Now, speaking of those two characters. I really like Josh. He was the perfect boy-next-door/best friend. Of course, he was also a teenager and a human so he had his selfish moments (and teenage boy moments), but it made him really realistic. Emma, on the other hand, I was not such a fan of. Her character really worked for the story, but that doesn’t mean I had to like her. She was selfish and couldn’t see that her outlook on life was actually the thing making it so bad. She did grow eventually, and I appreciate that, but she’ll never be one of my favorite characters or anything.

The Nutshell: The Future of Us is a fun, quick read which will likely be best enjoyed by those who were kids of the 90s, but can still be appreciated by all. Though Emma got on my nerves the other characters were done well and I liked the story overall. If you’re looking for a flash to the past or simply a cute romance, this one’s for you.

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Overall rating 
 
2.3
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2.0
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2.0
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3.0

Great book for nostalgia, but the rest was just fluff

I wanted to like this book. Really I did. I loved the nostalgia. AOL. CD-ROMs. The whole nine yards. I remember when Facebook first came out and the good old days when I had dial-up internet. It was definitely great to reminisce and think how simple a time it was. But that’s where the goodness of this book ends.

I felt like the whole “time travel” plot that The Future of Us was supposed to portray was weak and underdeveloped. The authors played the key point about how what you do in the present affects the future, but that’s pretty much a given. There was no part that stood out, no big climactic event that threatened the characters in any life-changing way. I mean, sure, after realizing what was going on they adjusted and things came to a head, but it wasn’t as big or momentous as it could’ve been. It just felt so dumbed down and simple to me, I really couldn’t get into it.

Not to mention Emma was annoying as hell. I really didn’t like her at all. The other characters didn’t do anything for me either and it was really an unbelievable kind of story when really, if the authors tried harder, it could’ve been something great. Emma and Josh’s relationship was pretty childish and they didn’t even do much “time travel” business. Most of what happened in the book fell along the lines of “do something different today, see a different status on Facebook that night” kind of thing. Pretty lame if you ask me.

I’d say, if you’re up for nostalgia, a nice trip down memory lane, and you really don’t have anything else to read, give this a try. If you don’t care for any of it, don’t even bother with this one. Chalk this one up to false intrigue.

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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Back in time!

I love the whole Facebook thing!

Good Points
I’ve been wanting to read The Future of Us for awhile so when I saw it at my library I picked it up and checked it out right away. The main characters are Emma and Josh and the main side characters are there two best friends Kellen and Tyson. I was confused at first I thought Kellen’s name was a guy’s name but I figured it out soon enough.

First I would like to say that I really like the plot of this story. I personally think that if I could click on to Facebook and check on my future it’d be awesome. Yeah I’m sure I would have a few bad experiences seeing my future sometimes but it would still be pretty cool to have some sort of idea of what my life would be like.

Before I say anything about the characters I’d just like to point out that I absolutely wanted Emma and Josh to be together the whole book and I still do. I’m not sure what other people think about the situation but I’m sorry no one would be able to change my mind.
The two of them just have a spark that I couldn’t turn away.

Emma’s character I thought was fun she acted like any other girl would crazy about her future. In this book she had three different future husbands and she wasn’t fully happy with any of them. She’s definitely a girl considering she hasn’t met any of those future guys. I agreed with her though I secretly want Josh to be her future husband. I see him in the front seat of her car if you know what I mean. (If you haven’t read the book I swear its not a sexual joke lol)

Josh and Sydney Mills? Really! Come on when I saw that I was mad because well I didn’t know Josh’s character that well yet so when Sydney was his future wife I just had a feeling that Emma’s chance of being with him when right down the toilet. I know what your thinking she turned him down I know but you could tell that secretly deep down she really wanted to be with him.

Kellen and Tyson are sort of side notes. They kept saying Tyson hurt her really bad but I feel like he’s a good guy but I’m not sure the book wasn’t written about them so I wouldn’t know. But I do know what happened between them in this book and I thought that they were sweet together too.

