‘The Future of Us’ – Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future of Us

Published in 2011, this is a romance that is unashamedly set in the past while trying to explore attitudes to what – in our contemporary world – has become the norm. What I felt throughout was that something always felt slightly off-kilter.

Emma and Josh are next-door neighbours, who have been friends forever. Naturally (this is a romance) Josh has made a move and Emma has panicked…so they’ve not really spoken for a while. This would be awkward enough, but throughout the novel we can see that the whole focus is on them trying to work out they are meant to be together.

While this might seem infuriating, the cast of friends surrounding them are interesting enough to stop it all getting too much. What irritated me was the premise used to get them to see the true state of their feelings for each other. Set in the past – way back in 1996 when teenagers had to do things like page each other if they wanted to speak or, heaven forbid, actually meet up – we are led to believe that when Emma is given a free AOL CD she finds a mysterious page called Facebook that seems to tell her the future.

Part of me really wanted to stop reading. Emma and Josh acted more like olden day peasants facing witchcraft rather than savvy teens on the cutting edge of their world. Still, it was mildly entertaining but more than a little unforgettable.