Monday, August 10, 2015

Book Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and Now
by: Ann Brashares
Date of Publication: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Buy It: Amazon / B&N
Source: NetGalley
Genre: YA Sci-Fi

"'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."

My Review:

    This is a YA novel about time travelers from a disease-ridden, climate changed future seeking asylum. This future Prenna (the MC) and her mother came from in 2100 A.D. is based on the warnings of climate change we have today. In Prenna's future the oil companies, hydraulic fracturing, and other means for energy used up natural resources that contributed to increased amounts of carbon in the atmosphere and aided to bring about global warming. The oceans rose and due to the increased amount of water more mosquitoes flourished and helped to spread disease. These diseases included plagues which wiped out populations, forcing people to live in fear indoors. About the mosquitoes: "It's hard to unlearn it, even now. They don't bring disease to this place, but for us they still bring memories and awful dreams." -Prenna  
    12 rules govern Prenna and her community of time-travelers. It is a life that they must be okay with and not partake in the progression of society given the information they know. Also, they must not reproduce with time-natives or let anyone know who they are. Prenna, the main character, is the curious one out of the community who falls in love with a time native, Ethan. They discover the meaning behind the numbers "51714" that were written on Prenna's arm when she traveled to 2010 with her mother and community members. Time travel is a tricky subject to conceptualize in the large scheme of events. What happens in the past that you therefore change what happens in the future and there are multiple ways the future can happen based one what you know in the past, etc. Brashares did a pretty good job in regard to that aspect. For such a short, single novel the relationship between Prenna and Ethan was jumpy: best buds to "I want to have sex with you ASAP". However, it was a good stand alone novel that was short and sweet.



   Prenna: Our female protagonist. She is intelligent and the only member of her community curious enough to question the authority. She is typical in these sort of novels that needs a head-strong leader who will sacrifice her happiness for the greater good. 

   Ethan: Prenna's friend and love interest. He's smart, charming, and loving. The developments in the novel shows how much of a key character he is. I loved that the novel wasn't just based on Prenna, but incorporated Ethan having a big role as well.  

Lasting Impressions: 
    The romance aspect wasn't that interesting to me.. From the beginning you can tell how it will end. I felt it was added to enhance the emotions the reader was desired to feel in later events.  The novel was well thought out with time-travel and the twists she adds. However, the end seemed too easy solved with the counsel. To make this a stand-alone it may have been necessary to wrap things up like it did. It is an entertaining YA novel that is original. It's thought-provoking given the subject matter of time-travel.    

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

About the Author: 

    Ann Brashares grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with three brothers and attended a Quaker school in the D.C. area called Sidwell Friends. She studied Philosophy at Barnard College, part of Columbia University in New York City. Expecting to continue studying philosophy in graduate school, Ann took a year off after college to work as an editor, hoping to save money for school. Loving her job, she never went to graduate school, and instead, remained in New York City and worked as an editor for many years. Ann made the transition from editor to full-time writer with her first novel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Ann and her husband live with their three children in New York.


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