The Future of Us
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published November 21st 2011 by Razorbill
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.
A very quick read that I didn’t want to put down. I don’t know what made this book so addictive but it was truly enjoyable. It’s May 1996 and Emma and Josh live next door to each other. Josh gets a CD-ROM in the mail for 100 free hours on AOL. (Oh, how I remember being excited to add another AOL account for 100 free hours.) He gives the disc to Emma who has recently received a new computer from her dad. She loads the AOL disc which takes several hours and they log on to AOL through the phone line. While they are exploring AOL they come upon a website called Facebook where they find themselves 15 years in the future. Future Facebook Emma is unhappily married and Josh is happily married to one of the hottest girls from high school.
As time goes on Emma realizes that she’s not happy with the future husband and does things to change her future but as she soon realizes what she does in the present won’t make her happy in the future. She must find a way to be happy in the present.
This brought back memories of spending a lot of time and money to be online back when you paid by the hour. And how I don’t miss dial-up service. I remember having to get separate phone line in 1995 when I was in college because I was tying up the phone line to our house with six girls living in it.
I loved this book but a few things that seemed to not sit well with me were the references to 1996. I graduated from college the same day that the book starts (May 19, 1996). I did some fact checking online and found a few problems with the references. AOL at that time was sending out tons of 3 1/2″ floppy discs free access, not CD-ROMs. AOL wasn’t released for Windows 95 until June 1996. A reference to DVDs also didn’t sit well as DVDs weren’t test marketed in the U.S. until March 1997, nearly a full year after this story takes place. And I don’t remember a lot of people in May 1996 having cell phones, especially ones that weren’t attached to their car.
-Cassandra @ SoManyBooksSoLittleTime