The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Also by Jay: Thirteen Reasons WhyAlso by Carolyn: The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
Description: 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.
Review: My generation is ruled by the internet. When Facebook sprouted from college-kids-only to everyone around 2009, we hopped on that shit like flies on meat. It was better than Myspace because it was mature, and organized, and everything was nice and in place. Myspace was a thing of the past, and Facebook was where it's at. Now, the Facebook trend has faded and now the cool, hip websites to be on are tumblr and Twitter. Social Networking is more for older people, mainly to see high school sweethearts and to keep up on what their kids are doing.
But what would happen if you found Facebook before the website was invented? That's what happens to Emma and Josh. Emma just got this brand-spankin' new computer (that you can't use the phone while online) and Facebook just pops up. But it's from the future. She's seeing her future: who she's married to, her kids, her career, all her high school friends. It's overwhelming for her, and also Josh, whose future is looking pretty bright, since he marries the pretty popular girl.
I was very curious about this book when I first heard about it, and my interest grew as the release date neared. But like a lot of books, I forgot about it until my library had it last week. I was really excited going into the book. I flew through the first 100 pages, I think mainly because the idea was so great and the story kept you guessing what was going to happen.
Emma was annoying. She didn't like her life, so she kept causing butterfly-effect like things to happen so they changed. She went through 3 husbands in the book, and she crushed Josh numerous times. She was so reckless with Facebook. She was selfish because what happened to her effected everyone else. She was unpredictable, and I hated how, whenever I came across her chapter, I was worried about what she was going to do.
Josh was more a more enjoyable character. According to Facebook, he winds up marrying Sydney, one of the most popular girls in school. He chases after her, and then realizes that he doesn't want his future to be that way. He was the more intelligent of the two while dealing with Facebook. He understood the consequences that the kids faced.
If I was in that situation, I would probably follow Josh's lead. I would do everything in my power to make my future that way. I'm a big believer in 'everything happens for a reason', so there was a reason that Emma didn't wind up with the star of the track team; there was a reason that Josh got the better life. I really enjoyed the part when Emma tries to change the future of one of their friends. I really enjoyed the status updates, and the '90s world the authors created. I was really thrown into the '90s, and it was very realistic.
Overall, The Future of Us is about dealing with the hand you're dealt, living in the moment, and loving life the way it is.
(holy cornballs, that was awful)
"If you want me to play along, here's a theory. You know how Vice President Gore calls the Internet the 'Information Superhighway'? Let's say everyone's going the same direction on this superhighway. Time travel would be about finding a way to jump to a different spot."
- -The Future of Us//Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler