Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review: The Here and Now

The Here and NowAuthor: Ann Brashares
Publication Date: 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.

We must never, under any circumstances, develop a physically or emotionally relationship with any person outside the community.

It’s wrong, I know, but I play out this dance with him, exquisite and slow. I play it out in my head, because that is the only place it will ever happen.

Already he is the drip, drip of water that carves a canyon right through the middle of me.

“There are rules I have to follow,” I say. “I won’t survive if I break them.”

In Ann Brashares’ new book, The Here and Now, Preena and her family travel from the future, where Earth as it was once known has been depleted of most of the living inhabitations and many of its resources, back in time to 2010 to start over and live again. The only stipulation in this is that Preena, nor her family, are able to develop a relationship with any of the ‘time natives’, or present day citizens. The only problem with this situation is that when Preena and her family arrived, they were seen by a young boy named Ethan. Ethan did not meet Preena until two years later, when she joined his class at school. Ethan has never been able to forget what he witnessed that day, and he is once again reminded when he sees Preena after so long.

Ethan knows something is not right about Preena and her family, but he cannot quite put his finger on it at first. We are dropped into their story about four years after her arrival, and at this point it is evident how they both feel about one another. However, you have to keep in mind the rules that Preena must follow. Preena is of course faced with a major decision, but Ethan never comes off as pushy with her. Their relationship was very well-written, and did not include a ton of teenage angst and whining, I’m sorry but in some books it can come off that way. I really appreciated Ann’s writing style when it came to telling the story of Preena and Ethan.

Time travel has slowly become one of my favorite topics to read about. In this book I found myself falling in love with the idea of Preena’s society and the reasons they had to come back in time, but I often had questions that I felt went unanswered. It is all very intriguing and Brashares is sure to incorporate a few twists and turns that will throw you for a loop! I thought the book could have used some more depth, but it was a nice, fresh change in my reading schedule!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Random House Books for Young Readers in exchange for my honest review***

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