Monday, March 10, 2014

Book Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and Now
Author:  Ann Brashares
Publisher:  Delacorte Press, 288 pages
Expected Publication Date:  April 8, 2014
*Received ARC from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
Meet 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 she falls for Ethan Jarves. 

This book was pretty good, but I was disappointed.  Such an interesting premise, with Prenna and a whole group of people sent back in time with a mission to change their horrific future.  Instead, the leaders are power happy and basically just control everyone, spy on everyone, and there are all of these rules that they have to follow.  If the rules aren't followed, they're punished or even killed.  One of the main rules is not to have an intimate relationship with a time native, which means Prenna has basically felt alone the last four years.  She can't even talk honestly with the people who she came back in time with because they're not supposed to talk about their past (the future) and everything they say is monitored.  

The execution was lacking, however.  The characters were somewhat flat, especially Ethan.  I just never felt like I got to know him and we don't see how he and Prenna met and how they got to be friends.  And they barely seem to talk, but both of them are in love with each other?  What was it based on?  Just wasn't feeling it.

And then the time travel.  I love time travel books, and yes, they make my head hurt, but I like to know the rules.  But here, not really sure about the rules.  And how did they time travel to begin with?  Why does Prenna show up completely naked but apparently they can bring stuff back from the future?  That was never explained and made no sense to me.

The plot was interesting and I liked the idea of a fork in time that had such an impact, but there were certain events that just didn't make sense and didn't seem necessary to move the plot along.  And the way Prenna and Ethan acted...just wasn't realistic.  And the ending.  Not. Satisfying. At. All.  As far as I know this is a stand-alone, and that's the ending?  What?  

Posted by:  Pam


  1. I hope it has a sequel if the ending wasn't satisfying, there are few things I hate more than unsatisfying.endings in books. I do love the idea of this book but I'm a little put off by the fact it isn't executed well. I will probably still give it a try but it's not very high on the endless TBR list atm. Thanks for the honest review :)

    1. I looked it up but I couldn't find out any information about whether there is a sequel or not. And Goodreads doesn't list it as book #1, like they usually do. Oh well! ~Pam

  2. No!!! I'm so sad to hear this. I am so excited about this book. :( The ending is really what worries me the most. You know how I feel about open endings. I will definitely still be reading it, but now I'm nervous...

    1. I know, I was excited about this book too. Yeah, the ending. Let me know what you think once you read it. ~Pam

  3. I think I am going to have to pass on this one after reading this review. We have pretty similar tastes so there is a good chance I will also have problems with this. And I am not sure it is worth reading at the moment with plot holes, flat characters, and instalove. Such a bummer. It might have been written for a sequel but whether or not that happens probably depends on sales. Thanks for your honesty.

    1. I'm curious whether there will be a sequel. Unless an author already has a deal for more than one book, they should write it as a stand-alone. Not fair to readers. And if this isn't a stand-alone…then it's such an unsatisfying ending. ~Pam