Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Review: The Here and Now

Book Cover: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Published 1 January 2015
by Hachette Children's Books
Source: NetGalley

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.

My Thoughts

Ann Brashares, well known for her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, turns her considerable talent to science fiction with a premise that is timely and entirely believable. Prenna is a young teen immigrant to the US, living in a reclusive community of fellow immigrants. What sets these people apart is not the fact that they come from another country or culture, but that they come from the future. Living in the 2090s, they had been faced with environmental collapse and deadly mosquito-borne plagues, so they escape into their past arriving in our present.

Although the trip through time had been organized to permit them to avert the catastrophic ecological failure, Prenna sees her leaders are simply hiding away. They've adopted tight controls on their entire community, forbidding any but the most casual contact between their members and the “Time Natives”.

Teens from the future are not immune to rebellious behavior and Prenna finds herself drawn to her classmate Ethan. Obviously a forbidden relationship, but one she feels compelled to pursue. When a homeless man reveals that he is also from the future, he tells Prenna that a murder in May 2014 is what sets in motion the sequence of events that results in the plagues of her own time. If the leaders of her community won't do anything to save the future, then she determines to do it herself.

When I accepted a review copy of The Here and Now, I saw that its publication was scheduled for the first of January, 2015. However it was actually published April 8, 2014, in the US by Delacorte . The January publication date is for the UK release by Hachette Children's Books. So, I can tell my friends in the US to go ahead and get a copy of this book—it's really good and they will enjoy it. For my UK friends, just hang in there. It will be available soon.


Note that I received a free copy of The Here and Now from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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