Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler


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.

My thoughts:
This book was on a number of blogs at the end of last year so when I saw it on the shelf at the library last week I grabbed it.  It  has such great pacing and such a neat idea that I had trouble putting it down.  For some reason I have always been interested in the idea of time travel and while this is not traveling to the future, it shows Emma and Josh how even little decisions they make today can affect their lives in fifteen years.  Imagine all those small things you decide on each day from what to wear, to what time to leave the house, what to eat or buy.  Nothing that seems life changing, especially far off in the future, but what if it is?  Thinking about September 11th I always remember the people who were late to work at the World Trade Center, or on vacation, or off at an off-site meeting and how that one decision led to them still being here.  We never know which small decision is going to set in motion where we will be or what we will be doing or who we will be with in the future.

Emma sees herself in fifteen years and sees a woman who is unhappy with her life, so she sets out to fix things like not meeting her future husband at college and then looks for the ripples from that.  Each time she changes something she refreshes the page to see how it fixes things.  She sees how decisions small and large can modify the future she sees.  Josh is a little more leery of looking too much at the future, he sees a picture he is happy with and doesn't want to mess with it.  But in looking into the future they realize that hey need to look at the now too.

This was a well-paced book and the characters were realistic and real.  They weren't too stereotyped or cartoon like.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595144911
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 11/21/2011
Pages: 320
Age range: 12 - 17 Years


  1. I think about this a fair amount: how do my actions now affect the future? I think this would be such an interesting thing to explore!

    Hey, I've sent you a few emails about The Lantern but haven't received a response. Want to email me at trish dot browning at gmail dot com?

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