The Here and Now by Ann Brashares ebook, 288 pages April 8th 2014 by Delacorte Press ARC from Netgalley Goodreads| Amazon| B & N | TBD
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..
I never expected to like this book so much when I started reading it since it's hard to find a really good time travel YA books. With all the mixed reviews on Goodreads, I can't help but feel a bit wary. But in the end, I'm glad to say that my doubts were unfounded. Although the beginning was kind of slow, the ingenious of the plot hooked me till the end.
The instant romance is kind of hard to believe and I can't help but cringe when Ethan falls head over heels by the sight of the unclothed Prenna when they first met but he turned out to be Prenna's knight in shining armour which is kind of sweet. And as Prenna slowly realised that her tight knit community from the future is hiding some really big secret, it is Ethan who she turns to for help.
For me , the real draw of the story is figuring out the events leading up to the plague and the how the future looks like. It is kind of unbelievable for the US to be so hot and humid enough through all the pollution that dengue fever can cause widespread death but well I'm thinking that this may be some kind of mutated form of dengue. Yup, a suspension of belief is needed if you really want to enjoy this book.
But the final twist of the story is kind of creepy, tragic and amazing in my opinion especially regarding Traveller One. And just like countless time travel stories before, the most important lesson to be learned is that sometimes no matter how hard you tried to change the future or past in this case, it turned out to be just the same.