Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

This is Jay Asher's 2nd book, and I'm still a huge fan!  This is the first book of Carolyn Mackler's that I've read.  While the topic is way less serious than Asher's first book Thirteen Reasons Why, it was one that intrigued me as soon as I heard about it.  Two teens in 1996, Emma and Josh get online with Emma's first computer, using a phone line, and the old America Online CD-ROM that Josh has brought her.  The funny thing is, when they log on, they find a website called Facebook, and it seems to be their own Facebook pages, from 15 years in the future!!  So that's 2011.  And Facebook wasn't even really invented till 2003, so obviously there is no way these 16 year olds could have logged onto Facebook.  Turns out that little things they do or decide to do changes what shows up on their Facebook page.  Emma notices that her husband is first gone fishing, then missing and presumed to be cheating on her, and soon she's very unhappy with him it seems.  So she finds this person in real life and makes sure that she will never hook up with him.  This does send a big ripple through time, if we are to believe that this Facebook page is really from the future.  Now Emma has a new husband, and may or may not be pursuing her dream job of marine biology.  Josh on the other hand seems to be married to one of the most popular girls in the school, up until now, he's not really hung out with her.  The sad thing is that Josh and Emma have been best friends for years and years.  Until one night Josh thought that Emma might have more feelings for him, the same kind he had for her.  But when he went in to kiss her, she pulled back, and made it clear she didn't want that with him.  Since then Emma has had several boyfriends, none that seem to last long.  While Josh's future life, as seen on his Facebook page, doesn't ever seem to be a bad one, just changes in the number and sexes of his children, Emma's never seems to live up to what she wants.  And this causes her to keep trying to change things, even going so far to try something with Josh, something that pushes him away, to the point that they are no longer friends on Facebook.  Emma has to examine if what she's doing will ever make her future any better, or if there is actually something she needs to work on now about herself, rather than trying to get it fixed with other people.  Josh needs to determine if the popular girl is really his dream girl, or if that girl is who he'd always thought it would be.
Again I love the humor!  The way they first view Facebook, as a page where people post really boring things, like what they had for dinner.  It amuses me because it is so true, I do it myself.   And yet it pokes fun in a non-insulting, fun way.  I  love the humor, I love the story.  Even though you can kind of figure out where it is going, it still is fun to read and see how it gets there.
And because I always love to talk about getting to meet my favorite authors, here is a picture of me with Jay Asher at the Missouri Association of School Librarians a few years back when he presented a session, and was there to pick up his Gateway Award for the year before.