Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

April 11, 2014 Review 1

Review: The Here and Now by Ann BrasharesThe Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on April 8, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Source: NetGalley
Sexual Content: References to sex
Reviewed by: Lillian
3 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.

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.

Please welcome our guest reviewer, Lillian! Lillian is recent college grad, a frequent reader of YA fiction, and puts up with the machinations of her older sister Kate with lots of patience. Since I knew she was a huge Ann Brashares fan, I convinced her to take a chance with THE HERE AND NOW and review it for us. And now, for her thoughts....

While I am relatively new to the genres focused on here at All Things Urban Fantasy, I am not new to Ann Brashares. As an avid Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants fan, I was super excited to be able to read Brashares’ most recent book, THE HERE AND NOW.

First of all, I want to put it out there that I’m thrilled this book isn’t part of a trilogy. Seriously, authors, enough with that. It had many other promising qualities as well: time travel, romance, a leading lady taking control of her destiny…

The time travel plot line was interesting since Prenna is a time traveler from a very bleak future, and is experiencing the present day with fresh eyes. Along with “time native” Ethan, Prenna is given a mission by a mysterious time traveler to undo a tragedy that inadvertently leads to the troubles of the future she comes from.  Prenna’s mission isn’t made clear to us until almost halfway through the book, with the first half moving slowly through depictions of a future that made time travel the only chance for people’s survival.

A few things didn’t quite work as well as I hoped. I didn’t care enough about Prenna and Ethan to buy their friendship turned to relationship. Prenna’s life, interests, and personality weren’t developed beyond the community of time travelers, and details about Ethan’s motivations were even harder to come by. Also, the frequent descriptions of greedy consumption of natural resources seem a bit like a preachy scare tactic at times, but I felt they were necessary to convey the dire situation Prenna is trying to repair. That being said, after a slow start, I read THE HERE AND NOW quickly, especially the second half when most of the action was taking place.

THE HERE AND NOW had an interesting and mostly engaging plot whose flaws I would have been much more likely to forgive if I hadn’t been critiquing it for this review. Overall, I enjoyed the book but it won’t be taking the place of FOREVER IN BLUE on my bookshelf.

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One Response to “Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares”

  1. Mina

    Congrats on the review Lillian! It gave me a really good idea of the book and its bnefits and weaknesses [don’t feel bad now, if I tell you that your review will make me skip this one] and you have an unique voice.
    Oh and I can relate to the increased…hm, let’s say “strictness” in judging a book when you’re doing a review. Same happened to me: I rated books much more favorably, before I started writing reviews on Amazon. More scrutiny perhaps?