Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Genre: Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Incredibly disappointing
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Geez, was this disappointing. The blurb of this book was literally incredible: two kids log onto Facebook, 15 years in the future, before it has been invented. In their 1990s state of minds, they are in awe of a social media website, and even more in awe of their futures. Plus, the main characters are a guy and girl who were previously best friends (uhm that is the foundation for a great romance right there). Wouldn't you want to read it? I certainly did, it seemed like such an original and creative idea, and I stand by the fact that this book is conceptually great.
Therein lies the problem. This book, while conceptually stellar and all that, lacks execution in literally every sense of the term "lacks execution." 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and The Earth, My Butt, and Other Round Things by Carolyn Mackler were both fantastic books -- They're both sitting in my basement right now, and they both got a lot of love from me when I read them (albeit, a few years ago, I read these books during my obsessed-with-Meg-Cabot-and-all-other-YA-books-a-middle-schooler-would-like phase). However, because of my love of these two books and the amazing idea for the plot, I swore The Future of Us would be phenomenal. Disappointment reigns true for this novel.
I'll start by just saying that the writing was just not good. It lacked flow and depth and reality: everything was awkward and the changes in PoVs was awkward as well. Alternating chapters were in Emma's point of view, and then Josh's -- while some authors can pull this off, this only added to the lack of cohesion and disrupted the plot further. Also, the writing is literally made for 12 year olds, but the references to shows and old technology and stuff is for those who were much older in the 90s, which I really don't understand.
Let me just go on to say how completely vapid these characters are. THEY LITERALLY FIND A GATEWAY INTO THE FUTURE AND INSTEAD OF TRYING TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WORLD OR THEIR PERSONAL GROWTH OR SOMETHING THAT COULD HELP PEOPLE, ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS WHO THEY MARRY. Like WOW awesome good4u clap clap characters, for overanalyzing every status update about their respective future husband or wife. They try to mess with their futures or make sure they stay married to the hottest girl to ever walk the earth and they even try to mess with other people's futures. In between all this, there are like weird teenager relationship problems and weird teenage conversations that seemed so foreign and unlikely. Just because they are from 1996 doesn't mean that these teens wouldn't sound like every other teenager (hint: teens are not all crazy sex obsessed kids or go around quoting the vice president word for word).
Also I'm like 98% sure this book doesn't have an ending, it takes up whatever it can muster from those few pages of good idea and just collapses on all fronts. The 2 stars I gave this book were for two reasons: 1) the idea was decent 2) I wasn't SO horrified that it stopped me from reading. Wouldn't really recommend this to anyone, unless you're looking to be shocked by how two good authors can collaborate on one amazing idea to create something so awful.
Who are your favorite one-hit-wonder authors?
Let us know in the comments!
Let us know in the comments!