The Future Of Us

The Future Of Us

Book - 2011
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It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Emma just got her first computer and Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.
Publisher: New York : Razorbill, c2011.
ISBN: 9781595144911
Characteristics: 356 p. ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Mackler, Carolyn


From the critics

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Mar 01, 2018

As someone who was actually in Highschool in the 90’s, I really enjoyed the flashbacks - hard to believe technology has come so far. The beginning of the book was good, imagining what the world would have been like had Facebook really been around. Everything after that was only so-so. I really think that while the topic of the book was interesting, I am just not sure that the storyline was the best.

Sep 24, 2017

Eh...I didn't find much of a story arc. There's clearly the problem of these two kids having to deal with Facebook in 1996, but they treat it so stupidly and then forget about it as if they did everything perfectly. I didn't like the main characters half the time.

SCL_Justin Aug 16, 2017

In Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler’s novel The Future of Us, it’s 1996 and Emma has just gotten a new computer. Her friend Josh gives her an AOL CD and when she gets it all hooked up she finds a link to something called Facebook. She and Josh investigate it and it appears it’s a webpage where people post all sorts of weird details about their lives. The thing is that they are both on it, fifteen years in the future.

This is great for Josh because Facebook says he’s married to the hottest girl in school who’s never even noticed him before. Emma on Facebook is unhappy though. And then Emma and Josh discover that changes they make affect the future they can see. There’s a good bit of conflict between Josh who wants to maintain that future he sees, and Emma who is scared of what hers holds and wants to make sure it doesn’t come to pass.

It’s a really clever idea for a book of dealing with knowledge of the future. They can’t put together a whole life from what they’re looking at on Facebook, but what they can see is changing things. It’s a good story about relationships and how they work themselves out too. The alternating chapters between Josh and Emma’s perspective worked well, highlighting their different concerns. The rest of their friend group is also well-developed. These kids do a lot of dating and it comes off in a very mature (yet recognizably high-school) way.

What I was less a fan of was the clear signposting of “This is 1996!” I realize that the target audience probably needs the details so they don’t forget why no one is using an iPhone, but especially in the opening chapter it was pretty tedious to read about cool new Windows 95 and cordless phones and “Friends” and listening to Green Day. I mean, I get it, it was just annoying to me. That wears off pretty quick though, and I liked the book as a whole.

kirstd31 Jan 17, 2017

My favorite part of the story was the information from the 90's. Otherwise the book was way too predictable and boring.

Dec 01, 2016

The best part of this story is the mid-90s nostalgia: dial-up, Windows 95, AOL, and the like. If you don't remember this time period, then the funniest moments just might pass you by. Though fairly predictable, the book is quick-paced and entertaining.

Dec 28, 2015

"The Future of Us" by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler is “a clever, timely story that will attract any teen with a Facebook account” (BOOKLIST, starred review). It’s 1996 and Emma just got her very first computer and an American Online CD-ROM from Josh. They’re best friends, well used to be friends. When the two teens power up, put the disc in, and log on, what they discover brings them to finding out what their destinies are. It also makes Emma and Josh create a closer relationship, before what happened last November, but it doesn’t stop them from keeping secrets from one another and their friends at Lake Forest High School, secrets that can change both of their lives for the better or worse. Each time they cause a “ripple” and look at the computer screen again, something always changes. Whether Emma does something or Josh, it effects both of them and whatever the change is, it never seems to satisfy. The two friends begin to realize that they can also change what becomes of their friends, Kellan and Tyson. But it looks like Emma and Josh aren’t the only ones keeping secrets. This well-written novel follows the lives of Emma Nelson and Josh Templeton as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their lives hold. "The Future of Us" is an impeccable title for this book because it isn’t just about Emma and Josh; this book revolves around everyone they know. Of course, it’s 1996 and people always wonder what their future holds……Emma and Josh are about to find out. Personally I would recommend this book to anyone who is a teenager and to anyone else who loves a bit of romance, reality and a bit of mystery. Even though the two friends become awkward with each other after a moment that creates tension, this secret, between the two of them, dissolves that tension and causes happiness which results into something unexpected. If you read and like this book, I have no doubt that you will also like "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher. "The Future of Us", a lovely concept on time and a wonderful view of a teenager’s reality.

Aug 20, 2015

Every decision you make, every action you do, everything, can change the future. I've seen similar morals portrayed in Run Lola Run, Butterfly Effect, and other stories, but I especially liked how Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler wove that message into this interesting and intelligent story about two teenagers in 1996, who discover their future profiles on Facebook, a website that has not been invented yet. I always fantasize about my future: who will I meet? What will I do in the future? What will I learn? Will there be flying cars invented during my time? It was fun to read a story about two teenagers who do get to learn about their future selves, and learn what they are doing right, and wrong in their present lives. I personally think that this book was a great read, and would recommend it to anyone else.

