Saturday, May 24, 2014

The here and now by Ann Brashares

Prenna James and her mother came to New York when she was twelve, but they didn't come from somewhere, they came from somewhen.  The future is damaged by global warming and is swarming with a deadly killer - the humble mosquito and the deadly plagues they carry.  Prenna and her mother are the lucky ones, the healthy few who were sent back in time to live in safety while their leaders try and discover the tipping point, the fork that will save the future from destruction.  To keep the community safe, and to protect the time natives around them, everyone follows strict rules - they don't seek outside medical attention, they do not become intimate with time natives, they take their vitamins, and they deal with the subversive few swiftly and with deadly precision.

Prenna tries her best to follow the rules, but any normal teenager would struggle against the strict rules of the community and the constant monitoring from the leaders and counselors.  At seventeen  Prenna is starting to see through the half-truths and the lies, and she is pushing harder and harder against her boundaries.  When she discovers a shocking secret that has been hidden from her for years, Prenna takes a huge leap of faith and strikes out of her own - her only support is Ethan Jarves.  Pushed into close contact with a time native, Prenna finds herself drifting closer and closer to breaking one of the biggest rules of them all as they chase down one of the possible forks in the road to the future.

The here and now is an intriguing and thought provoking novel about time travel, taking something that seems so theoretical and potentially dangerous and ties everything up into a mystery and science fiction thriller that will keep you wondering what will happen next.  One of the theories of time travel (if you have read enough science fiction or watched enough episodes of Dr Who) is that a small change now can have huge consequences for the future- positive or negative.  Changing whether a person lives or dies can change the entire course of future events, changing the past for future generations.  Without going into the science behind the story too much, Brashares creates a completely rational and yet thought provoking idea of a tightly controlled community sent back into the past to save the future, where everyone is restricted in what they do so that they don't negatively impact the future - it is both oohhhh and duh at the same time.

I have read a few books that have attempted the whole time travel to save the future idea, but this is the first book I have read where I think the author was actually able to pull it off really well - not only making it all make sense, but also making it an extremely good read at the same time.  I have not read any of Brashares books before so can not compare The here and now to her other work, but I was really impressed with how easily the story flowed and how strong the characters were - this was a mind bending and addictive read that I didn't want to put down once I had picked it up.  A fabulous way to spend a cold and windy Saturday afternoon.

If you like this book then try:
  • The testing by Joelle Charbonneau
  • The lab by Jack Heath
  • Eve by Anna Carey
  • Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Inside out by Maria V. Snyder
  • The limit by Kristin Landon
  • The sky village by Monk Ashland and Nigel Ashland
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • The roar by Emma Clayton
  • Slated by Teri Terry
  • XVI by Julia Karr
  • Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Star split by Kathryn Lasky

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment