The Here and Now by Anne Brashares

Book: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date Published: April 8th, 2014
Source: ARC
Date Started: April 12th, 2014
Date Finished: April 15th, 2014
Amazon|Goodreads

 

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.

 

If I were to sum this book into one sentence, it would be this: Time Traveling, Pandemics, and love without the science. I had been a little hesitant about this book. There were some not so forgiving reviews of this book on sites like goodreads. I’m not a huge fan of time traveling stories, and this book didn’t exactly make me into a true fan of the genre.

The Here and Now is about a girl named Prenna who travels from the 2090s to our current time. Her time if riddled with plagues and death everywhere. Prenna, her mother, and a handful of other travelers come to 2014 to try and prevent the outbreaks from happening in the first place, but instead of trying to figure out the source, they have have built a community in which they hide from the world with their strict rules. Prenna is entrusted with a specific date-51714- but she is unsure what this means. With the help of Ethan, they race against time to try and save the future.

Many of you may know Ann Brashares as the author of the famous Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I never read the books, because I was a 12 year old girl and thought that the covers were weird and too girly for me. I watched the movies, but I was never a big fan. I don’t think I really have an interest in reading the series, and I’m okay with this! But from what I gather from other reviews, many people thought that this was a let down in comparison to the traveling pants series. I don’t have anything to compare this book to, so I might have an advantage here.

What I had the most difficulties with, was the lack of science. This book embraces topics like time traveling and pandemics. I felt that there wasn’t enough explanation of the science behind these two topics. For example, Prenna and her fellow travelers never remembered the journey or 2 days after it. This seemed to be a little too convenient to me. Also, when Prenna is describing the history of her time, she just simply mentions that time traveling was discovered, but there was no real explanation as to how it was discovered. With the pandemics, there is a search for patient zero, but there was no intricate science behind the sickness or what it really was. I feel like the science aspect of the story was scaled back. Was this to attract a broader audience? So the reader wouldn’t be overwhelmed? I don’t know, thats something that probably only the author understands. I’m not saying that scaling back the science was a bad idea, but as someone who has a high interest and understanding of science, I was left feeling a little disappointed. I wanted more in-depth explanations. I can handle it, I swear.

Speaking of in-depth, I didn’t really feel a connection to Prenna. I feel as though I really didn’t understand her. She seemed like a character who went through a terrible time, and was trying to survive, but then wanted to change the future and save the people she loves. This was supposed to be a major character development, a girl becoming strong, becoming a leader. I really didn’t feel the change. It seemed to subtle. I wanted a big impact. Same with Ethan. I wanted their relationship to have a bigger build up, but I didn’t feel like I was swooning over their love.

In conclusion, I was just hoping for more. I wanted more in-depth characters, a more in-depth story. It was hard for me to find a connection, and I wanted to like this story. I really did. As for movie news, this book has already been picked up to be developed into a movie. Which surprises me, because this book just came out last week! I figure it has to do with traveling pants movies.

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