Review: The Here and Now – Ann Brashares

Review: The Here and Now – Ann BrasharesThe Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Published by Random House Children's Books
Published: April 8th 2014
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two-stars

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.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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I kept waffling on whether it not I wanted to read this book. I’m not always a fan of time travel books, but I’m a fan of parallel life books and they sometimes can be the same. And I was a fan of All Our Yesterdays so I took a chance. Sadly this is one of those times that my gamble didn’t pay off. Basically I was really disappointed in this story and I was disappointed for 2 reasons which I’ll explain shortly.

The Here and Now is the story of Prenna, a girl from another time that has traveled to our time for a better life with a group of people. In the America that Prenna and her family come from the country is ravaged by disease and death and plague. Thinking life will be better they travel to 2010 and learn our ways. By 2014 they are living by a set of rules they are told they must follow to insure their safety and they mostly do. That is until Prenna and Ethan, a boy from 2014, start to get close. As Prenna starts to learn some things she starts to realize what she has been told may not all be the truth. But with knowledge comes a danger Prenna and Ethan never saw coming. Suddenly everything and different and it is possible left to the two of them to change things and make the US safe once again for future generations.

Like I said, I had two major problems with this book which made it hard to enjoy because of. The first problem was Prenna and Ethan’s relationship. From one page to the next they went from zero to 60 without there being any build, any real backstory, and connection. I didn’t believe them to be anything more than friends which made it a really hard sell for me since their romance was a huge part of the book. I wasn’t at all invested in them as a couple. I was intrigued by what they would uncover and how they would accomplish anything, but that was where it ended for me. I just didn’t find them or their actions for that matter believable which was a problem I just couldn’t ignore.

My other problem was the lack of finality to any part of the story. I mean I get that authors like to leave books open in case they want to create a series (or this could be planned as one already and I don’t know it). But for a book that had a lot going on in terms of backstory and side stories and the main story, I didn’t feel like I got one single solid answer for some of the problems. It just did t connect from point A to point B so by the end I was left completely unsatisfied and wondering if I missed half of the book.

In the end The Here and Now just didn’t work for me. We didn’t mesh well and that’s okay because I know for a fact that it did work for others, that there are people that loved it and that awesome for them. Basically my issues were just too much for me to ignore and I just wasn’t 100% pleased with the book. And the great thing about reading? That’s okay.

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