Published by Razorbill on 11/21/2011
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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 decided to read The Future of Us for two reasons. The first being that I was going to the Rochester Teen Book Festival and Jay Asher would be there. And the second reason was that I really liked Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, and was excited to read something else written by him (and Carolyn Mackler). Unfortunately, I wasn’t in love with this book. The Future of Us is not bad at all, it just didn’t gel with me personally.
The Future of Us is told from two different points of view. We get inside Emma’s head and Josh’s head. Unfortunately, I really didn’t care that much for Emma, and that ultimately affected how I felt about this book. Emma gets a computer from her father, and since it’s 1995/1996 her friend Josh brings over an AOL CD-Rom so she can use the Internet. When she logs on, she somehow stumbles upon her Facebook page from 15 years in the future. And Emma can tell from her Facebook posts that she is not happy in the future and this freaks her out. Through Emma, Josh also sees her Facebook page, and he’s really excited about his future, which just annoys Emma more.
As I mentioned, I really didn’t care for Emma. I understand that she has a lot going on in her life that’s made her the way she is, but she’s just so self-involved, and I got so annoyed with her. I understand that we are all self-involved, and that teens in particular can be quite self-involved, but Emma took it to another level, and about half way into this book, I really couldn’t stand Emma at all.
Luckily, I found Josh’s character really interesting, and he really saved the story for me. I don’t know if I would have stuck with The Future of Us if I didn’t like Josh’s character so much. He felt so realistic as a teen, and I think teens and adults everywhere could relate to him.
I also really enjoyed the humor that Josh and Emma’s BFFs, Kellan and Tyson, brought to the story. Emma’s best friend, Kellan, is just adorable, and I found Kellan and Tyson’s relationship so interesting and very entertaining.
So I did enjoy The Future of Us. I thought the concept was very interesting, and I liked a lot of the characters, but my frustration with Emma did diminish my feelings for this book a bit. If you’re looking for something with quite a unique concept, definitely give this one a try. Just be prepared for a little frustration with Emma.