18373078

The Here and Now

By: Ann Brashares

Released: April 8th, 2014 by Delacorte Press

Length: 192 Pages

Genre: YA Fantasy/Dystopia

Rating: Four and a Half Stars

Acquired: Invite via netgalley

 

Prenna is like no other. She doesn’t come from our time. Doesn’t share our blood. She is here from the future, but not to protect us, but for her and her people to stop a virus from happening. She didn’t plan on becoming a savior. Or, falling in love with one of us.

Sixteen Year Old Prenna James lives a very sheltered, secluded life. Forced to wear glasses that has a surveillance system installed on them and take pills that only weaken them, Prenna’s adapting to the “past” or our present hasn’t been easy. There are rules upon rules. And, lies. Lies she begins to uncover with a boy from the present. A boy she can’t help but fall in love with, Ethan. As they search to uncover the truth about her journey and reason for being in here, and stopping a murder that will change everything, their lives become ever so complicated.

There were two paragraphs that immediately pulled me in. After the day The Rules are read, a yearly practice/celebration where all the residents gather to remember the strict rules and remember the dead/those who broke them. Prenna is in the park with fellow teens. She hits the feelings on the nail.

No one talks about what really binds us together. The gap between what we say and what we feel is so big and dark that  sometimes I think I’ll fall into it and just keep falling.

At least, I think we feel it. Does anybody else feel it? I don’t know and I won’t find out. We follow our scripts like actors in a very large, very long production. And even with no audience, none of us gives a hint that it isn’t real.

There is such alienation that is universal, at least to me/for me. I connected so much to that. Especially when you are a teenager, even if you’re not from a different time. Ann Brashares writes a novel for everyone while disguising it as something extraordinarily unfamiliar to use. But, as we pull apart the layers it’s so universal and real, it’s beautiful and real.

Ann Brashares tells a beautiful, yet complicated story of first love, fighting for individuality, and fighting to be heard. I was hooked in immediately. The story was fast-paced. The action well thought out. The characters well-developed and not too far out there that they were unbelievable. I could relate to Prenna’s  suffocating circumstances. And, Ethan’s longings, yet he never crossed any boundaries and respected Prenna’s wishes and unfamiliar background which made him ever the more likable to me. This was one of those novels I didn’t want to end. I hope there’s a sequel. I’m sure there could be.

I would highly recommend this novel. Not just because the cover is so pretty, but it is. But, because there is something about this novel that pulled me in so deeply that I think will pull you in. It doesn’t truly read like a Young Adult novel. In reality, they are doing a very adult thing by trying to stop a murder from happening while being teenagers and falling in love. I think it offers something for everyone. Brashares presents a different novel that is a success, to me. A success that should be widely read.

Advertisements