Title: The Here and Now.
Author: Ann Brashares.
Source: Netgalley, for Review.
Publisher: Delacorte Press.
Published Date: 4/8/14.
"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. "
The Here and Now is one of the first books I've read that include time travel, but no worries, I have seen a few movies on it, and I kind of know some things about how it works! Have you read any time travel books? Have any recommendations?
Prenna has lived in the past for about four years now, with her mother, to escape a mosquito borne illness that was killing people off left and right. People couldn't leave their houses, and were instead locked inside, with nets and bug spray; anything to keep the mosquitoes away! Prenna even lost her two brothers to the deadly disease, and her father to the time travel.
The day Prenna and parents were suppose to depart, her dad never showed up, so she and her mother were forced to go one their own. Neither of the two could explain why he never came, but assumed he chickened out, or had more important matters to take care of.
Coming from the future and living in the past, requires living by a large set of rules. Three which include no intimacy with a time native, keeping their real identity a secret and never to interefere with history (which I think kind of goes with the first two). To make sure that no one breaks any of these rules, there are a few leaders in charge that make sure to intimidate and scare anyone away from doing it...even if it means spying on them, and possibly killing them.
But no matter how hard she tries, Prenna can't keep her mind off Ethan, during school and at night when she dreams about him. She knows she can never have a relationship with him, tell him who she is, or get too close.
Ethan knows Prenna, he recognizes her on the first day of school. She is the naked girl, that showed up by the creek in the forest four years ago. She is the girl with the crazy confused look in her eyes, who he gave his sweater to, and wrote his phone number on her arm. He knows exactly who Prenna is.
Prenna has always had the suspicion that the eye glasses and the vitamins the time travelers were using weren't what they claimed to be for. Somehow everything she did, everyone knew about, even when no one was around when Prenna did them. The glasses were claimed to be important for the time travelers damaged eyes, and the vitamins to keep them alive...but Prenna didn't believe a word.
Especially when she is approached by this homeless man, who claims to know who she is, and where she's from. He even informs her of some information he knows, and what's going to happen in the next few days. A scientist, who may be able to prevent/cure the mosquito borne illness will be murdered by her boyfriend, and Prenna knows she needs to stop him.
Prenna can't do it on her own. But with her best friend sent off to boarding school, her mom not standing up for herself, and the community doubting her, Prenna has no one...except for Ethan...She knows what she has to do, and that's stopping the murder.
I haven't read too many books that include time travel, but I am completely fascinated by how it works; how history and the future can change! When I realized that The Here and Now was revolved around time travel and the repercussions thereof, I was excited! (AND what an AWESOME title?!)
There was a bit of a struggle for me to get into this book, but it wasn't because of the book. I downloaded The Here and Now on my ipad, and I was just having a few technical difficulties. But after borrowing the book from my library, it was easy from there on out!
The Here and Now didn't have many characters, there was Prenna the main character, Ethan, her mother, the leaders of the community, and Prenna's friend, who only had a few lines. (AND one more person, but I don't want to give anything away!!).
Sadly I don't really feel much of a connection with any of the characters. Prenna wasn't really open. I mean she did give us some information about her feelings and what happened to her in the future, but I guess in a way I felt like I didn't know her. Ethan was a sweet guy and seemed to really care for Prenna, and I LOVED him for it. But again, I just felt confused as to how he knew so much about her. I understand that he was the one that found her in the woods, but what happened from there on out, for him to know so much? Did I miss something?
Don't even get me started on Prenna's mom, because of her I was strongly considering throwing the book across the room. Why wouldn't she be on Prenna's side? Why was she doing everything they told her to?
The ending...hmmm. I thought it was okay. But I did have a lot of questions about it. And here they are, why wasn't the leader (tyrant) of the community doing a lot more to prevent Prenna from finding out? And if Prenna and Ethan were able to complete their mission, wouldn't that have changed the entire future? Wouldn't Prenna be gone? Because if they completed it, the illness may have been prevented/cured, there would be no reason for Prenna to have traveled to the past, in the first place?
Overall I found the story to be okay. I felt like it wasn't as energetic as I was expecting it to be, especially since Prenna was pulling this HUGE move. There was one or two small twists and turns, and the ending was alright as well.