Saturday, 18 February 2012

Book Review: The Future Of Us

Title: The Future Of Us
Authors: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 356
Taglines: 'Update your destiny'

 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.

First off, I love how cute and colourful the cover is! It looks a bit like a whole new world has just exploded, which in a way it has for Emma and Josh in the book, because the whole concept of Facebook is something alien to their Internet-deprived lives in 1996.

A little fact found at the start of the book: In 1996, LESS THAN HALF(!!!) of all American high school students had ever used the Internet. Yep, definitely sounds like a very different world to the one we live in today. Now, the Internet is probably a daily feature in most of our lives. I mean, you're on the Internet right now, if you're reading this!

Anyway I got a little sidetracked there, just highlighting some of the ways Josh and Emma's lives would have been different to those of today's teens, but one of the ways they are similar is in how they dealt with discovering Facebook. If you had an opportunity to find out your future, maybe even tweak it a little, what would you do? I'm guessing a lot of people would take it. And that's what Emma and Josh do.

The result is an engaging story with a plot that is constantly moving and changing, just as the future is constantly shifting and reshaping. It's really interesting to get an idea of how the little things we do every day - really insignificant things like what we eat, maybe, the little choices we make, even the things we think - they can all create tiny ripples that, radiating out into the future, morph into big waves of change and have unexpectedly large impacts on our future.

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