I just read The Future of Us last night and wrote a Goodreads review (2 stars) but realized there was still more I wanted to say about it. Here is my expanded review!
I really wanted to love this book--I love the premise. High-school junior Emma logs on to AOL for the first time in 1996 (using one of those CD-ROMS that came in the mail, remember those?) and sees her future Facebook page. Thinking it's a computer virus or something, she calls her friend Josh over to look. Once they determine that this is real and not a glitch or elaborate prank, they both become obsessed (wouldn't you?) by the details of their future lives, which change based on even the small decisions they make now. Emma's future self doesn't seem happy, so Emma is frantic to change her trajectory, whereas Josh is blown away by his future (rich and married to the most beautiful girl in their high school) and doesn't want to do anything that might jeopardize it.
I'm the same age as Josh and Emma, so I enjoyed the references to "life in the olden days" (Scrunchies, Discmans, figuring out this whole "World Wide Web" thing). I also liked the way the authors address the idea that your future is always static, and that ultimately we need to make the choices that make sense for our current lives and choose to be happy now, rather than moving so rigidly towards what we assume will be our perfect, happy future.
I think part of my problem with the book was Emma. If I were her, I would be LESS concerned about who she marries (in her future she keeps being stuck in what appear to her younger self to be loveless marriages) and MORE worried about not becoming the annoying whiner FB makes her out to be. Judging by her future updates, we have:
Texting & surfing the Web on her phone while driving
Complaining about her spouse & airing their dirty laundry
Really vague posts meant to invite questions (haaaaate)
Using the word "hubby"
Choosing the "It's Complicated" relationship status
Still loving "Glee" in 2012, after the show stopped being any good
I now need to go look at my Facebook page and see what my 16-year-old self would have thought of it all. Off the cuff thoughts:
- Oh my gosh, I don't get married until I'm almost 29?? I did go to BYU, right? What on earth went wrong? Was I in a coma for 8 years? Cute husband, though.
- Curly hair? But the bangs and the long hair that takes 50 minutes to blow dry straight was really working for me!
- Um . . . what's with all the F-words? And how is there even such a thing as a "Mormon Feminist"?
- Look at all these pictures! I must spend a fortune developing film!
- Knitting? Okay, granny. Everyone knows cross-stitch is where it's at.
- I lived in England? Twice? Okay, that's awesome.
- Librarian? Wow, looks I really embraced that spinster track, didn't I . . .
- Wait, DEMOCRAT??? Why, did something happen to the Republicans?? (Answer: kind of)
- Wow. I have the two most beautiful boys in the entire world. I'd better get going if I'm going to have 4 more.