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.