Thursday, 3 April 2014
Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Publication Date: April 8th, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
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An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.
Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.
This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.
Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.
But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.
Ugh! I need to write this review, but I honestly don't have much to say. I finished the book, so that's a plus. But otherwise it was pretty meh. I've enjoyed Brashares books before(she's the author of the Traveling Pants series). It's always disappointing to not enjoy a book, but I find it even more so when you've read and liked books by that author before.
Anyhow, this is pretty much about a girl, Prenna, who escaped from a future time where the world was being destroyed by a plague. Prenna and others from that time have come to present day New York to live out the rest of their lives in safety. The society leaders have set a pretty strict bunch of rules. They want them to integrate with present day society, yet they're not supposed to form relationships with anyone. And it's obvious the leaders are watching every move its people make. There is consequences for not following rules. And some people have turned up dead for going as far as letting someone know about their "secret." For the most part everyone keeps to themselves, that is until Prenna starts to uncover some secrets. As can be expected, the leaders are telling lies and keeping their own secrets.
Prenna has befriended(in her own way) Ethan. Ethan is from current times and it's obvious he has a crush on her. But Prenna knows the rules, so she is trying to keep her feelings for Ethan friendly. Prenna can tell that something is up with Ethan though. It seems like he might know that there's something different about her. He's constantly watching her and trying to get her to answer his questions.
As The Here and Now is a pretty short book, the information and secrets are revealed to Prenna and Ethan pretty quickly. Which in turns gets Prenna to rebel against her society. Pretty much Prenna and Ethan believe that if they save a certain person than that will stop the future plagues from Prenna's time period. Meaning they save the world.
I'm sure anyone versed in the world of time travel knows that changing the past does not mean the outcome will change the future. So just because they might succeed at what they think will save the future doesn't mean they didn't just create an even worse situation in the future. And I think that's what Brashares was trying to get across; you can't live in the future. As the title of the book states, you have to live in the here and now. Futures are constantly changing based on every single decision you make. Which can be as small as what you eat for breakfast.
As I've mentioned many times before, I'm a very character driven reader. And this book just doesn't deliver on that front. Prenna is another unforgettable heroine with a bland personality. Ethan is another quirky but popular love interest. Their relationship seems pretty forced. Both physically and verbally.
Disappointing read for me. But I had to finish it in the hopes that the ending would surprise me(it didn't). Hopefully in the right hands The Here and Now will resonate with another reader. The underlying message is right on, unfortunately the story is just to dull to make me care.