Sunday, February 12, 2012

Book Review: The Future of Us

This is the first novel I've completed for the year. And it was not a waste of time. Anyone can enjoy this book. But if you just happen to be someone who misses the 90s, and also is currently addicted to Facebook, then I cannot tell you how much you are missing out on if you don't read this book.

The story is quite simple for such a compelling book. The story is set in mid-nineties America, where not many teenagers have used the internet yet. The heroine, Emma gets her first computer and her America Online CD-Rom. Together with her best friend Josh, they surf the net for the first time. In a random magical coincidence, they come across their Facebook profiles roughly ten years before the social network is even invented. They then view information about their relationships, statuses, lifestyles, careers and much more in the next fifteen years.

By putting ourselves in the characters' shoes, we can see how hilarious it is for people nowadays to put up their most personal and intimate feelings on Facebook for the world to see. Emma immediately assumes her life is horrible each time she sees a status where her future self complains about her husband or her life in general. Emma goes all the way to contact her first future husband, who she assumes does not make her happy, to ensure they never meet and thus changes her future altogether. The funny thing is, she does this many times just so she can get the perfect life, which we all know is unattainable. She even pushes away Josh even though they both have feelings for each other because she thinks he is not perfect for her!

Josh on the other hand, finds his life in the future to be perfect. He is married to the hottest girl at school and has a successful career. This motivates him to get to know the girl better. However, she is not what he expected her to be and does not feel the same way with her like whenever he is around Emma.  But his friendship with Emma is at stake when they have constant disagreements on how to tweak their futures.

The drama of teenage lives will also be something we all can relate to. Josh has overprotective parents and an older brother he looks up to, who he finds out is gay through his future profile! Emma has an estranged father who has a new family now, and her mother's constant changing of husbands annoys her. Josh and Emma also learn one of their friends will become pregnant that year and become a teen mom. This further heightens the intensity of their fragile relationship as Emma wants to stop this for her friend's sake, while Josh is always worried that these changes in time will affect his perfect future.

For those of you who grew up in the nineties, you will find yourselves going down memory lane. The fact that Emma strives for the perfect life, and Josh who assumes his life will be perfect, will allow readers to ponder on how our childhood selves would react if they read the random and stupidest of statuses we put on Facebook today. The characters, especially Josh and Emma's best friends are extremely funny. The book comes with lots of humour and drama too. I found myself laughing out aloud many times. All in all, a good read in not completely enjoyable. Hope you guys enjoy it too!

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