Title: The Here and Now
Author: Ann Brashares
256 pages, published April 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Source: Borrowed from the Library
I've been reading a lot of young adult (YA) fiction lately. I really enjoy the genre in general, and have been reading it a lot because so many have been made into movies--The Hunger Games, the Divergent series, The Fault in Our Stars. I really enjoy Ann Brashares' books--most recently I read "My Name is Memory" (contemporary adult fiction) and loved it. So when I saw that this book was coming out, I immediately wanted to read it.
Seventeen year old Prenna immigrated to New York when she was twelve--not from a different country, but from a different time. She came from nearly 100 years in the future, where a mosquito-bourne illness has caused the Blood Plague, killing millions. Prenna and many others were able to escape through time travel back to 2010, and they must follow strict rules: never reveal where they're from, never mess with history, and never EVER form any kind of intimate relationship with a "time native." Prenna follows the rules for four year...until she meets Ethan. Then everything changes, and Prenna learns the world is a very different place than she thought it was.
Let me start by saying I read this book in two days. This was an exceptionally quick read. The story sucks you in an moves fast. It is creative, easy to follow (despite the time travel element) and entertaining. I liked the characters, and the premise of the story. I again liked seeing a female heroine that is the trend now in YA books. However, I thought the book needed a lot more depth. It was too brief for me--I feel it touched on the surface of what it could've been. I would've liked more character development and more plot development. The story was good, but I wanted more details.
The book cover called it an "unforgettable epic romantic thriller." Though I did enjoy the book, I would not call it epic, overly romantic, or a thriller. There are small spots of hope for all those things, but nowhere near the level I would expect from that tagline.
When I began reading the book and learning the premise, I immediately told my best friend that "I bet this book gets made into a movie." Told my husband the same thing. Well...a quick Google search found I was right! A movie deal is already in the works. It fits the futuristic, teen dystopian story that Hollywood is loving right now--and I think the story will work well as a movie.
So--it was a good book, worth reading, but lacked depth, character and plot development, even for a YA novel. It's a great read if you're looking for something light and fast paced.
Overall rating for "The Here and Now": B-