Josh and Emma are about to discover themselves—fifteen years in the future
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 everything changed. Things have been awkward ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD-ROM 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 Facebook . . . but Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. Josh and Emma are looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.
Their spouses, careers, homes, and status updates—it’s all there. And every time they refresh their pages, their futures change. As they grapple with the ups and downs of what their lives hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right—and wrong—in the present.
320 pages | Published: November 21, 2011 | Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
The plot of The Future of Us is initially captivating (especially to me because I generally like futuristic/historical genres), but turns out to be a letdown. I figured there would be a greater focus on the kids’ futures and how Facebook changed social networking and communication so greatly from the 1990s. However, the whole plot revolves around their (Josh’s and Emma’s) individual lives. Nothing really happens to contribute to the premise. Josh and Emma only care about how their love lives turn out and how that affects the other aspects of their lives (occupation, number of children, mood, location, etc.). Emma is almost always complaining and comes across as being very self-centered – she’ll do anything to alter her future in a way that’s better for her, not even considering the harm it does to Josh and everyone she’s met (or will meet). It is because of her negative personality that I couldn’t empathize with her. Josh is the more personable character.
The story itself moves smoothly, its pace steady. And even though you get to see both Emma’s and Josh’s viewpoints, the thoughts aren’t repetitive. When one of them discusses something, the other doesn’t rehash the same events. This keeps the plot moving, rather than straggling.
The Future of Us is a cute and easy read, but more on the lovey-dovey side, rather than the mysterious side, and doesn’t tackle the complications of the future I hoped it would.