Author: Ann Brashares
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: April 8th, 2014
“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 Here and Now by Ann Brashares is everything I love in books all rolled into one. It's science fiction, mixed with mystery, and a little forbidden romance thrown in there to make sure things are even harder for the characters.
When I first started reading I absolutely fell in love with both Prenna and Ethan. Prenna isn't the strong heroine type. She's smart, but she does get herself into stupid situations where she needs saving. I think it's fine for a character to need saving every once in awhile, but I wished at times that Prenna would have been able to prevent these sorts of situations before they became a problem. Like, if you know you're about to be arrested for breaking the laws your people have set up, maybe don't go home to see your mother before heading out on the run with a boy you aren't supposed to talk to. Just saying. But I did admire Prenna's character and her romance with Ethan was really very sweet.
Brashares wasn't playing around when she decided to write forbidden romance into The Here and Now. One of my favorite things about the romance was that Ethan and Prenna had a relationship—a non-romantic one, but still—before the book even started. They'd known each other for awhile and were good friends so when they started to get involved, rather quickly, I didn't get any instalove vibes. The romance was already up and running when the reader was first introduced to the characters, which worked out well because the book is so short and most of the plot is focused on the mystery.
The Here and Now has a bit of an Early Edition vibe to it, with Prenna and Ethan using newspapers to figure out a murder that hasn't happened yet. Anyone remember that show? One of my favorites, and it's why I was completely enthralled with the mystery of this book. Who's murdered? How are they murdered? How do you stop it? Time travel—whether it's in the form of a newspaper mysteriously delivered to your doorstep every morning or a thousand people escaping a dying, plaque ridden world—has always intrigued me. It's confusing and hard to wrap your head around, but when it's written well, it's impossible to put down. That was the case with The Here and Now. I couldn't stop reading, despite being bone-tired, because I wanted All The Details. I wanted to know more about how our world crumbled and how things looked and worked in the future and who set the rules the community followed and why? Why, why, why!
I'm both happy with and unsure about the ending. I like the way it ended, it felt realistic to the situation, but still fleetingly hopeful for everyone. And everything was pretty much wrapped up in a way that left me more answers than questions. But still. It left me wanting more. I don't know of there's supposed to be a sequel to this or not, but I'm definitely hopping there is, because I'd love to jump back into Prenna's world and see what happens next.
For more about The Here and Now check out these sites!