The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long—at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. And they’re looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right—and wrong—in the present.


Song For This Book: No Diggity by Blackstreet ft. Dr Dre, Queen Pen 
Why? 90s music is perfect for a book set in the 90s.


 I’ve been intrigued by this idea since I first heard about the book. I had loved Thirteen Reasons Why when I read that a few years back, and so I was curious to see what Jay Asher was up to next. So when I came across this book in a used book store, I made sure to snag myself a copy to check it out.

This book follows the same ideas as the movie The Butterfly Effect, where small changes in current time cause all sorts of crazy things to change in the future. While the two teens in this book have much more chill, much more simple lives than Ashton Kutcher’s character in the film, it follows much the same premise, and will definitely give you the same sort of ‘what if what I’m doing right now screws up my future’ sort of feeling. Just much more for junior high students.

While time travel and future knowledge is by no means a new idea, the idea of using Facebook to know about your future is definitely a fun twist. It makes it a little more modern, and will definitely appeal to the younger crowds. It’s a brilliant idea that Asher and Mackler had for this story.

The Good Points of The Future of Us:

Let’s just put this out there: this is a brilliant idea. Definitely one of the better ideas I’ve seen for young adult stories.

I liked how realistic this book is. When the two main characters are looking at the future early in the book, they see marriages, where they live, how many kids they have, or their careers. Normal stuff, right? If I were looking at the future, those are the first things I’d look for, so I liked that these two did the same.

The characters in this book also act their age, which is not something I’d say about many young adult books. They’re self-centered, dramatic, and make a big deal out of stuff. Which is what normal teenagers do. It’s refreshing to see teens be teens in young adult.

I loved how the changes that they made in the present affected the future. It changed things for everyone involved, and not just for the person making the choice. Lots of good work with cause and effect here.

The Downsides of The Future of Us:

While I enjoyed how realistic this book was, it does make it feel like a missed opportunity. You can see how your decision affect the future, and all you’re worried about is who you marry? You could do so much more than that!

The romance in this book is weird. Like just so random. I don’t even know what to say about it, honestly. Thankfully, not a huge deal either, though.

The 90s references were so random, like they were just tossed in there to remind you that this is the olden days when things were different. I’m all for references some fun stuff out of that era, but many things in this book just felt like product placements.

All in all, this was an easy, fun read. If you’re looking for a great time travel, science fiction story, I’d seriously suggestion you try somewhere else, because this one will fall short. But if you want a good snapshot of what two teens would do with the ability to see the future, you might enjoy this one. I’m definitely glad I got to check it out, and enjoyed reading it.


3 thoughts on “The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

  1. I totally agree with you that this book is a missed opportunity. I read it a few years ago and I liked it, but I remember thinking that so much more could have been done with it. Time travel-y books are tricky, but I definitely agree that when a plot relies mostly on romance, so many possibilities are wasted. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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