Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Friday, January 6, 2012

Plot Summary:
When Emma received a computer, she saw it as her father's way for showing he cares. Every since the birth of her half-sister, Emma feels as if she has been replaced with a new family. What is even harder is that her mother is already on her third husband who is not re-modeling her home, but changing the environment in which she grew up. Things haven't been going the way they should be since she and her best friend, Josh, aren't really speaking and she wants to break up with her boyfriend, Graham. When Josh comes over, unexpectedly, and brings her an AOL CD-ROM. Although she is happy to see him, she is unsure of his feelings since he tried to kiss her six months ago. After uploading AOL, she creates her first e-mail address and is now able to surf the world wide web. As Emma and Josh explore the Internet, they discover a website called Facebook. When Emma clicks on this bookmark, she sees herself. However, she doesn't see her seventeen-year-old self...she sees herself fifteen years into the future. The year is 1997 and Facebook will not be invented until 2004. After seeing her future, Emma learns that she isn't as happy as she hoped she would be. Moreover, Josh's future turns out to be even more extraordinary that leaves Emma feeling upset that she isn't just as successful. Although Josh firmly believes that Facebook is just a mean prank, Emma decides to take her future into her own hands, not fully understanding the impact of her decisions, which could result in life altering changes.

Critical Evaluation:
Told from two point of views, The Future of Us, is an intriguing story of two young people who haven't really thought about what they want from life. Emma, in all honestly, is a bit of a control freak who not only puts up walls between herself and friends, she is absolutely obsessed with perfection--she wants the perfect job, the perfect husband, and the perfect life. Josh, on the other hand, is more of "go-with-the-flow" kind of guy, which leaves him feeling unable to decide what he really wants out of life. Despite being polar opposites, Emma and Josh have always been able to talk about anything and everything and when Josh decides to take the friendship a step further, the delicate balance that keeps their friendship in tact shifts rapidly, leaving Emma disoriented and confused. Moreover, by throwing Facebook into the mix, not only does it further freak Emma out, but provides her with a glimpse of what could be. The only problem is that what "could" be is not good enough and sends her into a tail spin towards disaster. For Josh, not only does his possible future excite him, it seems to motivates him to put himself out there, especially to his potential wife. Asher and Mackler create a story that not only relates to teens, but gives them the opportunity to decide if the future is set or if it can be changed. Furthermore, readers will understand that every decision they make has consequences, which could change the future for better or for worse.   


Information about the Authors:
According to his blog, Jay Asher was born September 30, 1975 in Arcadia California. Asher has spent most of his life in California, but spent six months in Wyoming where he he came up with the idea for his debut novel, 13 Reasons Why. Asher has worked at several book stores, public libraries, and before he worked there,:
I worked at a shoe store, a trophy shop, and an airline. My very first writing award earned me a free fruit smoothie every day for a year. I've won a lot of awards since then, but that one tasted the best!
Jay Asher is married and has one son and The Future of Us is his second YA novel. 

Carolyn Mackler was born and raised in New York. She has always known she was a little different from all of her peers, especially when most of her friends were gossiping and carrying about their clothes and hair when she was still playing with dolls. As a proud "misfit," Mackler survived both junior high and high school with the love of her parents, best friend, Stephie, and reading. When asked why she writes for teens, she said:
People often ask me now why I write novels for teenagers. Lots of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that I honestly believe that, along with certain friendships, I was saved by the books I read during those years. They spoke to me in a way that nothing else did. They helped me feel less alone. They made me laugh. They made me feel like there was a world bigger than my high school.
After attending college at Vasser, life continues to change, but not for the best. During her junior year at college, her parents split up leaving her distraught. However, she met her best friend Jenny, which not only helped her cope, but sent her on a cross country trip that left her missing the East Aoast and landed her an internship at Ms. Magazine and a beginning novel writing class at NYU. Needless to say, in this class, she wrote the preliminary draft of Love and Other Four Letter Words, which was published by Random House and kicked off her career as a YA author. Mackler currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and two sons.

Genre:
Teen Sci-Fi, Teen Romance


Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 and up


Books Similar to the Future of Us:
Awards & Recognition:
  •  Booklist Starred Review (10/15/11
  • Publishers Weekly Starred Review (9/12/2011)

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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