Wednesday 11 January 2012

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler - Review and Guest Post

Pages - 356
Published by Simon and Schuster in January 2012

I can't break up with Graham today, even  though I told my friends I'd do it the next time I saw him. So instead, I'm hiding in my bedroom, setting up my new computer while he plays Ultimate Frisbee in the park across the street. 

Goodreads Summary
It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbours 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.
This is one of those Young Adult books that I am convinced was written with the older YA reader in mind. The book is set in 1996, where there is no wifi, no dedicated internet line, no Facebook and certainly no Twitter. Just reading that information, brought me out in a cold sweat! Just the thought of going back to such prehistoric times makes me feel really nervous and also rather  scared by how quickly we have become dependent on these things. I couldn't imagine going back to a time where I would have to come off the internet to make a phone call. To a time, where I couldn't update my status every five minutes! This book actually makes you question why you update your status so often with such banal information such as what you had for dinner an what you are watching on TV - in fact, it makes you feel a bit daft. 

If you are an older YA reader, like myself, this book will instantly transport you back to the 90's. You will find yourself searching out music from that time period, books you read during those years and programmes you used to watch. This book is a real trip down memory lane. 

The book is told from the view points of both the leading characters. Emma and Josh, who have been friends since they were little. When Emma discovers Facebook magically appearing on her computer, she becomes obsessed with it. She is not impressed by the life her future self is leading and becomes hell bent on changing her future by altering her decisions now. Josh, on the other hand, becomes reluctant to mess with the future, and realises what looked like a perfect life, really isn't the one he would choose for himself. 

I loved the whole concept of this book. I thought it was so amazing to imagine how everything you do now effects your future. Every decision you make, however tiny will effect something in your future - mind blowing, I know!

This book was really easy to read and I found it only took me two days to finish it. I found it very entertaining, and extremely humorous. I loved the way it ended, when both parties realised how they wanted to spend the rest of their lives. It made me feel all warm inside. 

If you are looking for a light hearted, yet heartwarming read with lots of hints of nostalgia, then this is the book for you. 


As part of The Future of Us blog tour, Jay and Carolyn have made a list of the ten best things about the 1990's.

Jay & Carolyn’s ten best things about the 1990s

Dave Matthews (Carolyn)
Def Leppard in concert (Jay)
The blinking light on an answering machine (Carolyn)
My So-Called Life (Jay)
Bill Clinton, the good, the bad, and the newsworthy (Carolyn)
The Discman - you could walk around listening to your favorite CDs or plug it into your car stereo with a cassette tape adapter (Jay)
Baggy overalls (Carolyn)
Magic Eye books and posters (Jay)
Receiving my first email (Carolyn)
Titanic-mania (Jay)


  1. I was a teen in 1996 so this book really appeals to me. Definitely going on my wish list.

    I love Jay & Carolyn's list, it brings back a lot of memories!

  2. Jenni - it is a fabulous book that will really take you back.

  3. I like the idea of this, must be cos I was growing up in the 90s and finding myself :)

  4. Christina - I think I might have bypassed that trend!

    Blodeuedd - It is truly fabulous!

  5. I was just reading up on this book the other day and it really intrigues me. I can't imagine a day without the Internet. It is scary just how much we've come to depend on stuff like that.

  6. Great review Vivienne, I love the idea of the trip down memory lane! Was a kid in the 90s and love the idea of the nostalgia of it! Love their list of 90s faves too, though mine would be totally different, incorporating high heeled jelly shoes, pokemon, yoyos and wonka chocolate!

    The Cait Files

  7. Darlene- my phone went down today and I panicked! You get so use to having technology at your finger tips!

    Cait - High heeled jelly shoes? Really? I don't remember those...

  8. Oh, brilliant post and review! I agree with you - this book was written for us. :)

  9. Oh my gosh...I had no idea what this was about. I must read this now!!! I loved AOL. I love so many of the 10 things - my Discman, my Magic eye book, my first e-mail (I was wary at first), Titanic, Bill Clinton, the answering machine. Awesome.

  10. Luisa - It just had to be didn't it. I think we are all craving some YA from the 80's too.

  11. Alison - The Magic Eye books used to drive me nuts. I can remember spending ages trying to decipher the pictures.

  12. I have a feeling I'll enjoy the nostalgic element of this book too.

  13. I'm still kicking myself for not buying it the other week, fab post and great review :D

  14. My So-Called Life. Loved that show! I really enjoyed 13 Reasons Why by Asher so I'll be on the look-out for this one!

  15. Cannot wait to read this. Those magic eye pictures I could never see anything on those.


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