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17 Jan 2013

Book Review: The Future of Us by Jay Acker and Carolyn Mackler

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 have to admit that I feel a bit 'meh' when it comes to this book.  I didn't hate it but it's nothing remarkable that I'll remember.  The premise was interesting but I felt it was still lacking.  There were plot lines that could have been explored more but was pushed to the side in preference to Josh and Emma with their possible futures and "relationship" drama. 

The premise makes the book sound like this obsession with finding out about your future gets out of control.  The conflict was barely there with Emma fretting and fussing over who she was married to in the future.  A couple of peeks, a little worrying, plus a bit of future changing and that was that.  I was expecting this facebook discovery to affect family and friends around her.  That she was so obsessed on having the perfect future that she would end up almost destroying herself in the process. 

Kellen's future didn't exactly seemed resolved in the end so it was unknown if she was leading onto the same path Emma saw or whether she had helped her friend in time.  Josh's brother was another unresolved plot.  Both their fates left me wondering as a reader and wished there could have been a bit of development there.

I can be the type to accept what I see.  After all, I watch Doctor Who and I've learnt to not question it at times.  But I would have liked a bit of background or explanation on this AOL CD that mysteriously transports Emma into the future via Facebook.  Just a little explanation, please. 

While the 90s references made me a tad nostalgic I thought there was too many of them.  References that felt like they were being shoved in your face, begging to be remember.  It did feel like the authors were desperately trying to convey the 1990s.

This wasn't the greatest read for me of 2012 unfortunately.  There was a spark missing and even though I didn't go into with high expectations I was still disappointed in the overall plot.


  1. I read this a while ago with great anticipation. I remember getting AOL disks--then CDs--in the mail, so I expected some fun nostalgia, and an exploration into what it would be like for a '90s kid to discover Facebook--how that would affect his world, his view of the future, the present, and all the other things we expect from this kind of story. But I thought it fell flat. It wasn't the novel it could have been.

    I might have given it a generous 3 stars on Goodreads, but I feel pretty much the same way you do about it.

  2. Unfortunately, I felt the same way. I was really excited for this book because I LOVE Jay Asher. But it just didn't go far enough into the possibilities. Haha, I love your reference to Doctor Who. You do learn to suspend reality.