Book Review From a Guest Blogger: The Future of Us

It is my pleasure to welcome a guest blogger to Joyfully Retired. Our guest today is Q, my very talented eldest granddaughter. (I was going to introduce her as brilliant but, I’m trying to be modest.) Q loves to read, so she was born into the right family.

During the summer Q volunteers weekly at her local library and sits on the library’s Teen Council. She’s always up-to-date on the best books and often recommending books for me to read. I asked Q to share with us her thoughts on a book that is currently at the top of her ‘Favorites’ list. Here’s what she has written:

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The co-written novel, The Future of Us, by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler, is a funny and fast-paced novel for adults, both young and old. It is an exciting book you just want to keep reading and reading. Teen readers can relate to the relationships and plot in this book. The Future of Us reminded me of The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg because of the confusing relationships between the two main characters. It also reminded me of the movie Back To The Future by Robert Zemeckis because of the time travel and comical situations.

The Future of Us is set in 1996, in the sunny suburbs of a town where everyone knows everyone. The main characters, Josh and Emma, have been next door neighbors and best friends for as long as they can remember. Josh begins misinterpreting friendship for romance, and their relationship becomes strained and uncomfortable. A few months later, Josh comes over to download a CD-ROM on to Emma’s new computer. Suddenly they are logged onto Facebook… but Facebook hasn’t been invented yet.

Throughout the book, Josh and Emma struggle as they try to understand this new information about their futures. They also try to comprehend how any changes that they make now, will affect them later in life. However, they realize that not only will their futures be altered by their choices, but their friends, families, and complete strangers futures will change as well.

The Future of Us was the first book that Asher and Mackler had collaborated on, which was released in 2011. Asher’s other book, 13 Reasons Why, is about a girl who tape-recorded thirteen different reasons why she committed suicide. This touching and sad book was released in 2007, and it also won the California Book Award For Young Adults a year later. Carolyn Mackler started out at Ms. Magazine as an intern, and contributed to a number of other magazines like Seventeen, Glamour, and American Girl. She has written several books including Love And Other Four-Letter Words, which was released in 2000, and Tangled, released in 2009.

The Future of Us is funny and exciting with characters that were both believable, upbeat and complex. I felt that the book gave off a carefree happy mood at times, while other times it gave off an agitated and sorrowful mood. I felt the moods blended together well, and really helped mold the story and make it seem realistic. For example, Emma is looking at a photo of Josh, two of their best friends and herself. The authors describe this happy and lively moment, and then go on to tell how she rips the photo in blind-hatred of Josh. This shows the way the authors incorporate both moods in one description.

While I found this book laughable and lighthearted at points, I disliked the fact that the authors made Emma really arrogant, and disrespectful of others feelings. There’s a section where Emma is trying to change her and Josh’s future as a game. As the game escalates, Emma ends up kissing Josh, when only four months ago, she rejected him. In another chapter, she is discussing the fact that she is dating a boy, Graham, who she doesn’t really like. She continues dating him because she wanted to make Cody, her crush, jealous. I found this incredibly irritating and it made me feel less sympathetic towards Emma.

The authors switched between the two characters each chapter, using the first person narrative. This was a clever device used to reveal both Josh and Emma’s thoughts. This brought you closer to the characters because it gave them more depth, and made them seem like real people rather than characters from a book. I also thought that the concept of time travel through Facebook, was a funny and interesting way to incorporate time travel into the book.

Overall, The Future of Us is an amazing book that is beautifully written. It has an easy to follow style, great descriptions, and loads of comedy. I recommend it to anyone who loves well-developed characters, time travel, drama and romance. If you need a good laugh on a rainy day, this a great book!

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Thank you Q. Now I can’t  wait to read The  Future of Us. Great review. You are most welcome to visit here anytime. Q is a seventh grader living in Portland, Oregon.

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23 Responses to Book Review From a Guest Blogger: The Future of Us

  1. Beth F says:

    Excellent and thoughtful review. It sounds like I’d be annoyed with some of Emma’s choices too.

  2. Kay says:

    Wow, great review, Q. I’ve read THE FUTURE OF US and think you captured the essence of it very well. It also gave me a window into what a young adult of today would think of this book. I had wondered, as so much of it is set in the 1990’s and there are a lot of cultural references to that time. My own daughter is just about the age of both the characters in the book, so it was like going on a trip back to her teenage years.

