Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Future of Us - a review

The Future of Us - Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler - 356 pages


Excuse me while I go update my Facebook status about my general disliking of The Future of Us. It's nothing against the writing, it's nothing against the plot, and I've got nothing against Facebook in general. Although, The Future of Us does tend to read like an anti-Facebook manifesto at times:

"Why does it say she has three hundred and twenty friends?" Josh asks. "Who has that many friends?"

"Why would anyone say this stuff about themselves on the Internet? It's crazy!"

It is, honestly, the character of Emma that bothered me the entire book. Let me give some background information first: Josh and Emma are two teens living in the year 1996. They were best friends forever until Josh told Emma he liked her. This caused Emma to freak out and say "But Josh is Josh!" and run off. Emma one day gets a guilt gift from her father in the form of a computer (she never fully thanks him for it, by the way) and when they plug in the computer WA LA LA LA; they can see their Facebook status sixteen years into the future.

With great Internet access comes great responsibility. Right? Right!?

Nooooooppppppeeee. Not if your main character is Emma. What does Emma do with this awesome power before her? I'm glad you asked. She does not prevent 9/11. She does not invest in Google. She does not try to save any lives. She sits around and frets about who she's going to marry.


I felt like this cat the entire book.


Emma changes the future depending on who she is listed to as married . In order to do this she has to mess with the past. Go home. The end of the world was in 1996 and it was caused by a chick named Emma. She probably caused a time paradox* which lead to the Iraq War or something (yeah, I'm blaming this on you, Emma). Emma causes problems in the past so she can change her future; because that's what friends do, right? She even erases her best friend's future children from the timeline (the movie Time Cop has taught me this is a crime).

The story alternates between Josh and Emma and their point of view of what's happening around them. Mostly Josh is longing for Emma, and Emma is ignoring Josh, and it's just adorable how jealous Emma gets of Josh's crush on the Really Pretty Really Smart Really Rich Girl (there's always one and her calves and hair are fucking perfect).

The plot does go in the direction that these things typically do and it ends like how you expect. The cute little predictable ending made my reading of the book worth it. It actually produced an "Awwww!" from me. Which is rare, because I'm a really manly guy who can do, like, 100 push-ups in a row. It also made me think about deleting my Facebook profile. But then again I'm not a terrible Facebook friend**. So, take that Future of Us.

*The time paradox did not happen. I was hoping it would go in the direction of Donnie Darko with Emma getting hit by a car like how Jake Gyllenhaal's girlfriend did in the movie, but it never happened. 
**Emma is the worst kind of Facebook friend. She posts about two things: her dinner and her marital problems. I don't need to know what your husband did wrong, Emma. You need to sit down and talk to him about it. Maybe he hasn't come home because you've called him a douche in front of all of his friends and family? He's not a bad husband; you're a snotty wife. If I were friends with Emma I would hide her friend feed, delete her, or block her. 

19 comments:

  1. I actually could not bring myself to finish this book :-\ I made it about 120 or so pages & called it quits. I found the whole scenario to be VERY annoying. I was thinking like you.. you have all this power & knowledge in to the future & what do you do? Cry about who's married to who. Yeah, ok.

    Side note: totally agree on the annoying facebook friends. I think people forget that others can actually see their stupidity when they update their statues.

    Btw, want to be facebook friends? haha

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  2. I almost gave up. But I didn't want to quit since I had already invested time in it.

    Friends huh? If you can find me add me... Muwhahaha.

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  3. facebook is the devil. all i see on my feed are babies, pets, inspirational quotes, and more pictures of babies. and also statuses about how people are sick and omigosh politics. (i don't mind politics, i hate spam-on-facebook politics.) otherwise, i don't mind facebook. i just hide everyone and their farms and inspirational quotes.

    *and i swear i'm not a generally negative person.

    i THOUGHT i wanted to read this book. so, given all of my teensy rant up above, do i really?

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  4. I would advise you to avoid it. It sent me into a rage several times. Babies anger me too. And so do politics, so I understand where you're coming from.

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  5. I think I found you ;-) otherwise some dude just got a creepy message from me, haha.

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  6. I think this is one of the funniest reviews I have read all year!

    Oh and I love that cat :)

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  7. Thank you Alex! I'm glad I could make you laugh!

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  8. Omg! That cat, it was so hard to read your review without cracking up! That cat looks like its on a high, and I am still having psycho fits of giggles thinking about the cat. Er..sorry..lol..your review..is yet again honest and brilliant. I haven't read this one, I am sorry but this sounds terribly lame! Facebook, 16 years ago, wedding! FTW! What kind of story is that?! % I think I am going to dodge this one unless the person throwing it had a really good aim! XD
    Oh Facebook peeve- relationship updates and lovelorn boys and girls posting their cheese and drama and mucking your wall. -.- Esp when the curse each other over the internet! (and your dad reads them out to you from his wall!)
    lol..too much talk. Oops.

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  9. I had to delete a FB friend who posted 3 times in one day about her son taking a crap. No, really. A toddler defecated into a toilet. UNPRECEDENTED.

    Also, I never actually planned on reading this book, but your review has just solidified that determination to not read. I freaking love your reviews. I came for the review, but stayed for the cat gif.

    And I'm sorry for the TMI with the kid poo and what not.

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  10. YES!!!

    HOW HAVE I NOT SEEN YR BLOG BEFORE?! WHY AM I SHOUTING? i'm sorry. loving it.

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    Replies
    1. THANK YOU! I APPRECIATE YOUR COMMENTS! WHY ARE WE SHOUTING AT ONE ANOTHER?

      Delete
  11. I would highly recommend this book for anyone writing YA because the authors created highly believable and multi-dimensional characters and did a fantastic job setting the scene without bogging the reader down in setting. The pacing is lightning fast. An un-putdownable book!

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