If you could change the future, would you?
That’s the premise behind Best-Selling Ann Brashare’s up-coming contemporary YA release: THE HERE AND NOW.
Prenna James is a high school student in New York in 2014, but she was born in 2078. In her time, the Earth has suffered extreme shifts in climate due to global warming and melted polar ice. There are shortages of food and raw materials, and a mosquito-borne blood plague has devastated the world population. Prenna has traveled back in time with her mother and nearly 1000 other futurists in the hope of altering some aspects of the present to fix the future.
At least those were the initial goals. Now, Prenna is sure that the powers above aren’t doing anything but controlling the time travelers and murdering any of the group who don’t conform. See, all the travelers must adhere to a set of twelve rules to ensure that they do not alter time too much, or infect the ‘time natives’ with strange and foreign microbes that could trigger plagues in this time.
Ethan Jarvis is a math/physics whiz in Prenna’s classes. He’s also a time native, and with whom Prenna is forbidden to have any ‘physical or emotional intimacy’–according to the rules. She, and all her fellow travelers, are under surveillance by concealed devices, and when she steps out of line, Prenna is reprimanded by her ‘counselors’.
Prenna tries to adhere to the rules, but she desires Ethan. And, he is quite the dashing rescuer. Especially when Prenna is taken away for speaking to a homeless man who turns out to be a fellow traveler, an undocumented one, who has learned when the fork in time was created that brought about her dire future. Ethan saves Prenna from captivity and they follow the clues from the homeless man to discover the root cause of her future was the murder of a promising green energy scientist.
Now, Ethan and Prenna must stop the scientist from being killed–while also fighting the attraction between them. But, when Prenna finds evidence that Ethan is going to die in the process of saving the scientist she needs to choose between telling him his fate, and risking the fate of perhaps…the world.
No, it’s not as dire as all that, silly! But it is rather harrowing.
I enjoyed the writing. I enjoyed the story. I liked Ethan, (perhaps too much)…but Prenna makes some dumb choices that irked me. In the end, she makes the right choice, and as much as it broke my heart, I’m glad she did the right thing.
Note: heart only broken because I wanted to see Ethan happy, and he wasn’t. But I expect he’ll get over it.
It’s an innocent tale suitable for YA readers. If nothing else, I hope it helps young readers to envision a hot climate future we can do more now to avoid…but I’m not gonna get all preachy ’bout it. There are some plot issues, but in all, it’s an enjoyable read. I think fans of YA romance will enjoy this one. It has an engaging plot and the pacing is pretty good. I received an advanced review copy via NetGalley.
Interested? THE HERE AND NOW releases April 8, but you can pre-order it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: