Genres: Science Fiction
Published by Random House LLC on April 8, 2014
Also by this author: The Here and Now
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.
Lately, I’ve been a sucker for anything time-travel related. I’ve seen it coming up more and more in new releases, and I haven’t found too many that have disappointed me yet! Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Here and Now. In The Here and Now, Prenna is part of a small community of time travelers that have arrived in the past, desperate to find a way to change the devastating future that was their home. Plagues and poverty is all they’ve known for years. But the longer they stay, and the more self-aware Prenna becomes as she gets older, she’s noticing that the community seems corrupt. They’re surveilling them, and stifling their interactions with what they call the ‘time natives’ – or those who are from the present time. And who really knows what they’ve actually got planned to stop the future from unfolding the way it did in the past?
I thought the dynamic between Prenna and Ethan was really cute. Ethan is the one boy that Prenna can’t seem to keep out, and can’t bear to keep lying to. I thought it was very sweet the way that he seemed to understand her without having to push her too hard or too far. But I can’t say a whole lot more about their relationship than that… it was cute. It wasn’t super developed or so-adorable-I’m-gonna-melt… it was just… cute. Which is totally okay sometimes too!
The time travel was very straightforward in The Here and Now. There’s the future, and the past. And you’ve got to make exactly the right change in the past in order to change anything in the future. The issue of paradoxes or alternate futures didn’t seem to come up. The idea was more that time is a train, and you have to do some pushing to get it to change its track at all. This fresh, simplistic view of time travel is perfect for an Ann Brashares novel. At the end of the day, I didn’t go into The Here and Now expecting a mind-bending time travel adventure. I expected an honest, real look at a girl who comes of age in her own way. That’s what Ann Brashares writes best, in my opinion. The time travel piece almost took a back seat to the character and identity development that Prenna goes through.
Most of the more critical reviews of The Here and Now that I’ve read are attacking the fact that some of the big plot turns and revelations aren’t exactly what you would call masterfully plotted. And I’ll admit, they’re really not. But that didn’t ruin them for me either. I enjoyed The Here and Now from start to finish.
I read The Here and Now in near one sitting. It easily caught and held my attention, and I found myself needing to know whether or not the future could be changed. If there’s another book, I’ll definitely be reading it just as soon as I can get my hands on it!