Title: The Future of Us
Author: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Date Released: November 21st, 2011
Rating: 3 out of 5
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.
One day in 1996, when Emma sets up her new computer that her dad sent her and Josh gives her an AOL CD, the two discover Facebook. Now, we all know that Facebook wasn't created until 2004, so what could this possibly mean? Emma and Josh are completely confused as to what this could possibly mean. Josh thinks that it's a prank, while Emma, on the other hand, is completely enthralled and obsessed with Facebook. The two eventually find out that Facebook is from the future and anything that they do can alter their futures, whether it's as harmless as deciding to join a biology course or life-altering as calling your future husband.
This is pretty bad, but I had pretty high expectations for The Future of Us, mainly because I read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (one of the contributing authors) and that was absolutely amazing. The other reason would be that I have a Facebook, sooo... that was a pretty lame excuse ;) The Future of Us was a little bit lackluster. I think that it might have been the characters who were just not completely genuine. The whole concept was pretty interesting though, but I couldn't really wrap my head around the idea.
I think it was Emma's character who fell flat for me. I think the thing about her was that she was a little annoying because she wasn't happy about what her future on Facebook was. She constantly tried to do things that would manipulate her future so that she could get something better, even though it always made her unhappy. Josh was a much better character, although he was much more realistic than Emma. The one thing about him that was a little off sometimes was that he could sort of be like a little baby. For example, when he spots Emma making-out with her boyfriend, Graham, he goes all whiny and mopey.
The Future of Us was definitely very interesting, but I just didn't get where it was going with the whole Facebook thing. I think that when you're reading it, you can't see the whole Facebook concept as everything that the book is about. It's just sort of there to help the relationship between Josh and Emma move along. You have to see the relationship between Josh and Emma as what the story revolves around and how it changes throughout the course of the novel.
I think that the thing that really kept me motivated to read the book was what was going to appear next on Emma and Josh's Facebooks because it was constantly changing with everyday. Like for Josh, he didn't really try all that hard to change his future into something else, but everyday small things were changing, like how many kids he had.
Overall, The Future of Us was intriguing, but not at all what I expected from it. Sometimes the dialogue was a bit weird, other times the 90s references weren't exactly subtly used, and Emma could be a tad annoying, too. I really had mixed feelings about this book, but I've gotta say that the ending was pretty cute :)
Umm... That is one spectacular cover! I like how they used the binary number sequence thingy-ma-bob to make up the cover and used different colors and shading to get the models and objects on the cover right. Although, I think that it would've been cool if they used like the trademark Facebook font for the title and the names of the authors because when I look at the "f" on "future" my first reaction is, "What kind of an 'f" is that supposed to be?" and it doesn't really scream Facebook at all. The rest of it is really cool though.
*Description and cover from goodreads.com
**Review copy purchased.