If you are my age, you remember being a teen long before Facebook and cell phones, and a computer was a thing you used at school. The Future of Us takes us back in time to when dial-up Internet was the new hot thing and you paged someone on a beeper to get their attention.
The book is written by two YALSA-recognized authors, 2004 Printz Honoree Carolyn Mackler and 2008 Best Books for Young Adults-honored Jay Asher. They alternate writing in the voices of Emma and Josh. The two teens are best friends and next door neighbors, but their relationship has cooled off after Josh makes an unwelcome move. They are now awkward at best, but Josh decides to share his AOL startup disk with Emma anyway. After the painfully long dial-up connection finally kicks in, Emma finds a curious thing in her favorites called Facebook. She discovers herself 20 years later and she is freaked out by what she sees. Her future self is sharing way too much personal information about her bad marriage and miserable life. Why would a person do that? Emma is shocked! Josh is also on Facebook. However, his life turns out very differently than he could have imagined: he is married to the hottest, most popular girl in school, who is way out of his league.
Emma decides to try to change the future, even using this strange thing called the phone book at the library to try to track down her future husband. (No 411 website yet!) Josh also takes matters into his own hands and starts talking to the dream girl who will someday be his wife. It all has a â€œBack To The Futureâ€ feel. They check in on their Facebook pages to see if their actions change the future. They also notice some things about friends that worry them. But how much should they share–and would anyone believe them?
I admit that I spend an absurd amount of time on Facebook. My iPhone has only made this worse. When I read the parts when Emma read her posts about her personal life it made me look at myself: Do I post anything that personal? Should I be embarrassed? Am I that lame?
Because it is written in both a male and female voice, it will appeal to readers of both genders. The main characters are well developed, and the other friends in their group are a lot of fun. This book is a fun read for both teens and those of us who remember life before social networking.
— Kris Hickey is currently reading Notes From An Accidental Band Geek by Erin Dionne
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