Sunday, April 6, 2014

Book Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley


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. 

(Courtesy of Goodreads)

My Review

I wasn't expecting much when I picked up The Here and Now by Ann Brashares. Sure it had time travel, but from the description it looked like it would be more of a love story than anything else. I couldn't have been more wrong. I loved this book so much and the synopsis does not do it justice. It makes it seem like a romance novel set with a sci-fi background but it is so much more than that. There are so many deep, intricate layers within the book and the love between Prenna and Ethan is just a small part of a much bigger picture.

The world-building throughout the book is great. The information is presented at the right moments throughout the story so that you always have the information you need but not too much that the story becomes predictable. I think this especially important in a science fiction book dealing with time travel since it's the little details that make all the difference. As a science nerd myself, I felt that the science fiction elements were definitely plausible and it wasn't difficult to suspend my disbelief.

I think the highlight of The Here and Now are the characters. Prenna's character growth throughout the story is very apparent. You can see her blossom from a someone who is scared to act on her feelings and doubts about authority figures to understanding that it is important to take a stand. Also, I loved her friendship with Katherine is a great addition to the story, but something I wish was developed a bit further. As a whole, though, I love Prenna as a protagonist and as a person, and could easily identify with her, even though she is from the future

In addition, Ethan is such a pivotal part of the story and far from being just a love interest. It doesn't feel like he was just tossed in for the romance. The one thing that kind of turned me off was the feeling of "insta-love" between Prenna and Ethan. I mean, I know that they've known each other for four years before the start of the story and in those four years they've gotten to know each other well, but to the reader, their relationship almost feels too sudden. Other than that, I liked the two of them together as a couple and thought that they brought out the best in one another, and balanced each other well.

This was my first encounter with Brashares' writing, since I was on the younger side when her well-known The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series came out. I must say, I loved her writing style and will be picking up her other books in the near future. I would recommend The Here and Now to fans of both contemporary and science fiction since it has elements that appeal to both. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it went above and beyond my expectations.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment