Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: The Future of Us (audio book)

Authors: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Narrators: Mary Ellen Craven & Steve Kaplan
Publish date: 2011
Source: Library
"It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.

I love the concept of this book. Facebook is huge, of course, and the idea that someone can see into their future is cool. Add that to the 90's nostalgia and you have a recipe for a great story. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me despite many other great reviews.

I thought the best part about The Future of Us was the fact that it took place in 1996. The book was FULL of 90's references and although I was in grade school at that point, it was still fun to read about things that I remembered from that era. It was especially funny to read about the sound of a dialing modem or the fact that people had beepers. I appreciated the references, but I'm not sure that teenagers today would. I feel like my students would be more attracted to something set now, but that's just me.

Out of the two main characters, I definitely liked Josh the best. I could not STAND Emma. She was selfish and shallow for most of the book. The only thing she seemed to care about was whom she was married to in her Facebook future and she continually made decisions without thinking about how they'd affect others, namely Josh.

I listened to this as an audio book over a week and thought the narrators did well in terms of getting the teenage voice down. The woman who narrated Emma's chapters had a bit of a babyish voice, which is exactly what I would imagine Emma having. It was fairly short too, only 7 CD's. Easily could be finished in a couple days.

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