Overall I give the book a 5 stars it was beautifully written and a book about the future is always good.
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Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Nice YA Contemp for New YA or Upper MG Readers

If you haven't read Th1rteen R3asons Why, you SHOULD!!

Good Points
This was not a mind-blowing, life-changing book, but it was a page turning, compelling story firmly rooted in the reality of life in the '80's, and a great read. Nostalgic and funny, this book is a lighthearted read revolving around friendship, destiny, and the choices we make.

Emma and Josh get their first AOL disc in 1996, and once they log on, they are somehow able to login to Facebook. They can see their future on their Facebook pages and change the future just by changing little things they do in their current lives.

If you've seen THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, you might pick up on a minor theme: Can your whole world change just because you spill some water on the ground? I don't know. The jury's still out on that one.

I enjoyed this book. It took me back to 1996 through vivid description of the current events, music, movies and more. I loved the pace, and thought the characters were great. The plot was well done with lots of details interspersed throughout. Fast and fun, and apparently Warner Bros. bought the movie rights!

I'm not sure how much this book will be enjoyed by everyone, though. I personally loved it purely because it offered an opportunity to revisit my early teens, and I could totally relate to Emma and Josh. For everyone who isn't at least say 25 or 26, however, this book may not do much for you.

Recommended to everyone who grew up in the 90s as well as anyone just looking for a short, quick read with an awesome premise, that takes you back to the beginning of computer mania.

This book left me with a warm feeling afterwards. I liked that. I found this to be a great read. I hope you'll like it as well.
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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Better than I thought

I wanted to read this book but when I first started it was a little dull.As I kept reading I started liking it more and got more enwrapped in what was happening.I put myself in the place of the characters and wondered if I would do the same thing.It is not a predictable book and I absolutely loved it.Especially with the small romance I crave.

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Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Pretty good

First off, I love how cute and colourful the cover is! It looks a bit like a whole new world has just exploded, which in a way it has for Emma and Josh in the book, because the whole concept of Facebook is something alien to their Internet-deprived lives in 1996.

A little fact: In 1996, LESS THAN HALF(!!!) of all American high school students had ever used the Internet. Yep, definitely sounds like a very different world to the one we live in today. Now, the Internet is probably a daily feature in most of our lives. I mean, you're on the Internet right now, if you're reading this!

Anyway I got a little sidetracked there, just highlighting some of the ways Josh and Emma's lives would have been different to those of today's teens, but one of the ways they are similar is in how they dealt with discovering Facebook. If you had an opportunity to find out your future, maybe even tweak it a little, what would you do? I'm guessing a lot of people would take it. And that's what Emma and Josh do.

The result is an engaging story with a plot that is constantly moving and changing, just as the future is constantly shifting and reshaping. It's really interesting to get an idea of how the little things we do every day - really insignificant things like what we eat, maybe, the little choices we make, even the things we think - they can all create tiny ripples that, radiating out into the future, morph into big waves of change and have unexpectedly large impacts on our future.

Good Points
Cute
Easy to read
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Overall rating 
 
2.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
2.0
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2.0

100 Word Review from Olivia

In 1996, neighbors Emma and Josh log onto AOL and discover their futures on Facebook. Snippets of info set them off changing their fates—accidentally and on purpose!

Suspending disbelief that Future-Emma still used her first AOL email and password, this compulsive read had everything I love: the 90s, time travel, and the domino effects of our lives. I wanted more 1996 instantly impacting 2011, but that’s the internet addiction talking!

With social media absorbing our lives, this is a timely and cautionary tale encouraging us to live in the Now. If we don’t, what—and who—are we missing?

Age Range: Recommended for ages 12+, but your mileage may vary! Minimal swearing, no violence, light alcohol consumption, mild sexual situations.
Olivia’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5 smiley pumpkins

Good Points
Interesting and unique time travel plot line. Possibly a good book to open discussions with the hooked-in teens of today.
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