I think I might have found my favorite young adult novel of 2014. I loved The Here and Now by Ann Brashares. Perhaps a twist on the dystopian genre as it is more than just a sci-fi time traveling novel. While The Here and Now may be a departure from Brashares's Traveling Pants series, the themes of friendship and loyalty that fans love are still there.
Prenna is not quite from here - geographically she is, but spatially not so much. Her mother, herself, and members of her community are from the future. That future is pretty grim. But did they travel through time to change the future or just to enjoy a little more life?
Prenna is your typical teenage girl. She wants to belong, have friends. Yet she is bound by the rules of her community. Rules that keep you isolated, not just from the natives (people who belong in the current time), but also from the members of her community, even her own mothers. The secrets, the lies, all are getting to be too much from Prenna. What if the secrets and lies are not just for the natives?
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Then there is Ethan, a native that knows more than he is letting on. He is such a sweet boy, not bad looking, and smart. Like astrophysics smart. I love how these teens are intelligent, but are not portrayed as the geeky nerd stereotype. Ethan and Prenna are definitely two great role models for today's teenagers.
My only struggle with the book is whether I want The Here and Now to be a stand alone novel or a series. I love the characters and concept Brashares has created. The ending of the novel could go either way. If there are not more books to come with Ethan and Prenna, I could see them being the new stars of the fanfiction writing community. There is so much more that can be explored about them as individuals, as a pair, and the society they inhabit. At the same time, there is something special about the moment that is captured within the pages of this novel alone. It is difficult to explain. It is kind of like how you are okay with a fairy tale ending with "they lived happily ever after" or in a western the hero rides off into the sunset.
If you are a fan of young adult literature you will definitely want to get a your own copy of The Here and Now by Ann Brashares. And if you aren't really a fan of young adult books, you still might want to pick up a copy as it is a great read for any age.
ebook and hardcover (288 pages)
Published April 2014 by Delacorte Press
Read: March 2014
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