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 don’t like writing negative reviews, I really don’t. That being said, I read a lot and I guess I have pretty high standards so it’s bound to happen every now and then. Generally when a book is just poorly written or I hated it I don’t feel the need to review it. What’s the point? But that wasn’t the case with The Future of Us. I felt it deserved a review.
I was intrigued by the idea of this book. Two teens in the 90s get a glimpse into their future via Facebook and they get to see how every little thing they do in their daily lives has an impact. I thought that maybe there would be some big event that they would try to change but it really focuses on the dramas between friends more than anything else. It was well written, but everything failed in the execution for me.
First of all, I don’t really like Facebook that much. I have one and I like that it’s an easy way to stay in touch with people but it’s also a huge time suck. And half the time you’re only left with the feeling that you’re in touch with people because you’ve read their status updates rather than having any true interaction. But this isn’t a Facebook review.
I thought that this book might make some sort of statement about the way we live our lives these days and the drawbacks of social networking. Instead it pretty much revolved around all the gossipy little details that Facebook provides us with. Who’s dating whom? He’s married to her? How did they end up together? If I had cared more about the characters than maybe I would have been more interested but I didn’t get to know them well enough before having all this relationship drama thrown at me. Add to that the lack of explanation as to WHY these two are able to see their Facebook pages 15 years ahead of time, and I was left feeling like I could have just logged onto my own account instead of reading 300 + pages.
And then there was Emma. I absolutely failed at liking this character. I thought she was shallow, selfish and silly (alliteration, woo!). She is immediately obsessed with her future love life and goes about trying to change the future with no regard for who she might hurt in the present. I was constantly frustrated when reading things from her perspective. Josh was more likable, but I still had a hard time connecting to his storyline.
It’s obvious that the writers are skilled, but I just didn’t care for this one at all.