Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release 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.
While I'd never read anything by Ann Brashares, I'd heard nothing but amazing things about her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I've seen the movies and I had always wanted to read the books (which I actually own) but I felt like I'd passed my moment to read them. So when I saw she had another book out, I jumped on the chance. Even though I had some problems with The Here and Now, I enjoyed the story and the premise of the book.
When I first started it, I hadn't read the summary so I thought it was going to be a summery contemporary (darn you deceitful cover) but I was pleasantly surprised with a fast paced Sci-fi. Prenna lives in this community of time travelers who have come from a bleak future with a bunch of rules they have to follow. The community was so creepy! They know every move you make, every step you take (cue the Police song because I'm pretty sure it's their anthem) and they can even make sure you have an "accident" if you break any of their rules!
Problems I had:
1. Everything that happened to the two main characters, Prenna and Ethan, was a bit too convenient. They were always at the right place at the right time or knew what had to be done and where they had to go to fix everything.
2. I had a difficult time connecting with the characters, especially Prenna. She sometimes felt stiff and dry but at the same time this could be a result of the no touching rule in her community. I loved Ethan though! He added a light mood to the storyline.
3. My main problem was that Ethan and Prenna went from zero touching and hardly looking at each other to a cutesy 3000-level relationship in two days. I get that they knew each other for a while but still. And also, the FUTURE OF THE WORLD depended on them and they were just relaxing by some beach town. I would never be able to relax if I were in Prenna's situation.
With that out of the way I can tell you that the story is fast paced and keeps you hooked. I read it with other bloggers in the span of about 2 days. It's a fun book to read with friends and discuss all the twists and turns (and there were quite a few). Being a person that can usually guess what's going to happen from a mile away, I can say that Ann Brashares caught me by surprise more than once. I suggest The Here and Now to anyone looking for a fast paced standalone that'll keep you up into the night.
★ ★ ★.5 stars