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The Here and Now by Ann Brashares I have previously read and enjoyed My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares. As such I was really eager to pick this book up. Prenna James comes from a time where a horrible plague has killed millions and has left the world in ruins. She was sent back in time with a strict set of rules that must be followed at all times... She had believed that she could help prevent the plague from ever happening and felt that the set of rules were quite reasonable and easy to follow until she meets Ethan Jarves. Both Prenna and Ethan are very loveable characters. Prenna has a lot on her plate as she has to maintain her cover, blend in and keep her secret. At the same time , she is naturally curious. Her faults and drawbacks only made her more relatable. Ethan on the other hand is a carefree person. Together they are adorable and just perfect. The concept of the colony was interesting. The Elders of the colony came across as an interesting lot whom I loved and hated. The plot on the other hand is simply something else. At first it seemed to me that it was a straight forward time travelling story. But the author has blended in an amazing number of plot twists that give a whole new dimension to the story. The concept of time travel has been explored and explained well. I also liked the fact that Prenna and Ethan do not fall in the love at first sight category. They met and became friends before falling for each other. It made the story so much more interesting. Overall, this book makes for an interesting read and a good recommendation to YA & Dyatopian lovers.
Prenna James moved to New York when she was twelve but not from a different country rather from a different time. A future where catastrophic conditions and a blood plague have left a world no one wants to return to. Prenna and the rest of the travellers follow a strict list of rules. They have to blend in, be part of society without ever standing out as different. There can be no interference in the past, no one can ever know when they are from, and they can never be intimate with anyone outside the community, known as time natives. She feels isolated and unprepared for the outside world. Who and what is being done to irradiate the plague of the future? She wants to make a point, be heard but no one is listening or are they? Ethan is a local boy who knows there is something different about Prenna, and it’s not just because he saw her enter his time 4 years ago. There are other people who know the truth, others who know that the leaders of the community are hiding rather than trying to rectify the problems of the future. With Ethan’s help, Prenna will take a stand, alter the future and hopefully change her destiny and that of her family. Time travel is always a hard thing to write about, the cause and effect of the simplest changes make mapping it out so difficult. This book doesn’t do a bad job, it paints the picture of the future and how Prenna turns it with the little things she does. The relationship between the main character and Ethan is very one sided at first, however she quickly falls for him and lets him influence her without much question. The bleak future and Prenna’s story telling when she explains it to Ethan was well written and at times it flows nicely. I wanted a little more from this read, it was gentle and not too taxing and I did want to know what happened to Ethan after reading the newspaper article, and it set it up for a possible second book. For me it needed something more for me to dig my teeth into but was enjoyable enough.
This novel falls within the New Adult genre of fiction which to be honest I have grown out of, so no longer read. However it's premise intrigued me enough to give it ago. The plotline caught my attention from the first page and held onto to it throughout. The primary protagonists Ethan and Prenna were sympathetic and the antagonists suitably evil. My only quibble was that despite being advertised as a romantic thriller there was little romantic content in the novel, even for a New Adult. Also the ending whilst clever felt sudden and unresolved which left me somewhat dissatisfied, which is why I have given it a 4🌟 rating instead of a 5.
Certainly a good book for teenagers or even pre-teens. A nice blend of mystery, sci-fi and an interesting view into a future that is potentially similar to how our own may end up. Deals with issues of ethics, young love, responsibility to self, family and future, as well as some environmental problems similar to what we see today
I often really enjoy literature in the youth genre written by award winning writers. I decided to give Here and Now a try as the story line grabbed my attention. This novel has a bit of science fiction, a smidge of romance and many lessons on communication issues between teens and their peers and adults. I did complete Here and Now, but found that it didn't totally satisfy my need for a good read. I'm guessing it was perhaps intended for a lighter read for younger readers.
Time travel stories are hard to write and have them make sense. Branshares does a pretty good job with the explaining of how Prenna arrived in the current time. She wasn't an immigrant, she was a time traveler.
Ethan knows Prenna - not from the now, but from the past. When he meets up with her, he knows there's something special about her but doesn't pressure Prenna to tell the truth. Instead, he accompanies her on her mission to save the future.
I really liked the building of the relationship between Prenna and Ethan. However, with Prenna being on this super huge time relevant mission, I really felt that all of their side detours really took away from the urgency of what she was trying to do. It felt like there were two different stories happening within one plot.
Definitely a different style that I'm used to seeing from Branshares, but not a bad one. I did like it and I am interested in what happens next with these characters.
Most novels (movies or shows) that involve time travel usually end awkwardly and a good portion have a tendency to end with "and it turns out she was her own grandmother".
I really love how the book set up the premise that no future is perfect for everybody. One future led to environmental ruin and another led to financial ruin. That we, as a people, are so spoiled now but how quickly it can spin out of control. There is a delicate balance between everything and even a single person (or their loss) can tip that balance over the edge.
What I really loved was the storyline of suppression. The people from the future are suppressed not only by the leaders that have come with them but also by the rules in which they are to live by. By the end of the novel the yolk of suppression is thrown off completely but then they are saddled with it once again.
The plot was, at time, somewhat messy, but that's expected when dealing with time travel. The ending leads me to believe that there will be a sequel.
This book grabbed me from the very beginning and I could not put it down. I thought she'd hit her peak after "My Name Is Memory" because it was one of the best books I've ever read, but this followed suit. Incredible book, incredible author, and Ann Brashares truly is one of the greatest authors of our time. If you only know her as the "Traveling Pants" author, I urge you to read her other works. Fans of Science Fiction as well as romance will love this. It's the perfect marriage of the two genres. Truly a great read, and I'd recommend it to anyone.