Aug 29, 2014

This was actually an intelligent book. It has connectable characters in which places us in the mind of not just one protagonist but two. It's witty with teenagers both having smart humor tat occurs with their daily lives as well as the future. You really want to connect with these characters hoping that one's future will have a good turnout. It's a cautionary tale of what happens when you are told things about your future and expect everything to go right simply because you want them to be done for you. It's telling you to make your own path as well as make your own outcome of YOUR future. Well put together, connectable characters, brilliant dialogue, as well as a plot woven like a quilt, with the help of Carolyn Mackler, Jay Asher has done it again... Also facebook is over rated. If it was made in the 90's then well then society would be a lot less productive so this is also a cautionary tale about what happens when you spend too much time on facebook.

Jessica4695 Aug 11, 2014

The idea of kids from the 90s finding Facebook and "seeing" their future seemed cool, but the book turned out to be disappointing. Stereotypical teen book--cursing, smut, lack of intelligence, and "romance," if you even want to call it that.

Jul 31, 2014

Super cool book about how facebook can be used to see into the futures of these two kids and how our futures can change in a split second

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Age Suitability

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Jul 29, 2016

DirectionerGirl01 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Sep 21, 2013

HolleayExtraVowels thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Apr 14, 2013

Mariysha thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

bookgeek101 Jan 17, 2013

bookgeek101 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

rcelenza1D Aug 18, 2012

rcelenza1D thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Ólive Jul 27, 2012

Ólive thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 99

Jul 15, 2012

Stephanie_Sibbald thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jun 13, 2012

KKPGIRL thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 13, 2012

KKPGIRL thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 13, 2012

KKPGIRL thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Add a Quote
Meagan Puopolo
Dec 21, 2017

For my whole life, Josh had been the one person I could always count on. If something happened between us and it didn't work out, I knew I would lose him. But in trying to protect us, I ended up losing him anyway.
~Emma (page 71)

May 04, 2013

Josh: "Also, I was thinking we should have a code word for it so people don't know what we're talking about."
Emma: "How about 'Facebook'?" I say, starting my engine. "No one's heard of that."

Ólive Jul 27, 2012


chrisgotstacks Jul 27, 2012

Mind blowing

SimonOrJ Jun 04, 2012

... Here's my moment!
"I... I like this auditorium we're going to."
Really? ...


Emma: "He broke your heart! How can you call it love when he hurt you so badly?"
Kellan pops anouther fry into her mouth.
Kellan: "It was love beacause it was worth it." <3

Feb 04, 2012

" The way you're judging me means you're not even trying to understand what that life felt like for me."


Add a Summary
Jun 17, 2014

This story follows a teenage girl in the late 1990's. After receiving a computer from her father Emma installed her neighbor's, Josh, software disc. After realizing there's a link to a website called "Facebook" the two start to creep on them self. Soon after a bunch of drama starts to happen at school, at home, with each other so if you don't like teen fiction then don't read it. Duh.

Oct 23, 2012

HS juniors in 1996 open an AOL account on Emma's computer and find their future selves on Facebook. Josh is delighted with his 35 year-old self, married to a gorgeous gal and with 3 kids. Emma is horrified to find that she is unhappy as an adult. Each makes small changes during the week that follows, either trying to ensure the future happens as it appears on FB or to make certain events never take place. Each log-in shows a new future and new friends. Both teens think about the people they are with, reasons for choices, future, and fate. At week's end the future Emma cancels her FB account and they see the future no more.

Ólive Jul 27, 2012

Mysteriously, the teens find themselves on a website called Facebook, which has all sorts of information about their lives… 15 years in the future. This intriguing premise is an instant hook for today's social-media-savvy readers. Clever references to cassette tapes, dial-up Internet access, and camera film are sure to induce chuckles from those who remember 1996, but the nostalgia is subtle enough that the writing will feel fresh to contemporary teens, and the idea of glimpsing one's future is a tantalizing draw for any reader. Although the discovery of Facebook initially propels the plot, there is a solid and appealing story beyond the sly humor that comes from poking fun at trivial status updates. In addition to sustaining well-crafted romantic tension, the authors deftly address universal questions relevant to teens, such as, "What do I want?" and "How do my actions affect my future?" As Josh and Emma confront these dilemmas and reevaluate their feelings, their alternating first-person narratives have a sense of urgency that makes this book impossible to set aside. This quick, highly engaging read is a tremendously likable, soul-searching romantic comedy and a subtle reminder to occasionally unplug and live in the moment.


Add Notices
Jul 03, 2014

Coarse Language: 4/10

Jul 03, 2014

Sexual Content: Infrequent jokes 2/10

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