Tuesday, April 8, 2014
The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
The Here and Now
By Ann Brashares
Published: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
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.
*Novel provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
My Rating: 3 stars
Going into this book, I had very high hopes because Ann Brashares is the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, which I have heard amazing things about. Unfortunately, I think that though this book had the potential to be very good, it didn't quite live up to it.
I thought that the characters were wonderful. All of them were relatable and their development was absolutely phenomenal, especially for such a short book. My personal favorite of the characters was probably Andrew which may seem like kind of an odd choice for those of you that have read the books, but there were a few choices that Prenna and Ethan (the main character) made that I didn't necessarily agree with and I wasn't overly happy about. Though of course I don't agree with the decisions that Andrew made, I found him to be a very fascinating character, with an interesting backstory and a lot of depth that you normally wouldn't expect from a character like him.
The plot was a part that lessened my enjoyment of this book, because I felt that there were several times when it dragged and there were unnecessary scenes that I ended up skimming over because I knew that they weren't relevant to the plot and I wouldn't get anything out of them so I didn't want to waste my time. There were some interesting developments made, especially about a fourth of the way through and towards the end, which I enjoyed, but there were so few that they didn't really make a huge impact.
I also thought that though the idea was creative, the world-building was very shaky. We hear a lot about how they have to fix the world now, so it doesn't end up like it was when they were in that time, but we don't really hear a lot about what the world was like then. I think that that could've been incorporated in using flashbacks but unfortunately, authors don't take advice from me. Also, Prenna writes these letters to a person named Julius all throughout the first half of the book and they are just sprinkled in in between chapters so you don't get any explanation about them. I didn't know who Julius was until she told Ethan over three-fourths of the way through the book. I wish that that had een explained early on so I could've enjoyed that more, because I didn't really feel anything for it, I didn't know what it was and I didn't really care.
Overall, I'd say this was a decent book. I enjoyed the characters and writing, while I found the plot and world-building to be lacking. I would recommend this to fans of contemporary and mystery books, because it felt like a mix of those two genres to me. I wouldn't recommend those to hard-core time travel fans because it doesn't really focus that much on the actual traveling through time.
Thanks for reading!