The Future of Us
by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
It’s 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.
Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.
Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on–and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.
Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out. (goodreads.com)
This book depressed me. Not because of the subject or the writing, but because of this:
HOW CAN 1996 BE FIFTEEN YEARS AGO?
How was I not even in my TEENS 15 years ago?
In 1996 I was 20. Yet, when I think of the 1990s I always think I was a teen. Turns out at least four of those 90s years were in my 20s. How has it been so bloody long since I was in my 20s? Ugh.
The other thing that happened while reading this book was this:
Did Crash really come out in 1996?
Last episode of Fresh Prince? Really?
God, I’m old.
I feel like Ellen has always been gay. Right? I mean, didn’t this happen a lot longer ago?
WAYNE’S WORLD? Shwing! I don’t think I’d find it funny now.
I feel old.
These are random exclamations I made while I turned the pages of The Future of Us.
Try as I might to focus on the story, I was stuck in the Land of Nostalgia for the 1990s. Oh, me. Although I have to say I rather liked the book. It might have tried just a little too hard to prove it was set in the late 90s, but the characters and the actual plot were enjoyable.
This is one of those books that has really great secondary characters, too. Tyler and Kellen were so fun to read. (Also, how cool is the name Kellen?) (Just realized I might be spelling it wrong, but my book is upstairs and I am feeling too lazy to go get it and double check. Oh, well.)
My one qualm about the book (other than the fact that it made me feel old) was that I found it too short. I kind of wish there had been more of a glimpse into the Facebook Future they found. A little more experimentation with changing the future. Not just Emma’s, but Josh’s too. Since the story was told from both perspectives, I would have enjoyed more Josh Future and not just all about Emma. I know it’s not right to play with your future, but, still. The curiosity would have killed me (my name IS Cat, afterall) and I’d have been testing the boundaries of what I could change or not.
I think the concept behind this story is interesting and clever. I have told a few other people of this book in the last week and though they aren’t all YA readers, even they expressed interest in it. Of course, I think for us it’s more of a curiosity about reliving our past and seeing those familiar pop culture references and reminiscing.
Seriously. How has is been 15 years since I was 20? How was I not a teen in 1996? Gah!
If all you Young People out there want to see how us dinosaurs discovered the beginning of the internet, pick up this book and learn a little about your elders. heh