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The Here and Now
The Here and Now
Author: Ann Brashares
Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love. — This is the story of 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 a...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780385736800
ISBN-10: 0385736800
Publication Date: 4/8/2014
Pages: 256
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 7 ratings
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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reviewed The Here and Now on + 380 more book reviews
Okay, I have to begin by saying that I like Ann Brashares. I've read all of her books and feel like she has an excellent grasp on how to write teenagers. Their voices just seem to come through her effortlessly. Even in this novel, where it is not a contemporary, realistic story, the characters are very realistic and relatable.

Prenna and her mother have traveled back in time from 2098 to 2010. In their time, a pandemic broke out and basically ended civilization. The time travelers make it back in an attempt to stop this tragic future from happening. As in all time travel, there are rules. They need to blend in and not tell people where they truly came from. They also need to avoid relationships with "time natives." These rules are put into place to protect everyone past (or present depending on how you look at it) and future. Of course, teenagers break rules and Prenna falls in love with Ethan, who is not a time traveler. How will she avoid killing them both and continue with her work to alter the future?

My thoughts:
Well, I already gushed about Brashares writing style. I think it's very clear that I just love her characters. Prenna is very well developed. Honestly, her back story and her work to figure out how to save everyone is definitely the best aspect of this novel. Prenna is interesting, has many layers, and definitely carries the novel. She's intelligent, a little funny, and courageous. She cares deeply for people and because of her history doesn't want anyone to suffer or die. This actually is one of the biggest reasons that she ends up spending time with Ethan. Ethan is also well developed, but didn't capture my attention as much. Part of this is because the real focus of the novel for me was about the prospect of "fixing" the future. The romance was secondary, so Ethan's presence as a romantic figure was not important to me (not like he is so one dimensional). I would recommend this and it's definitely going up as one of my favorites for the end of the school year.
reviewed The Here and Now on + 175 more book reviews
YA with a hint of sci-fi, a report of time travel and a forbidden love.

Prenna travels back in time from a future world where millions have died from the plague as the result of politics and environmental meltdown.

Ethan sees Prenna when she appears in front of him while he is fishing by a local creek and instantly falls in love.

But they cannot be together, for Prenna is part of a secret community that has developed rules so as not to interfere with the current time natives. The main rule is that members cannot fall in love or be intimate with anyone outside their enclave. But Prenna, age 17, and her classmate, Ethan, bond during a shared class in high school and find themselves drawn into a plan to save the world on May 17, 2014.

Very predictable with stereotypical one-dimensional characters, this novel seems to be the start of a series. The action and developing plot require a great deal of suspension of disbelief. With themes of loss and identity that are never fully developed, Prenna's past life is only hinted at and the full reasons for the community's return to circa 2014 are not adequately explained enough to make it all believable. The narrative includes some political posturing and attempts moralistic commentary on the lifestyles and habits of contemporary society.

I'll see what the teens think of this one but I'm not likely to read the follow up. I'm pretty sure I know how it's all going to end.