The Here and Now by Ann Brashares: Book Review

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The whole concept of The Here and Now, being a girl called Prenna immigrating from 2098 – where a blood plague is killing millions – to 2010 America, is fascinating and definitely thought-provoking. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t executed well. It’s hard to explain, but the way this book is written…it just seemed to me not nearly as gripping as I’d thought it would be, nor as well developed. I can’t say much more about that without giving the plot away, but the whole time I was reading it, there just seemed to be something missing. Maybe it was because the book was quite short and I think it could have done with at least 50 pages more to give more substance to the plot.

I did like Prenna and I did like Ethan a lot. Their scenes together were entertaining, lovely, and tragic. I sometimes was a little confused about Prenna and Ethan’s ages, though, because they sometimes acted a little naive and immature, and other times said things to each other that were more adult. Ethan is definitely a boy at heat, which was cute, but I thought his character could have been developed better. Their connection was adorable, though, and it definitely made the book for me.

Prenna’s character was probably better developed, but I still wanted to know more about her life before and about the family and friends she’d lost in the plague. Sometimes her character just seemed disconnected from reality. Which I know was the fault of the community Prenna immigrated with and all their rules, including not to develop intimate relationships with “time natives” aka people like Ethan. The mission Prenna and Ethan undertake to change the future was exciting to read, but I couldn’t help feeling it was a little anti-climatic.

I don’t know whether there’s going to be a sequel, but the ending definitely suggests there could be, because well, it was pretty open and not exactly the usual ending to a novel in this genre. I liked the book well-enough to want to find out what happens next if there is a sequel, but I wouldn’t say I’ll be counting down the days. In all, The Here and Now could have been better, but it had its moments and some of them were incredibly bittersweet. And well, I just love the cover!

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