Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

4 March 2014

Brashares_HereNowTitle: The Here and Now
Author: Ann Brashares
Published: Expected April 8, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House LLC)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: eARC
Rating: ★★★★☆Amazon | Goodreads

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.

I’ve read a few of Brashares’ previous books. But really, you do yourself a huge disservice trying to compare anything more than the writing style between that series and this book.

Like many YA books out there, the love story in this is slightly predictable. I mean, you can tell who’s going to fall for whom in just the prologue. That’s not necessarily an issue though, and the non-romantic plot actually keeps the story moving well.

Time travel in books can be tricky, but I think it was handled fairly well. I think there was only one point where I felt like I was getting a PSA about earthly stewardship. But the fact that it brought up issues of over consumption and global warming — things we actually are dealing with right now — helped bring the story to life and make it a little more real for the reader. I mean, this could be a great book for the classroom to serve as a segue to discussing such issues.

I ignored any issues I might have with the main characters… Two teenagers who are physics wizzes, one of which is a girl from the future who’s rebellious ways might save the future she escaped from, and the other a guy who’s slightly pushy when it comes to sex but of course is totally sweet and swoon-worthy. I mean, in the realm of YA novels, it’s not that unbelievable.

I have thoughts on the ending, but I’ll try not to spoil it for you. Mostly, I was left with a “That’s it?” feeling… But you know, with time travel being a major plot catalyst, the ending does work.

Honestly though, when it comes right down to the book as a whole, it was an entertaining and easy read. I finished it in two days, and I felt like I was taking my time with it. And these are the types of books we need sometimes. Just something you can pick up and it will keep you enthralled and you could probably read in one sitting if you wanted to.

Overall: 3.5 – 4 Stars

 I received an eARC for free from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review. And all of the opinions are my own.

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