Monday, April 7, 2014

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and Now

Author: Ann Brashares
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 288
Reading Level: Young Adult
My Rating: 3.25 stars

"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 recieved an e-copy ARC of this book from NetGalley.
All my thoughts are honest and unbiased.

I'm a little unsure how to even begin this review. The Here and Now is written buy Ann Brashares who also wrote The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series -- a series I've read and loved. This book features themes of dystopia, mystery, forbidden love, and the infamous time travel. Now, I know a lot of readers have strong feelings on time travel in books. It's complicated to read about and sometimes a bit messy to try and understand. I found while reading this that I definitely agree with those statements. Having not read a time travel book before, this was my first time really experiencing the sub-genre. It was interesting, yes. But, now I can see why many readers try to stay away from it all together.

Prenna James is the main character, a girl who comes from the future back to the year 2010 with many other members of her community to escape a mosquito-carried plague that is threatening their safety. Now attempting to live normally, this future community lives by a strict set of rules to keep all sorts of catastrophic events from occurring. One of these rules is that they are not allowed to be intimate with a time native.The book takes place 4 years later and begins with Prenna living as normal a life as possible. However, everything is thrown to chaos when she begins to have feelings for Ethan Jarves.

Let me start by talking about the characters of this story. Prenna and Ethan are the two main characters and, initially, I liked them both. However, Prenna becomes more and more hard to understand as the book progresses. I found myself from time to time asking what she could possibly be thinking when she did certain things that made no logical sense to me. In addition to her odd choices, Prenna occasionally would seem a bit distant. It were as if I couldn't quite keep tabs on the character because she was in and out of herself based on the personality that was initially laid down. I really enjoyed Ethan, though. I found him to be realistic and charismatic. He was by far my favorite character in the entire book.

About halfway through the novel, the action really starts to pick up and pull you in. Up until this point, I felt a bit disconnected from the story. When more elements of the mystery became revealed, I found myself wanting to keep reading to find out what would happen. However, in hindsight, I found that I was a bit unsatisfied with the whole thing. There were definitely plot holes and things that were left out or not tied up well enough for my liking. I didn't feel like the story ended how I wanted it to, although I suppose these sort of feelings aren't uncommon with time travel books. Or, rather, that's what I've heard.

Finally, I want to talk about the world building. This was one of those books that kind of jumped around. There were a lot of little settings and I sort of found that I was making them up myself as they weren't described all that well. Now, don't get me wrong, I am being a little harsh of this book. Considering the fact that I requested a galley of it based on reading the synopsis once, an author I knew I liked, and a really cool looking cover, I can't really complain. Despite the imperfections throughout the book, it did hold my interest in the end there and I did enjoy it on a base level. All that being said, I gave The Here and Now by Ann Brashares a 3.25/4. I rounded it to 3 to make things easier, but the .25 is simply just because as many problems as I found with this book, I still ended up enjoying it just the same.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, Ashley. I agree with you on on so many of your points. I also enjoyed the book, and usually enjoy time travel/sci fi books, but this one just was okay for me. I did like Ethan from the moment he saw Preena and crushed on her. Even when he became too preoccupied by romance, I thought he was sweet. The flashbacks of the future Earth were amazing, and the end really did pick up.


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