Monday, February 17, 2014

The Here and Now

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Disclaimer one: This book will not be released until April 8, 2014. The version I read was an Advanced Reader's Copy and undoubtedly will have minor changes between the version I read and the published version.

Disclaimer two: This story is a good romantic sci-fi of sorts as there is a balance of love and science/future history that takes place. However, as the narrator Prenna is seventeen years old and Ethan is eighteen, I feel it necessary to state that there are no explicit sex scenes within the book. To say if there is or is not sex that happens would be a spoiler that I'm not going to reveal.

With that in mind, an amazon summary, "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. 
From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking--and a must-read novel of the year.

"This gripping story is set in a world unlike any other and inhabited by beautifully imagined characters that stay with you long after the last page. As always, Brashares expertly captures the wonder of love’s enduring power.” – Sara Shepard, the #1New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars" AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

From the beginning of the book it is well established that Prenna has traveled back in time from the not-so-distant future (I mean like within 100 years rather than a 1,000) with a community of people who are trying to blend into today's society and coexist without interfering with the timeline. They are not being proactive about preventing the atrocious future they came from but instead living in the past completely.

This irks Prenna to no end who has seen her younger brothers die from the plague and whose father (Poppy) did not come with Prenna and her mother at the last minute for their journey into the past. Prenna also has trouble blending in with society as she has odd habits. She is also convinced that they are monitoring her as well as everyone else in the community constantly to prevent anyone from being rebellious/out of line.

In her efforts to blend in with society, Prenna has made a strong friend in Ethan; a boy whom she must hide nearly everything from. Ethan seems to be a little obsessed with Prenna, but for good reason (which is still a little weird but no spoilers).

I'm satisfied with that summary. So I'm going to move onto book aspects. SLIGHT BOOK SPOILERS. If you don't want any aspect of the book to be ruined, read no further.

I wish the book had gone into the science behind the time traveling a bit. I know when Prenna first came through (as a fourteen year old), she probably didn't have the right mentality to process everything that went into it; but there was no flashback that showed them entering a machine, no mention of the probably vast amount of energy it took to get people to the past, or anything of that nature. It pulled a 'If we don't talk about it no one will want an explanation' move. It was mildly irritating.

I adored the relationship between Prenna and Ethan. They had just the right amount of tug and pull between them in a very endearing sense. Most excellent.

I found Prenna's mother hard to understand at all. There is a point in the book where Prenna seems to understand her, but I don't. Her mother seems to be this person whose completely awesome at the end, but I really wonder why she hesitated for the duration of their time in the past to do so.

All in all, it was a very fantastic read. only have to wait until April for it (which SUCKS).

But, as always...

Happy reading!

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