    Margot, I know you’re proud of Q. Q, hope you come back and share more books with us. Well done!

  3. cerrin says:

    Well done review. Hope we get to see more in the future…heh future get it…book about future…ok I will stop.

  4. This *is* an excellent review. But why do I remember Q as just a little girl? Have we been blogging that long? LOL

  5. Barbara says:

    Well-written review with a mature point of view. We have a new book blogger among us!

  6. Ti says:

    I read Asher’s other book, the name escapes me at the moment, but I thought it was very well done. I am anxious to read this one. My son also mentioned wanted to read it too. Q, you did an excellent job! I am envisioning Q’s own blog, simply called…”The Q.”

  7. mark says:

    Great review. I’m so proud !

  8. Q sounds pretty brilliant to me! This is an excellent review and makes me want to read the book, even if Emma is arrogant. I hope we’ll see more of Q’s reviews in the future!

  9. Great example of your education in progress. Keep writing and make sure you save even the silly writings because we never knows when one of these unusual ideas will trigger a great big fat novel.

  10. Staci says:

    She is quite the writer and I loved her review so much!! I read Thirteen Reasons Why and it tore me up. I would try this one as it sounds pretty cool and I know many young readers would also love it too!! Great review , Q!! Please keep writing reviews for us!

  11. good discussion about books. books is very important in human life we can get more knowledge with help of books.

  12. Great review Q, I’m looking forward to reading more in the future (I hope). And a quick embarrassing grown-up moment, Margot you must be very proud of your smart, beautiful granddaughter, hurray in getting a reader.

  13. What fun! Terrific review.

  14. JoAnn says:

    Thanks for the great review, Q. Hope you visit again soon!

  15. Q says:

    Hey everybody! Thanks so much for all the feed back on my report! I would love to do more reviews and i have written many stories that my nana could put on he r blog as well! Thanks again,

    Sincerely, Q

  16. Genevieve says:

    Q, you are a grand writer. I love how you clearly articulated what you liked about the book, how it compared to the authors’ previous work, and the parts where it frustrated you. I also liked how you expressed some subtle ideas – like how the relationship of the protagonists became “strained and uncomfortable.” It sounds like you are recommending this book – hopefully I will have an opportunity to read it sometime.

    If I could make a request – I would like to see you review the “His Dark Materials” Trilogy sometime; I would be very curious about your opinions.

    I really hope we get to see more of your work!! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Louise says:

    How wonderful to have your granddaughter guest blogging for you Margot. Thanks for the great review Q! It sound an interesting book. I like books written from several characters point of view.

  18. Annie says:

    Thank you a lot for this wonderful review ! I hope you’ll be often hosted in your Grand-Mother’s blog. Amitiés de France

  19. Kaye,the sister, Cogdill says:

    Oh my stars….I am blown away by the clarity and maturity of this review!! And how old and ancient are you by now…or is that me? It is so refreshing and invigorating to see Q capture the “essence” of the characters and the story line! Excellent vocabulary and impressive insights…A JOB WELL DONE!!….and yes the family is beaming with pride and love, but we are not surprised because we are so aware of the young lady’s remarkable skills and brains and cuteness and…ok we get the idea!!! bunches of love, kaye-the-sister and auntie

  20. This was just wonderful Q (and Nana)! You were definitely born into the right family; I can tell how much you love reading and your review was so clear and beautifully written. I don’t usually read YA (it’s been so long since…) but I think I’d love this book (I have read other books written from alternate narrators and always enjoy seeing the same events from the different viewpoints.) I might buy this in hardcover and pre-read it for my teen granddaughter ;>)

  21. Bumbles says:

    I enjoyed Q’s review very much – makes me want to venture back into the YA genre. I had heard of 13 Reasons Why and was intrigued by it. Seems as though this author’s catalog is worth exploring. So thank you for the introduction to this title and the insightful review – much better than a simple thumbs up or thumbs down. Totally let me know why Q felt the way she did about it so that I can take that information and see how I would relate to it myself. That is a big key to successful book reviewing and blogging!

  22. stacybuckeye says:

    She’s all grown up! Beautiful and smart too, Grandma 🙂
    I do want to read this one. Loved Asher’s first book.

  23. I read Asher’s other book, the name escapes me at the moment, but I thought it was very well done. I am anxious to read this one. My son also discussed wanted to read it too. Q, you did an brilliant job! I am envisioning Q’s own blog, simply called

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