Carolyn Mackler and I had a very fun phone conversation the other day. I hadn't checked my email in a while, so she broke the news of our first major review by reading it to me. At the conclusion of Carolyn's wonderful read-aloud from Publishers Weekly, we both finally admitted how nervously we'd been anticipating this moment.
And for the rest of the day, we kept sending each other electronic high-fives!
(Starred Review) The Future of Us
Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler. Razorbill, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-59514-491-1
With collaborators like these, readers expect an ingenious hook, compelling characters, and thought-provoking content, and these two top-of-their-game authors don't disappoint. It's 1996, and high school junior Emma and her neighbor Josh are BFFs until an awkward, romantic moment creates tension. Then Emma gets a new computer and an AOL CD-ROM, which somehow allow her to access her future Facebook page when she goes online. She and Josh are able to read about what their lives will be like in 15 years, but what's more, they discover that they can affect those future lives by their thoughts and actions in the present, a sobering realization with far-reaching consequences for the teenagers. Asher and Mackler's concept is fascinating--how closely today is tied to tomorrow--and the alternating voices of the two main characters keep each chapter fresh and provide distinct perspectives on the events of the story. Though readers will not necessarily be surprised by how things turn out, the enjoyment--and the underlying message--is in simply allowing the journey to unfold. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)