The Future of Us

( 301 )

Overview

What if you could see how your life would unfold—just by clicking a button?

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.

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Overview

What if you could see how your life would unfold—just by clicking a button?

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

This novel about a pair of teens who suddenly receive glimpses into their futures possesses the kind of resonance that all too many novels attempt but cannot achieve. The Future of Us is a fiction that repeatedly brings us back to the present, to the choices that we don't even know that we're making.

Benjamin Ruby

Dan Kois
The real value of The Future of Us may lie less in its plot than in the rich crop of questions it will raise in teenage readers…Reading the book should get contemporary teenagers wondering: Where will I live 15 years from now? Whom will I marry? What kind of life can I dream of? And what, exactly, is a "CD-ROM"? Prepare yourselves, parents, for the disbelief that will follow explanations of such historic artifacts as dial-up Internet, the Disc­man and busy signals.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
With collaborators like these, readers expect an ingenious hook, compelling characters, and thought-provoking content, and these two top-of-their-game authors don’t disappoint. It’s 1996, and high school junior Emma and her neighbor Josh are BFFs until an awkward, romantic moment creates tension. Then Emma gets a new computer and an AOL CD-ROM, which somehow allow her to access her future Facebook page when she goes online. She and Josh are able to read about what their lives will be like in 15 years, but what’s more, they discover that they can affect those future lives by their thoughts and actions in the present, a sobering realization with far-reaching consequences for the teenagers. Asher and Mackler’s concept is fascinating—how closely today is tied to tomorrow—and the alternating voices of the two main characters keep each chapter fresh and provide distinct perspectives on the events of the story. Though readers will not necessarily be surprised by how things turn out, the enjoyment—and the underlying message—is in simply allowing the journey to unfold. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)
VOYA - Nancy Wallace
In the spring of 1996, Emma installs AOL on her new computer from a free CD borrowed from her neighbor Josh. She has no idea that the one thousand hours of free Internet will allow her to tap into the future. When Facebook pops up on her sidebar, Emma glimpses what she will be like in fifteen years. Faced with a lonely, unhappy future, she tries to alter the current direction of her life. But she and Josh discover that even tiny changes in the present have huge ramifications later on. Their window into the future drives them apart and then brings them closer together in ways they could never have imagined. The authors' technique of telling the story in alternating chapters, one from Josh's point of view and one from Emma's, is very effective in defining both the characters and their voices. The premise is fresh, the characters are believable, and the plot zips along. Emma's casual love affairs with high school boys take on a more serious note when she sees herself alone and unloved in the future. While readers may guess that Emma needs to look no further for true love than "the boy next door," her journey to self-realization is authentic and touching. Teens will have no trouble identifying with Emma and Josh and their circle of friends. This book will appeal to a wide range of readers. It is a good choice for both public and school libraries, as well as a great selection for book discussions. Reviewer: Nancy Wallace
VOYA - Mary Kusluch
This honest, remarkable book offers a fictional situation realistically. Emma and Josh learn from their mistakes: they are humanized by the fact that they make them. They learn that sometimes what you need most has been right beside you all along. Written in first person / present tense, the book allows readers to see through the eyes of each character. Teens will enjoy reading about the smooth pages of someone's life suddenly wrinkled by a strange and supernatural occurrence. 4Q, 4P. Reviewer: Mary Kusluch, Teen Reviewer
ALAN Review - Meghan Anderson
Set in 1996, Josh and Emma are not the constantly wired teenagers of today. Josh has just given Emma a free AOL trial cd rom for her new computer. Upon logging on, Emma sees a page that has all her personal information and pictures. Emma has stumbled onto herself 15 years in the future, on Facebook. Josh is there, too, but their profiles do not remain static, rather the smallest actions throughout their days cause ripples in time, where their Facebook profiles and subsequently their futures change with every click. This novel not only examines how we write our destinies, but also to what extent our future is written in technology. Asher and Mackler's compelling depictions force the reader to examine the simultaneous help and hindrance that lies in current technology, keeping the reader guessing about the future of Emma and Josh as well at the future of humanity. Reviewer: Meghan Anderson
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—The year is 1996. Josh and Emma, lifelong best friends and neighbors, are in the midst of sorting out their awkward, possibly romantic feelings for one another when Emma receives her first computer and logs on to the Internet with a free AOL CD. Mysteriously, the teens find themselves on a website called Facebook, which has all sorts of information about their lives… 15 years in the future. This intriguing premise is an instant hook for today's social-media-savvy readers. Clever references to cassette tapes, dial-up Internet access, and camera film are sure to induce chuckles from those who remember 1996, but the nostalgia is subtle enough that the writing will feel fresh to contemporary teens, and the idea of glimpsing one's future is a tantalizing draw for any reader. Although the discovery of Facebook initially propels the plot, there is a solid and appealing story beyond the sly humor that comes from poking fun at trivial status updates. In addition to sustaining well-crafted romantic tension, the authors deftly address universal questions relevant to teens, such as, "What do I want?" and "How do my actions affect my future?" As Josh and Emma confront these dilemmas and reevaluate their feelings, their alternating first-person narratives have a sense of urgency that makes this book impossible to set aside. This quick, highly engaging read is a tremendously likable, soul-searching romantic comedy and a subtle reminder to occasionally unplug and live in the moment.—Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
If you had the chance to see what your life would be like 15 years in the future, would you take it? High-school students Emma Nelson and Josh Templeton were best friends until a misguided kiss last November made things between them awkward at best. But when Josh's mother forces him to give Emma a CD-ROM for America Online, the two discover that, for better or for worse, their destinies are intertwined. While installing the CD, Emma stumbles upon her Facebook page. The problem is, it's 1996. Facebook hasn't been invented yet. Emma shares her secret with Josh, and the two quickly learn that everything they do in the present has an immediate impact on their lives in the future. Unfortunately, they don't always like what they see. Can the two teenagers rewrite the future? Should they try? Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why, 2007) and Mackler's (Tangled, 2010) fantasy, told from both Emma and Josh's perspectives, makes for an entertaining but ultimately disappointing read. Focusing almost entirely on the teens' future love lives, the authors neglect 1996-era subplots involving the teens' friends and families that might have given the story additional depth and immediacy. Without question a page-turner, it's nevertheless unlikely to linger long in readers' minds. (Fantasy. 13 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595145161
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 44,410
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Jay Asher

Jay Asher's first novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, spent over two years on the New York Times bestseller list, with foreign rights sold in over 30 countries and more than 1,000,000 copies in print in the US alone.

Carolyn Mackler is the Printz Honor winning author of The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things; Tangled; Guyaholic; Vegan Virgin Valentine; and Love and Other Four-Letter Words. Her novels have been published in over 15 countries.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 301 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(138)

4 Star

(74)

3 Star

(58)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 243 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    Eh...

    I liked Jay Asher's last novel a lot, his writing style was incredible. This book was lame. Emma was whiny. The concept is kinda cool, but for the money, I found it to be not worth it. I wish it had more...depth. IMO, either check it out of the library for free or wait until it goes on sale.

    10 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    Is this book to fasr!!!!!

    I luv fast paced books but im woundering if this book is to fast somwone plz reply thanx

    4 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2011

    Loved it :)

    <3

    4 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    13 reasons why

    Thirteen reasons why is better even though it is more sad.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    A very good book

    This book is spectacular! It kept me reading late through the night, and I think its really uplifting. I just wish it had been longer and in more detail because i liked it so much!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Best book ever

    This book, even though fiction, makes you reflect on your choices and what the outcome could be

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    Love It!

    This book is all about Emma and Josh looking at their own future, i finished this book in one day! i recommend it this book is awesome


    PS: i'm a very picky person when it comes down to books!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Great book

    If you are looking for a great book to read then i would pick this one it was fast pass and very amazing looked this book but it is mostly for teens that like romance and mistory it was fantastic please read this book you will love it i promise you that

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Good read!

    Good read. Interesting how things have changed and how Facebook affects our lives.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Book looks like bout love

    Is thiz book bout LOVE p.s. michie wrote this

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

    This book sucks

    After reading the first two or three chapters Ive come to a conclusion, Ive seen better works of literature from my fellow middle school students! No matter what anyone else tells you, DONT BUY THIS!!!!!! (I gave it two stars to be nice)

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Not bad

    This was a decent book, but not fantastic. Jay ashers first novel blew me away and i kept waiting for this one to do the same but it never did. I feel they had a great story line and they really could have done so much more with it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    Really good book

    This is a really good book and a quick read.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Amazing book!!!!!!!

    I recently read this book it was amazing,i loved the two poinys of views of Emma and Josh i have nothing bad to say.I like Carolyn Mackler's view a littler more for emmas side than josh's but Jay asher also did a good job.this is my number two favorite book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Loved it!!!

    This book was AMAZING. I absolutely enjoyed it but it go innapropriate at times. Other then that it was just superb. I told eveyone about it and now everyone wants to borrow it frim me!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2011

    Not amazimg

    I love the plot line to the book, but it was not a good book. The characters werent developed enough & there were a lot of ties left loose at the ending. Very predictable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    ..

    ...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2014

    Characters dont live up to the premise

    Do yourself a favor and read something else.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Valerie Book purchased for review Review originally

    Reviewed by Valerie
    Book purchased for review
    Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

    The premise of this book had me hooked from the beginning! Imagine that you receive a new computer and a CD to log on to the internet…back in 1996. AND, once you log on, you see something called Facebook with pictures of someone with YOUR name…

    This is what happens in the world of Josh and Emma. Emma receives a new computer because her Dad and his new wife have a new baby, and a new family…she feels left out. Josh’s mom doesn’t want him using any type of CD where the phone line will be tied up and suggests that he gives it to Emma. What really confuses Emma is that the picture that pops up of a person with her name also has a different last name added on…and types sentences that imply she is very unhappy.

    Over time, Emma is convinced that she is seeing her future self but Josh is skeptical and thinks that someone is playing a prank on her using what they know about her already, like using pictures from their yearbook, etc. As Josh accepts that they are indeed seeing the future, he is very pleased and astonished that he’s managed to snag the hottest girl in high school. He LOVES his future.

    Emma, on the other hand, keeps tabs on herself and doesn’t like her future at all. She determines that she will change it – and does. What she doesn’t expect is that Josh doesn’t want her to do one thing that will affect his future also…soon, they aren’t talking and their friends have no idea what’s going on.

    What makes this story so very sweet is that Josh and Emma are neighbors and childhood friends. As they grew up, Josh started having a crush on Emma but she didn’t return his feelings. As they work through present problems trying to avoid future problems, they both have to decide what’s most important to each of them – and deny the temptation to see other people’s future as well.

    I really enjoyed this story which was a joint collaboration between the authors.  At times, I disliked Emma’s character since she seemed so selfish but, over time, she grew on me.  She was simply a teen trying to figure out her feelings and what she wanted.  I liked Josh’s character from the very beginning and he continued to be a character I enjoyed.  The plot of this book was so different that it really had me turning pages late into the night wondering how it would all end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2014

    Post your applications here!

    Hazzah

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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