30 September 2011

The Future of Us; Jay Asher

The Future of UsThe Future of Us by Jay Asher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The conceit here - looking at Facebook, not being happy with the future you see, and making changes now to affect then - is not that new (the addition of Facebook notwithstanding). And because the Big Grab was Facebook, I wasn't grabbed.

In 1997, Ellen and Josh were BFFs for years, but six months earlier he tried to kiss her so now things are awkward. Ellen's parents are divorced, and her father has done the "guilty parent" thing of giving her gifts to compensate for his new life by giving her a computer. Josh's parents give Ellen one of those formerly ubiquitous AOL CD-ROMs (the ones with free hours when you sign up), and when she logs in she finds a link in her "favorite sites" to something called Facebook.

Initially puzzled by what this site is, she (and Josh) quickly realize that this is somehow projecting their future, what's going on in 2012. They're married (she to someone they don't know, he to one the hottest girls in school), with children and careers. Ellen keeps making small changes and watches her Facebook future change - disgusted with her mother's attempt at tofu mac-and-cheese, she changes her adult self's comfort food from "mac-and-cheese" to "lasagna". You get the drift. Sadly, the story of Ellen and Josh's friendship in the 1997-present is not anything we haven't read before.

As someone who remembers 1997 clearly, I'm pretty sure there was more on tv than "Friends" and "Seinfeld" (there must have been, as I watched neither), and more music than Dave Matthews and Oasis. The references to things that were popular at that time will definitely help the targeted readers, but they just annoyed me.

ARC provided by publisher.

1 comment:

  1. I actually heard about this book somewhere and instantly wanted to add it to my reading list. I like that this book is about the future. It would be fun to read how someone from the past would react to something that they have never heard of that is so popular and so commonly used in this day and age.