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The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

9780857076076It’s 1996. Neighbours and best friends Josh and Emma are huddled around Emma’s PC, accessing the internet for the first time. Though their friendship has been strained for a while, the internet is the next, new big thing and they share the experience like they’ve shared almost everything else. But something is wrong with Emma’s connection: it keeps opening up to a website called Facebook – and there are profiles there for people with their names, only the dates are wrong. How can a webpage from 2011 exist in 1996?

As they read on they begin to discover that these people aren’t just look-a-likes. They’re future Josh and Emma and all of their lives, loves and woes are out there for the world to see. Engrossed, Emma begins to read into her future… and discovers she doesn’t like what she sees. Wondering if her present actions can change her destiny, she tries a simple experiment and when she gets results, she decides to shape her future to her liking. But life isn’t as simple as it seems and Josh is starting to question the legitimacy of the website that’s driving his friend to such crazy lengths. There’s arguments and drama and plenty of that good ole’ teenage angst to be thrown around but ultimately, there’s a lesson to be learnt about the consequences of ones actions.

A hilariously out there novel, The Future of Us is a brilliant story that brings up the “What if I could see into the future?” question with a technological twist. The use of Facebook as a sort of crystal ball not only allows us to follow Emma’s crazy journey of action and reaction but also brings into question the use of social media sites and asks how much is too much?

-Karen

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