The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
This novel has a very interesting concept – two teenagers from 1996 stumble across Facebook 15 years in the future. Josh finds he was a wonderful family and life, while Emma sees the unhappy status’ her future self has posted and she decides she wants to change the future, even if it risks Josh’s happy ending.
I really loved the idea of seeing the future, particularly through the medium of social media, something so relevant to society today. I wondered what I would do if this had happened to me, and I love it when books make you question what actions you would take and how you would think in certain situations.
The writing was fantastic and I found it enjoyable. That is the main reason I continued with the book because I just loved how the chapters ended with cliffhangers and how Josh and Emma’s narratives were written so differently.
*Now for the SPOILERS*
While I liked the overall plot, I did have issues with certain story lines. Josh finds out that his older brother is in a relationship with a guy in the future, while presently hasn’t told anyone that he is gay. Josh starts questioning David and wondering why he should talk to him about his problems if David isn’t being honest with him. I would have liked some acceptance. Josh wasn’t against David’s future relationship but he just seemed to question it and then the book dropped that whole story line with no real resolution. It did pose the question of what should be done with information we shouldn’t have, but that’s all it offered to the story.
Another similar story line was Emma finding out Kellan has a child sometime in the next year. She worries about this, telling her to eat ice cream for calcium and sneaking a condom in a pocket, but that’s all. I felt like this could have gone a lot further, Kellan could have become pregnant or already have been and the book could have included her worrying about her future, without her having seen it. It would have been interesting to see the two aspects – a future you know is going to happen through Facebook, and a future you’re worried could happen because of an event in the present.
Also, IS RACHEL OKAY?! Emma’s baby sister was in and out of hospital and yes we saw on Facebook that she was okay, but had we not learnt through the novel that the future is fragile, that any small event could cause ripples and change things?!
I wasn’t fond of Emma or Kellan. Emma used boys, especially Josh. I was really hoping the entire way through that they wouldn’t get together in the end because Josh deserves better. He deserves the happy future that Emma was jealous of. I admired his decision to end things with Sydney because if he doesn’t like her that way then he shouldn’t stick with her because he wants to marry the hottest girl in school. I just wish he hadn’t run straight to Emma. I thought Kellan would be a feminist but she ended up just thinking herself and Emma superior while Josh going on one date was the most dickish thing he could do even when Emma plays with guys without a care. I did, however, like Tyson and Sydney! I felt like they gave a refreshing aspect to the story, they weren’t involved with Facebook, they were just living in the moment and acting on what they know and want. Sydney was lovely, she really was, and it was Kellan who called her a mean name for no reason. Tyson was honest and funny and just simply loveable!
Overall, I did enjoy the book, I just wanted the storylines to be resolved in different ways and I think more could have been done with Facebook.
Rating: 3 stars