Genres: Time Travel, Young Adult
Published by Delacorte Press on 4/8/14
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.
I’m the second Tynga’s Reviewer to read The Here and Now by Ann Brashares. For Helen’s take on the novel, click here!
The Here and Now takes place in our current time, but the main character, Prenna, is from the future… about 75 years into the future. She’s part of a small group of “immigrants” who have traveled from the future to the here and now because things have gone sharply south- there’s a blood plague that’s killing millions of people and a shortage of food and runaway inflation of currency. In order to save her new future she must work to save her current time.
I really enjoy books that involve time travel, like Helen, but sometimes they can get so bogged down in trying to explain the time-space continuum that the plot gets buried. Not so in The Here and Now! Ann Brashares does an excellent job of working little bits of information into the plot and dialogue to explain the time-space continuum play without ever having a character awkwardly explaining it all to another, or any lengthy flashbacks. Even better- it was all understandable! I’m definitely not a physicist, and I had no trouble following the logic explaining Prenna and her community’s presence in our time.
Another great aspect of this book is the character line-up. They’re all great! Well, I mean, all the good guys are good! (The bad guys are written well, too. They’re not over-the-top goofily evil.) I love Prenna and her strength and intelligence, and I love Ethan for his quirkiness and kindness and intelligence. I love them together, too! They “fit” together so well. I agree with Helen’s description: they’re “cute.”
The writing in The Here and Now is also pretty good. The pacing was great- I had trouble putting it down, but I was never so tense that I felt anxious. There are also some letters interspersed in between chapters from Prenna to another character. (Can’t tell you who! No spoilers.) I like it when an author mixes things up like that. Unfortunately, a few plot points weren’t really fully explained, and a few other plot points got wrapped up a little bit too tidily.
Overall, a really solid time-travel YA light romance. I could definitely see myself recommending this one to library patrons.