September 26, 2012

the future of us by jay asher and carolyn mackler

Teen fiction can be confusing at times.
The stories can be serious and dark
but then there is an obvious lack of well, adult stuff.
So sometimes I forget that I'm reading a "young adult" novel
and when I find myself saying, wha?
then I usually remember.
Oh yes.
I am not the age of the majority of the readers of this book.
But that doesn't mean they aren't worth reading.
I loved the Hunger Games and yes, I'll admit it, the Twilight books (not the movies).
 This is a story of life before Facebook.
Before the internet, really.
I remember those days.
But what I kept forgetting was that the target audience for this book
would not.
They don't know what it was like when you could only look up information in books.
Or if you heard a song on the radio that you loved
it was really hard to find out what it was unless they played it on the radio
(which they never did.)
There was a lot that was good about the world before texting.
Facetime,
not facebook.
Getting asked out on a date, in person,sweaty palms and all.
Not online
or over Skype.
Face to face.
I'm glad that was my teenage generation.
I'm glad it wasn't so

impersonal.

And maybe it really isn't now.
Maybe I'm completely out of touch.
But there was something about then that was perhaps more honest.
There was less to hide behind.
But this is about the book, not my nostalgia.
I liked this book.
I read it because I read Jay Asher's first book, 13 Reasons Why, which I loved.
This book is a lighter topic -
a  girl gets a computer and her friend gives her a CD for AOL (remember those?)
When she loads it onto her computer, Facebook is saved as a favorite place.
But Facebook doesn't exist yet
and what she sees is the future.
Her future.
And the future is scary.
Not in an apocolyptic kind of way.
but in a very real way -

She's unhappy.

And maybe that's the biggest nightmare
and not what anyone bargains for.
So she sets about to change her future
but everything she does
affects, well, everything.
It's an interesting story.
And I found it sweet that this teenager would have the maturity to realize that her happiness is not inherent but rather something that we have to create for ourselves.
But then, this book was written by a full grown adult - not a teenager - and there were a few times that I could see that through the lines.
That hindsight is often 20/20.
But still -
worth the cover price and overall, it was time well spent.


2 comments:

Shannon said...

I almost forget what life was like before we were patched in to information highway!

Jane's Next Door said...

It's easy to forget! I just wish I had the internet during high school and university for research stuff. It would have made life easier in a lot of ways!