Hardcover, 256 pages
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.
The Here and Now by Ann Brashares is recommended for teens who crave a mystery/thriller with sci-fi overtones and light romance.
Prenna James, 17, is from the year 2098. She traveled here along with her mother and others to escape the plague and climate change that is devastating the Earth of the future. The travelers keep their mouths closed, keep to themselves and always follow the 12 rules they have memorized. The rules govern their lives in the past and all are stressed, but rule #12 is most important:
"We must never, under any circumstances, develop a physically or emotionally intimate relationship with any person outside the Community."
Prenna is on the verge of violating rule #12 as she has a secret crush on her classmate Ethan. To further complicate matters, Prenna is concerned that the community of travelers may not be divulging the whole truth and there may be some nefarious secrets that the elders in the group are harboring. Her life gets even more complicated when a homeless man seems to know more about her than he should and gives her some startling information that may change everything.
Brashares does a nice job introducing her characters and setting up the plot but for many readers (me) the implausibility of her science fiction elements (as well as the intelligence of future citizens sending back mainly teens and having them memorize rules to govern their behavior) will hamper enjoyment of the book. If you are reading The Here and Now mainly for the light romance combined with the aspects of a thriller, then it might work just fine for you.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Random House Children's Books for review purposes.