Do you ever read a book that you don't dislike, but you don't really like it, either? It's just kinda "meh". That was what this book was for me. Which is disappointing, coz I was so excited to read it thanks to its brilliant premise - it's set in 1996, and two friends find they can magically log on to Facebook 15 years in the future. Seriously, how cool does that sound? It's such a unique idea and opens up so many possibilities - but unfortunately, the execution falls far short of the potential.
My main problem was with the two protagonists, Josh and Emma. Josh is OK, just an average teenager who has some funny moments - but overall he's kinda bland. And Emma, well, she's whiny, selfish and really, really annoying. The bulk of the FB-related story (which sadly becomes less of a focus as the book progresses) is taken up with her freaking out about her future husband(s) and how unfair her life is. The carelessness with which she treats not just her own future but also that of her friends is disconcerting. Plus the way she treats her family and friends in the present - and Josh in particular - is pretty awful. I didn't care for her at all.
I was also disappointed at the lack of resolution to the plot. I was hoping you'd be able to see Josh and Emma's "current" Facebook profiles to find out how things turned out after all, but the book just kinda ends. I get that the main message was that you should live in and enjoy the present, but it just felt unfinished. There were a few subplots left dangling, too, and the lack of closure made me wonder why they were even in there in the first place. They just took time away from the main story without really going anywhere.
What the book did do was make me think - if I'd been able to see my Facebook profile back in the day, what would my reaction have been? It actually made me realise that I probably would have been pretty happy with the way my life was turning out, and reminded me of all the cool things I've done and achieved over the past 10 years. Which makes me sound all braggy or something which is totally not cool - but my point is that it made me think about all the positives in my life. Which is cool.
It also made me think about how truly random, weird and
As the setting was 1996, I just had to go back to my mid-90s celeb crushes to "cast" The Future of Us. Which essentially meant I pillaged two stars of The Babysitter's Club - Austin O'Brien for Josh and Marla Sokoloff for Emma.
Genre: Young Adult
Published: January 2012, Simon & Schuster
Get It: Fishpond