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Kid Konnection: The Future of Us

December 15, 2012

The Future of Us

High school student Emma Nelson’s dad sends her a computer so her friend and neighbor, Josh, brings over an AOL CD-ROM that came in the mail.  Emma starts her computer, logs on to AOL and discovers Facebook.  The only problem is, this is 1996 and Facebook won’t be invented for another 9 years.  At first, Emma thinks it’s all a prank, but quickly comes to realize that she’s looking at her future.  She and Josh can’t help but peek at their Facebook pages – Emma’s not happy with what she sees but Josh thinks his future looks pretty bright.  They come to realize that their current actions can affect their futures, but is it ethical to change their fortunes?  If they change their future, will it be any better?

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler is a fun, thought-provoking book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  There’s a little angst and romance, but the story doesn’t focus on either.  Instead it shows how decisions we make shape our lives.

I thought Emma and Josh were great – they’re ordinary teens given some knowledge that many people would like to have.  They have to decide what to do with it and I appreciated the fact that they tried to act responsibly.  I liked their reactions to some of the information and hope it strikes a chord with teen readers.

The story alternates between Josh and Emma’s point of view sometimes giving readers details of the same event from different perspectives, sometimes filling in background, and sometimes relating an event familiar to only one of the characters.  Each chapter is headed with the narrator’s name but I found it easy to tell their voices apart after just a few chapters.

I really liked the fact that there’s no language or sex in The Future of Us, so young teens on up can enjoy it.  This would be a good one to read with a teen since it explores friendship, safe sex (in a clean way), privacy, and use of the internet and could spark some great discussions.  Be sure to check this book out if you have a teen in your life.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
22 Comments leave one →
  1. Veens permalink
    December 15, 2012 4:58 am

    This is a really interesting story-line. Even if we do not know the future… whatever we do now has a true imprint on our future – and that is something kids need to understand. I think I would want Aarya (when he is older) to read this.

  2. December 15, 2012 6:19 am

    This sounds way fun!

  3. December 15, 2012 6:43 am

    I’ve been wondering how this one goes over with readers who barely remember a pre-Facebook Internet or if nostalgic adults would get it more. Interesting to think about teens grimacing looking ahead to their adult years, rather than the other way around with adults looking back!

  4. December 15, 2012 10:09 am

    First – LOVE Jay Asher…. and I did enjoy this book very much too when I read it.

  5. sandynawrot permalink
    December 15, 2012 11:12 am

    I thought this was a cute book. It didn’t stick in my mind as a favorite, but it was sweet and clever. But I really thought I’d remembered some sex stuff in it. Not heavy duty, but enough that I would not give it to a young teen.

  6. December 15, 2012 12:45 pm

    I’ve added this to my list of books to read with my daughter. I think she would really enjoy it. Thanks for mentioning the content.

  7. December 15, 2012 1:04 pm

    This does sound like a fun book! 🙂

  8. Amy @ My Friend Amy permalink
    December 15, 2012 1:13 pm

    aw I loved this book when I read it, too, I devoured it in a day!

  9. bookingmama permalink
    December 15, 2012 6:33 pm

    I can’t wait to read this one. Sounds terrific. If it’s “clean,” I’ll pass it along to Booking Daughter.

  10. December 15, 2012 7:00 pm

    Oh this one sounds great. I think this concept is great, so I’m going to try reading it.

  11. stilettostorytime permalink
    December 15, 2012 10:04 pm

    I really really enjoyed this one as well when I read it when it first came out….I thought it was such a great premise, very original. Have you read Jay Asher’s “Thirteen Reasons Why”?

  12. December 16, 2012 12:23 pm

    This sounds great even though I’m far removed from my teen years.

  13. December 16, 2012 12:46 pm

    Both my 12yro and i loved this one. Great concept.

  14. December 16, 2012 9:29 pm

    I just read this too and, from an adult’s perspective, found it feeling very young feeling — which would be good for teens but not for grown-ups I think. Though I did enjoy the remembrances of how life used to be the “olden”days of AOL and such.

  15. December 17, 2012 9:39 am

    How amazing is this, I’ve just this minute finished watching Bact to the Future 11, where Marty goes back to the futur to sort out his kids and his parents, and now I read your review. Quite bizarre. Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2012 09:00:29 +0000 To:

  16. talesofwhimsy permalink
    December 17, 2012 1:07 pm

    I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO need this one.

  17. December 17, 2012 4:04 pm

    I’ve got this one on my shelf and hope to read it soon. It’s nice to know that it’s clean, so I can recommend it to my son (maybe in a couple of years).

  18. December 17, 2012 6:22 pm

    I really liked Jay’s book 13 Reasons Why and this one really appeals to me! Could you imagine being able to see your future??? A bit scary, actually!

  19. December 17, 2012 9:11 pm

    I liked 13 Reasons Why but wasn’t interested in this one, until now! Cool concept.

  20. December 18, 2012 1:37 am

    I am so out of the loop, I didn’t even realize Jay Asher had a new book out. I will have to get a copy for Evan to read, I think he’d like it.

  21. December 18, 2012 1:38 am

    I am so out of the loop, I didn’t even realize Jay Asher had a new book out. I will have to get a copy for Evan to read, I think he’d like it.

  22. December 29, 2012 8:49 pm

    Loved his other book and looking forward to this one.

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