Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Read This: The Future of Us

The Future of Us
by Carolyn Mackler and Jay Asher

The Short Story
It's 1996, and Emma just got her first computer. She and former best friend Josh pop in an AOL CD and find themselves on something called Facebook in 2011. A quick, fun, nostalgic read.

Come for the....
trip back in time. This is a great book for people old enough to remember life back in 1996. I'm not as old as the characters ('96 was the end of 8th grade/beginning of high school for me) but I remember what it was like when my family got a computer, and the ubiquitous AOL CDs in the mail. Or when dial up was the only internet option. (and the noises it made!) When Seinfeld and Friends had new episodes (and ruled Thursday nights). And this book takes you right back to that time. I think it is targeted specifically for the adults who read YA, and loses a lot of its charm if you didn't live through the 90's.

I probably wouldn't have enjoyed Future quite as much if not for the 90's aspect, but I did really like seeing how Josh and Emma handled learning things about their futures. Emma especially goes to all kinds of lengths trying to mastermind the kind of future she thinks will make her happy. It was funny to watch their little choices changing things 15 years later (although maybe a little unrealistic to think that every choice they made now had a significant impact on the future). But overall it was a fun premise that made me think about whether or not I'd want to know my future. (I wouldn't)

Stay for the
critique of Facebook (and Twitter) and how people post so many mundane things - "why would anybody write this stuff on the internet for everyone to read?"

Don't Think About This Too Hard
  • Josh and Emma both learn things about other people's futures that they don't do much with. One plot line in particular is left completely unresolved.
  • Emma bases a lot of her perception of her future happiness on either her romantic relationships or her job. I would have liked it if there were more to her future than that.

The Big Three:
Language: some occasional profanity
Sex and Stuff: some kissing
Violence: not an issue


  1. This sounds really cute. I am looking forward to reading it one of these days!

  2. As someone who graduated in 95, I reallllllllllly want to read this.

    I think if someone had told me about FB back then I would have laughed out loud.

    Plus it's funny the things we think will make us happy when we're 17.

  3. I could not agree more; I love LOVE this book! But without all the ultra fun 90's references (I'm the same "grade" as you in 96) I wouldn't have loved it near as much...

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  4. This one sounds good enough for a try. I'm guessing it's a stand alone book? That alone encourages me!

  5. I initially didn't really want to read this one, but every review I read makes me want to read it more. All the 90s stuff sounds like a lot of fun. Great review!

  6. Hm, I almost picked this one up at the store the other day, but decided not to. Your review is great though, and I'm interested in reading it. I totally remember AOL CDs, my first email account (Juno), and stuff like that. It will be a good look back, I think. I guess I'll be getting it next time! :)

  7. Lorren, I hope you like it. It's a quick, fun read. Nothing earth-shattering, but still a cute book.

    Juju, I think I would have laughed too, assuming I could even understand a description of it. :)

    Jac, yay for the same grade! :) I'm happy you had fun reading it too.

  8. Jenny, it is stand alone. That's one thing I like about contemporary... most books end with just one book.

    Karen, thanks! Hopefully it won't let you down if you do have a chance to read it.

    Penelope, I had Juno, too! I wonder if that still exists. Or AOL. I hope no one uses dial up these days.

  9. I will most definitely pick up this book. I was thirteen back in 96', I remember us having a contract with our parents for the use of Internet for 20 minutes each Saturday and Monday LOL. It was expensive back then.