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