Dani (Pen to Paper)'s Reviews > The Future of Us

The Future of Us by Jay Asher
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May 13, 2012

really liked it
Read from May 25 to June 14, 2012

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When this book arrived, I was ridiculously excited. I was really in the mood for a fun, Young Adult, contemporary fiction read, and with this, I got all three! Plus, I'd heard so many good things about it, that I was confident I'd really enjoy it. Despite this, I hadn't planned on reading it as soon as it arrived - but that's exactly what happened. I have this habit, when I get a new book, to flick through it a bit - maybe even read the opening chapter - and that's what I did with this. Except I didn't just stop at the first chapter, and before I knew it, I was a third of the way through. This should be enough evidence to show you just how gripping this book is!

The premise of the novel is also really interesting - yes, it could be seen as a bit cheesy - but it is actually really entertaining. The story is set in 1996, and follows Josh and Emma; next-door neighbours, and school friends. When Emma gets a computer and AOL internet for the first time, they immediately log on, and the first thing they discover is their facebook profiles, 15 years in the future. They soon realise that, even the smallest thing they change in the present, can have a dramatic effect on their futures. It was really interesting to see how just a small action, like splashing a vase of dirty water on the carpet, could alter the characters' futures so much. Although, the wisdom of doing this becomes questionable, because they don't know whether they're changing the future for the better, or making it worse.
So like I said, maybe a bit cheesy, but definitely entertaining.

Josh and Emma were really great protagonists for the novel. They were quite different from one another in some ways, but similar enough, so that when the chapters switched from Josh's perspective, to Emma's (I love a good perspective switch!), it felt really natural, and flowed really well all the way through. I think that's also part of what makes it such an easy and light read.
I think, out of the two of them, I liked Josh the best. This is mostly because he was a really kind and caring person, but also because I did end up wishing that Emma would make up her mind quite a lot. She was really indecisive when it came to her feelings about Josh, and she was the only one that was really trying to change her future, being convinced that she was unhappy in the future, and she needed to change it now. She just seemed a lot less mature than Josh, and I wanted her to realise that she was going about everything in the wrong way, much, much sooner.
I loved them together though - they just seemed like the perfect couple, and I was really hoping that they would realise this.

There were a couple of tiny, little things that did annoy me about this book. They're not major, but I am going to mention them, because they did irritate/confuse me.
The first point is the one that confused and irritated me, and that is the mention of cell phones. So the story is set in 1996, and cell phones did exist, but obviously they're nothing like the phones we have today.
At one point in the story, when Emma is reading some of the status updates on Facebook, one of them says something along the lines of 'I got your text', and Emma then says "I have no idea what a text is".
Now, perhaps this wouldn't cause a reaction in some readers, but it did with me. One of the other characters, Sydney, has a cell phone, so I know that Emma would have come across one at some point, so I decided that I was going to research cell phones from 1996, and I discovered that a lot of them did have an SMS function. So surely she'd have known what a text was, even if she'd never actually sent one? Was I confused? Yes.

The other point that irritated me a little, was a stereotypical view of the British. And I'm British. I've noticed that a lot of Americans have a fairly idealised and stereotypical view of us English - and when an American author attempts to portray the British, it's often completely off the mark, and can irritate me quite a lot. And yeah, this happened in this book.
It was with Emma again, and again she was reading her future Facebook status updates. One of them starts off with "I can't stand how people in England say "Good day" all the time". Now, I'm English, and I don't believe I've ever said 'Good day' to someone as a greeting (except perhaps in the sentence "Have you had a good day?"), nor has anyone ever said it to me. We say 'Hello', or 'Hi', or 'Hey' - some of us even say 'alright?' - but not 'Good day'. And we didn't say it in 1996 either. We're not stuck in the Victorian era, you know.
Anyway, that's my rant over. Other than these minor irritations, I really did enjoy the book, but I just needed to set the record straight - particularly on that last point.

Overall, the book is a really enjoyable one, as long as you don't try to take it too seriously. It's meant as a bit of fun, and that's exactly what it is. It's a light-hearted, fun and amusing romantic comedy, and I loved pretty much every moment. I definitely recommend picking it up!
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Reading Progress

05/25/2012 page 94
26.0% "Didn't mean to even start reading this, haha! It's really good so far :)" 1 comment
06/14/2012 page 297
83.0% 1 comment
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Katie I'm interested to see what you think about this one :) I liked it at the start then was disappointed with the second half.

