Saturday, 12 July 2014

ARC Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares


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Author: Ann Brashares
Pages: 256 pages
Publisher: Delacourte Press
Release Date: April 8th, 2014
Received from: NetGalley
Status: Standalone (maybe?)

Synopsis (from 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.

Review

The Here and Now was a thought-provoking new book by Ann Brashares that make you think about our actions as a society, and how it can impact the future to come.

The story is about Prenna James, a girl from the future that travels back in time to escape the deadly plague that's claimed the lives of millions. The rules of survival are simple: keep a low profile, and do not mingle with any of the Time Natives. But with an authoritative government system, and the ever handsome and intelligent Ethan Jarves constantly taking attention in her, Prenna finds her elaborate life endangered.

This story was eerily similar to Yesterday by C.K Kelly Martin. In Yesterday, a girl named Freya discovers that she is not from 1980s Canada, but instead from the future. She, and a highly select group of other people were sent back in time to survive the devastation in the future and try prevent it from happening.

Sound familiar? The only difference that I found was that Freya's memories were completely erased and that she had to gain then back for herself. The other difference from The Here and Now (other than the setting and their goals), I felt like less conflicted after reading the book and that the concept of time-travel and affect the future was explained better.

I didn't fall in love with Prenna as fast as I wanted to (I fell in love with Ethan right away though), and I felt like the plot was rushed. For the majority of the novel, my interest was going in and out, until I got about three quarters into the book. I was able to piece what was going on in the beginning with the characters fairly quickly, but it wasn't till near the very end did I feel truly engaged with the story.

I felt like the technicalities of how she got there and her emotional connection was rushed over a bit- I even felt like at times her relationship with Ethan was rushed as well. I didn't, however, expect the plot-twist near the end, but I didn't like how the book ended so abruptly.

Overall, it was a good story, and I felt like that despite it's rough patches, it did convey the overall message very well: we as a society must be careful with the way we treat our world today, otherwise we may ruin our tomorrow.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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