by Ann Brashares
Published by Delacorte Press. Release date : April 8th, 2014
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Suspense, Time Travel, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher | Format: eARC
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link) • The Book Depository
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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.
I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Time travel is probably one of my favorite aspects of science fiction. It’s compelling, complicated, and really makes you think about the timing of events. So, when I was invited to review The Here and Now via Netgalley, I jumped on it. While there are many elements of the story that I thoroughly enjoyed, there were others that kept me from loving this.
The Here and Now started off real strong. I enjoyed learning about the Travelers and their Community, why they went back to the past (blood plagues) and their rules for living in this “new world.” It almost had a Cult feel to it. Don’t talk about it. Don’t associate with Time Natives (other than to fit in); they even had their own medical technicians. This, was pretty fascinating. Their control, manipulation and what they did to “punish” those who didn’t follow the rules. But about 1/3 of the way in, things took an odd turn and I was having difficulty keeping up and figuring out where the plot was going.
Preena, our main character, was a very brave girl, but man did she make some stupid decisions. You always have those few in a bunch, that just won’t accept certain explanations and will challenge authority. Preena was one of those people. She kept her head down, when it was necessary, but after a talk with a stranger one day, her life starts to spiral out of control. I didn’t initially feel her attraction/love for Ethan, the love interest, until about halfway through the book and it felt insta-loveish.
Now, Ethan. I liked him okay. But I was honestly rolling my eyes about all the things this kid could do. From breaking Preena out, to tracking and hacking. Maybe if we had his POV, so we could see into his head and his life and where he got all these handy skills from, could have convinced me. There was also something “special” we learn about him, and I would have LOVED to have seen more about that.
We also have a few secondary characters worth mentioning. The antagonists, the two leaders of the community. There just wasn’t enough information about them and their actual presence was slim, so I just didn’t buy it. I didn’t FEEL the evilness, although I don’t think they were technically supposed to be EVIL.
One thing, I feel, we NEED in a Time Travel book is explanations. Sure, we get an inside look of the events that affected the future, how is all started and ended up with the blood plagues and what life as like for Preena. But we didn’t get too much information about the Traveling itself. How did they do it? How did they decide which people went? Was it all the remaining survivors? I DON’T KNOW. Not only that, but when these 2 were on their little excursion, I was a little dumbfounded that they took so much time just hanging out. Going to the beach, shopping and card games. Their nonchalance to this devastating event they are trying to stop made the whole scenario anticlimactic.
That being said, I would have to say that the twist and turns made this book for me. The focus around Traveler 1, Poppy and how the plagues really started. That part, made a whole lot of sense to me and really makes you think. What if your attempts to “fix” the problem is what actually cause so much turmoil, pain and suffering in the future? Then what would you do to prevent THAT? If you were to travel back, would you do anything/everything to change the future? Or would you sit back and life a happy, normal life? Also to note, I loved the ending. It’s pretty open (and I hope it stays a standalone) and I appreciate that Preena did what was right to protect herself, Ethan and the rest of the world. Sad, yes.
My Peeve – I brushed up on it up there but I wanted MORE about HOW they Traveled. Ann’s writing is very smooth and beautiful, but I felt like we were only skimming the surface on where she could have taken it.
Overall- I really liked it. Sure, I have my fair share of issues with it but overall, I thought it was a pretty interesting, compelling read. I recommend it and I will definitely be buying for my shelf at home!