Dani (Pen to Paper) Oh dear! I've not really read too much more of it yet, as I've been focusing on Jasper Fforde novels ready for the Fforde Ffiesta this weekend, but I will get to it soon.
Should have a review for you in a week or so :)

Silver Thistle {adores JAFF & TEOTWAWKI.  Oh, and accronyms :P} Good day, Dani! Ha! j/k :D
That stereotyping thing bugs me too, doubly when the Brit being stereotyped is Scottish. I really wanted to read 'A Hunger like no other' but didn't get past the first chapter when the guy (the presumably Scottish guy) said something like "I doona know what ye mean". Urggh. Give me strength!

Dani (Pen to Paper) Haha! Nice :P
Oh dear o.O No, I can't stand things like that either. Although, there has been one book I've read, with stereotyped Scottish characters, but it just made me laugh... have you read any of the Hamish MacBeth series by M. C. Beaton? Hamish's character is quite stereotypical, but it's just so cheesy, that I couldn't help laughing :P It was Death of a Gossip, anyway!

But usually, stereotyping the British is a big no no!

Silver Thistle {adores JAFF & TEOTWAWKI.  Oh, and accronyms :P} Dani (Pen to Paper) wrote: "Haha! Nice :P
Oh dear o.O No, I can't stand things like that either. Although, there has been one book I've read, with stereotyped Scottish characters, but it just made me laugh... have you read a..."

Haven't read the books but I've seen a couple of episodes. I don't really mind so much when it's the actions/nature's that is stereotyped, it gets to me most when it's speech for some reason. It REALLY rubs me the wrong way to read how someone 'think's' Scot's like myself sound. If they can't do it properly then just write English and tell me he's got a Scottish lilt or something, don't guess it. Done well it's a pleasure to read. But done poorly it turns me into a raving maniac. Wouldn't be the first time I'd ranted to complete strangers in book shops that the book they're considering buying is a pile of crap, based on how the author wrote Scots, lol. Highlander's were/are a popular subject matter for Historical romance and I'd love to be able to gorge myself on them but sadly most of them leave me with a twitchy eye and a red rash covering most of my upper body 0.o


(For the record...for any authors of Highlander romance who happen to be reading - It's 'Dinnae' or 'Dinna', NOT 'Doona')

Rant over XD

Back on topic - I've had The Future of Us in the pile here for a while now and I've still to get to it. I'm mostly worried I won't like it because I'm sort of at my limit for YA lately. I'm losing my appetite for it a bit, it's all getting too tame and high-schoolish and angsty for me. I've bought it though so I expect I'll get to it eventually.

Dani (Pen to Paper) Lovely rant, there :P I know what you mean though! It's painful... like an American trying to imitate a British accent - mostly badly done and cringe-worthy!

I didn't know there were episodes of Hamish MacBeth! I am going to have to look these up, haha!

I would definitely say that it's worth the read, if you want something easy (especially for a day off, or a holiday). But I wouldn't go out of your way to read it straight away, especially if you're losing your taste for YA. x

Silver Thistle {adores JAFF & TEOTWAWKI.  Oh, and accronyms :P} It's quite good (the tv show) and it's got Robert Carlyle as Hamish. Although, I can't see him but I think of Begsby from Trainspotting.


Dani (Pen to Paper) Looks interesting! That'll be why I've never heard of the TV series though... it was done in 1995 ... when I was 4 :P
Definitely going to be looking this up, though! x

Dani (Pen to Paper) And I know him as Durza in Eragon, so it's an even weirder jump for me :P Haha! x

Silver Thistle {adores JAFF & TEOTWAWKI.  Oh, and accronyms :P} Dani (Pen to Paper) wrote: "Looks interesting! That'll be why I've never heard of the TV series though... it was done in 1995 ... when I was 4 :P
Definitely going to be looking this up, though! x"

Dani (Pen to Paper) wrote: "And I know him as Durza in Eragon, so it's an even weirder jump for me :P Haha! x"

You're the same age as my son :)

Blimey, I feel old, haha!

He was good in Eragon (Bobby Carlyle, not my son, lol) My daughter is reading the next one, Eldest just now.

Dani (Pen to Paper) Ooh no! Don't feel old! I'm sure you're not, if your son is only my age!

He was good in Eragon! I actually just re-purchased the entire series - I got the deluxe edition hardbacks in a box set. Managed to get it for about £26 as well, which was really good. It's been about 8 years since I read any of them, so looking forward to reading them again, and finishing the series, because I never did read the last two books!
Is she enjoying it? :)

Silver Thistle {adores JAFF & TEOTWAWKI.  Oh, and accronyms :P} She thinks they're great. I managed to get Eldest on a swap for her at RiSi and she's only just started it but she's liking it.

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