Title: The Here & Now
Author: Ann Brashares
Published: April, 2014 by Delacorte Press
Purchase: The Book Depository
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.
Definitely not what I was hoping it would be. Less time travel, more time dawdling. There was nothing epic about the plot, nothing exciting to captivate me. It was more like I was held captive by my desire to finish the book and justify purchasing it. I didn’t flat-out hate the book—it had its moments—but the characters weren’t developed enough for me to care about them. It felt like they were just tokens moving around the board, easily exchangeable for another one that could have played the part of heroine/love interest without a blip.
I mean, there’s instaluv, stupid decisions, a lack of priorities or reasoning—basically a whole lot to get past before you can actually enjoy the story. I just wasn’t connected to the characters or plot (the future of the world was explained to us briefly, but not really experienced); really, there wasn’t anything I could cite that I liked. Ethan, the love interest, just kind of latched himself onto Prenna, becoming her rescuer whenever she needed one, solving practically any jam she was thrown into. Maybe he was there to keep the plot moving, because she wasn’t too smart herself. If it were up to her, she’d have spent the book locked in a cell somewhere. Seriously, if something looks like a trap, smells like a trap—don’t walk into it. That’s all I’m saying.
Okay, so not all.
Why am I giving this 3 stars? I rated it directly after putting it down, but on later thoughts, I’m not coming up with a whole lot of positives for it. Or any. There were though. I enjoyed some of it. Not the characters or their actions. But some of it. The possibility of a blood plague wiping out a whole chunk of the world within the next century and people coming back through time to stop it sort of sounds like fun, but the way it all played out…not so much. I don’t think there was any time travel AT ALL in this book. It all happens prior to page 1. There was no jumping about, seeing the effects of their actions. No fixing one thing only to mess up another. That could have been fun. But no, we spent time at the beach. We spent time learning card games. We spent time walking into traps.
Yeah. I’m changing that rating.
If you’re thinking of reading this book for the time travel, read my review again. If you’re after a fluffy piece of whatever this was, give it a go. Make up your own mind. There is a romance within the pages, just not one that did anything for me.