The Future of Us

In this perceptive, often humorous novel, Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why) and Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things) tap into the obsession with the future that possesses high school juniors Emma and Josh.

On Sunday, May 19, 1996, Josh walks next door to give Emma a CD-ROM with 100 free hours of America Online. Somehow, with her download of AOL, she also receives Facebook--which hasn't been invented yet. In a funny scene, Josh and Emma try to make sense of it ("Why does it say she has three hundred and twenty friends? Who has that many friends?" asks Josh). They also quickly discover that they can see their futures, 15 years from now. At first they think it's a hoax, but then they realize that it's impossible for someone to alter their "walls" so frequently. Josh likes his future--at least initially--because he winds up with a beautiful and wealthy classmate. Emma, however, continues to find fault with hers.

Teens will recognize themselves in Josh and Emma's behavior--the enslavement to Facebook, status updates and wall postings. The solid foundation of the neighbors' lifelong friendship anchors the novel, and teens will savor knowing more than the narrators--from the ins and outs of Facebook to the chemistry they'll recognize between Emma and Josh. Their story serves as a cautionary tale, that to live for some perceived future goal sacrifices life in the present. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

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