Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “carolyn mackler”

ambern’s #CBR4 Review #23 The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

It’s 1996 and Emma has just received a new computer from her father as a guilt gift.  When she installs AOL, Emma discovers a weird site called Facebook that shows her 15 years into the future.  At first she believes that the whole thing is a joke that her friend Josh is playing on her, but his bewilderment over the site convinces her that this isn’t payback of any kind.  (Things have been tense between Josh and Emma for months, since she rejected him romantically.)

The two quickly become obsessed with Facebook and their futures.  Josh becomes a graphic designer happily married to the prettiest girl in their school (a girl he has been too nervous to even talk to) while Emma ends up unemployed and in a miserable marriage.  Understandably upset, she does everything in her present to change her future, frustrating Josh who doesn’t want his chance at a great future ruined by Emma.

At first I had some trouble getting into the book; it was a little heavy-handed with the whole “it’s 1996” thing.  But Josh and Emma’s awkwardness with each other and their obsession with Facebook won me over—it just seemed real.  I can’t relate to the Facebook addiction because I’ve never been on it, but like most people I would love to have a chance to see into my future and try to change it for the better.  Overall it was an interesting book and a quick read, a nice distraction.

Scootsa1000’s #CBR4 Review #8: The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

I’m a sucker for time travel stories.  I love Doctor Who (well, I did.  I’m not really feeling the Matt Smith incarnation, but that’s a story for another day). I enjoy books like The Time Traveller’s Wife and 11/22/63.  When I read the reviews that a few other Cannonballers had written about The Future of Us, I made a mental note to add it to my list.  Two days ago, I saw it being reshelved at my library and decided to move it to the top of the reading pile.

For those unaware, The Future of Us is the story of Emma and Josh, next door neighbors and former best friends who discover a weird portal to the future when they install AOL on Emma’s new computer in 1996.  After AOL welcomes them, they find a link to a website called “Facebook” under their favorites tab, and figure out that they can see how their lives will look 15 years in the future.  And that those futures seem to change every time they hit the refresh button.

Read my entire review here.

effcubed’s CBR4 #4: The Future of Us

Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler imagine what would happen if your teenage self could see into your future–your future on Facebook.

DragonDreamsJen’s #CBR4 Review #5 The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Jay Asher’s novel Thirteen Reasons Why was a pivotal story for our family that helped one of my daughters get through a very difficult time.  I continue to recommend it to teachers and parents alike when the issue of bullying comes up.  I purchased this newest book for my girls as a Christmas gift and stole it from the bookshelf as soon as one of them was done reading it.

The Future of Us is a double narrative set in the mid 1990s as the Internet was just coming into being and things like Facebook were far in the future… or at least they were supposed to be.  The two main characters, Emma and Josh, are neighbours and childhood friends who have had a falling out… until the free AOL disk installed on Emma’s new computer accidentally gives her access to their Facebook profiles 15 years in the future.

The premise of this story was intriguing and the two points of view, set over a week in the characters lives, created two very different points of view and sense of voice.  I found myself wondering if they had started this collaboration as a variation of the old “letters” exercise between authors where each one has a chance to alter the story slightly as they send their pieces back and forth to each other.  Midway through the book, I found myself disliking the female character so much that I actually took a break for a few hours.  I’m not sure if Asher’s character Josh is just more likable than Emma or whether his writing and slightly more descriptive style is just stronger.  My daughter, who’d had a similar reaction when reading the story, urged me to soldier on and I am glad that I picked the book up again.  It had a very nice message in the end and an ending which allows a reader to imagine their own possibilities.   As someone well beyond the angst-ridden teenage years, I felt sorry for Emma’s desperate search for the “perfect future”.   Instead of looking for that one Happily Ever After, maybe we need to remind others that every day of our lives is a chance to make changes, grow and reach for dreams.  There is never just one perfect path to find, but a wealth of possibilities too infinite to imagine.

Hardcover format,  356 pages, published  in 2011 by Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Group

Rahael’s #CBR4 Review #6: The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

I had a pretty rough week, so I decided to pick an easy and quick book to read.  I ended up with The Future of Us, a young adult novel set in 1996 about a pair of friends who end up with an AOL disc that gives them access to Facebook and a view into the lives of their future selves.  Both characters struggle with their daily lives as high school students and with how good they perceive that their futures have turned out.

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