The Here and Now
author : ann brashares
pages : [ebook] 288
memorable quote : It’s wrong, I know, but I play out this dance with him, exquisite and slow. I play it out in my head, because that is the only place it will ever happen.
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.
I’ve been very interested in books about time travel lately and I was eager to read this one written by the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. But this novel . . . I can’t quite grasp the point of it. Everything was so rushed and squished together to the point where I didn’t care much about any of the characters and wasn’t worried for them or their possible future.
This is another one of those YA novels that falls victim to insta-love. Even before Prenna had had many conversations with Ethan, she speaks about him as the boy she might love, or the only one she can possibly love . . which quickly transitions into what she believes to be actual love. I could have possibly passed this off as some kind of twisted crush because she is told never to connect intimately with anyone outside of her community but it’s clear that she likes to think about being with Ethan forever. Even though they’ve barely honestly spoken with each other.
Things seemed to go a little too easy for both of them as well. I don’t know if I’m just getting used to YA novels like this that are packed with action and suspense. The one point of this book that could have been exhilarating fell flat for me. Some things don’t make any sense because her society is completely based on domination and control and yet once Prenna starts thinking for herself there are barely any consequences for her, only empty threats.
What could have been a more powerful novel warning about a potential future if we continue to ravage the Earth the way we are today is pulled down by unimaginative prose, silly character dynamics, and a whole lot of missing opportunities. I almost didn’t finish this book and I don’t think I got a lot out of it by pushing through it. Interestingly, though I’m glad for it, this book is a standalone when I was afraid that it would be turned into a longer series.