The Here and Now
Author: Ann Brashares
Publish Date: April 8th, 2014
Genre: Dystopian, YA, Sci-fi
An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.
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 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 Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.
From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year
The premise set up by Brashares is a paradox. It doesn’t make any logical sense.
That was one of the things that I really didn’t like about the book.
The other things
The characters are really badly developed. Only two are somewhat developed (albeit, crappily)and those are Prenna and Ethan. I couldn’t connect to any of them. The dialogue was awkward, the characters were flat, and many of their actions made no sense. Might I add that Prenna is one of the dumbest main characters I have ever read about. She has been warned numerous times that changing major things in history could result in bigger consequences than she is aware of. Does she listen? Of course not! She goes on to save a few people from dying, and although it didn’t affect too many things, it was something that really, really bugged me personally. Additionally, Prenna doesn’t seem to ever think about what she does or says (evidenced numerous times throughout the book). The adults in the book were extremely weak. They had no backbone whatsoever. Prenna walks all over them. She’s rude and they don’t do anything about it!
This guy. Oh my god. He is supposed to be a normal kid who just so happened to be there when Prenna time-traveled to the past. Instead he can do almost anything, somehow manage to save Prenna (WHO THE CRAP WOULD PUT A TRACKER IN A SHOE? I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT I WOULD RUN FOR THE HILLS IF SOMEONE DID THAT TO ME. DOES PRENNA THINK THIS IS CREEPY? NOPE. SHE LOVES HIM EVEN MORE FOR IT.) every time she does something stupid (which happens a lot). He is also poorly developed but not as annoying as Prenna.
The romance in this book was so forced. One second, Prenna is talking about Ethan like an acquaintance, the next she is referring to how she loves him. It came out of nowhere, had no buildup, and in the end, their relationship still felt the same way that it had at the beginning of the book. AKA, no chemistry.
Plot-wise, the book wasn’t much better. They are trying to save the world and prevent the plague, but then they go on a swim to the beach. A few chapters were dedicated to their trip in which NOTHING OF IMPORTANCE HAPPENED. It did nothing but attempt to develop the already terrible romance in the book. The author added in lots of scenes which had no relation to the overarching conflict but only to the romance (such as Ethan teaching Prenna card games). As a result, the plot was weak and unrealistic. Many plot points were brought up and then quickly ended(which made them really unnecessary as they didn’t help the plot progress at all).