Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
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.
''How can you fix anything if you can't change anything?''
The Here and Now is a book I went into with very little expectations. The Author was someone I enjoyed in the past but a little unsure of when it came to this genre and frankly the reviews coming in at that time didn't leave much to be desired. Still, I decided I really wanted to read this one. Not only was it a book about time travel but the inhabitants are fleeing from some horrible Pandemic that's crippled the world of the future. Consider myself sold! Well I'm glad I didn't let the naysayers deter me because The Here and Now turned out exactly being the kind of book I'd been looking for.
One of my favorite parts about The Here and Now was the time travel. It's really hard to write a successful story with so many timelines to follow and yet Ann Brashares does so as if she's experienced it herself. I was never confused during the flashbacks and flash forwards and considering my luck with recent books with a similar plot device being used I'd consider that a success.
Another thing I loved about the story were the characters. Prenna isn't your typical protagonist. It's not that she isn't smart or even likable but that the rules she's bound to so greatly influences every aspect of her life. Then on the other hand you have Ethan whose so easy going and carefree. He's definitely like the ying to her yang. It really makes the whole story that much more tragic in the end. Although, I still have hope for those crazy lovebirds. Never say Never Prenna. Another character I liked was Prenna's friend Katherine. You could really see she struggled with the loyalty to her community and that of her friend Prenna. I only wish we had seen where she went exactly during her time away in the book.
Lastly, I think my favorite part of the book had to be the mystery surrounding the main events in the story. I loved how all the little clues were laid out for the characters to follow and then the whopper of how the plague started in the first place, like woah crazy. Didn't see that coming and I'm usually good deciphering these types of things.
Now although I obviously enjoyed There Here and Now and rated it accordingly the story wasn't completely perfect.
One thing I really wished we had seen was more of Prenna in her previous life. Don't get me wrong we learn enough to have the events and her actions make sense but a few chapters set before they went back into the past could've made the story even that much better.
Another thing I wish we had learned was how many had actually traveled back in time. We know a community exists and in that enough survivors for the youth to pair up but what we don't learn is if this is the only community out of the billions living in the world at the time of the plague and if the technology exists why wouldn't it continually be used by those left behind. Surely some survivors might decide later on to go back and join the others. At least I'd expect that to happen based on what we learn.
Up until I finished The Here and Now I was starting to wonder if I should give up on stories like this altogether as I hadn't read a decent time travel story in quite some time that combined not only likable protagonists but an easy to follow timeline as well. I highly recommend picking this one up if you're a fan of star crossed lovers and time travel mysteries. With that being said, I'll be rating The Here and Now by Ann Brashares ★★★★★.
Favorite Quote: ''A paper is an object. An actual thing. It can't be modified,overwritten,updated,refreshed,hacked or anything else. It is fragile,but it's a snapshot of history that hasn't been messed with. It's one version of history we know happened.'' - Prenna describing why her Father preferred paper objects over digital ones.
*Copy reviewed provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them.
About the Author
Follow Ann: Goodreads / Twitter / Website / Facebook