Book Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

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.

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Age Group: YA
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed By:  Kelli
The Here and Now was such a riveting read!  I really enjoyed it.  Without consciously meaning to, I've delved into reading books about time-travel.  I always thought I didn't like this genre, but I think I was just reading the wrong authors.  I really enjoy a good YA time travel book and The Here and Now is one of the best I've read.

I loved the premise of traveling back in time, and trying not to change the natural course of history.  It was sort of scary and thrilling to read about: the characters who came from the future walked such a fine line of staying to themselves and not doing anything to attract attention.  They were a self-sufficient community: with their own doctors, their own medications and their own counselors.  Everyone has someone watching over them to make sure they keep to the rules.  And boy, those rules were strict, and punishable by death!

The plague aspect of the future gave this story a quasi-medical thriller feel, which I adored.  I went through a phase years ago where all I read were medical thriller and I like to go back to them from time to time.  Brashares' love story is subtle yet strong.  I liked that it's nowhere near the focus of the book, but it's a strong part of the book.  I just don't know if I could love a YA book that didn't have a love story.

The Here and Now was slow to get started, at least for me.  The writing wasn't as intense as I'm used to for this genre, so I could easily put this book down for the first half of the book. Halfway through, though, the story really took off and I knew there'd be no stopping me until I'd finished it.

I'd recommend The Here and Now to fans of YA and fans of the time travel genre.  I'm looking forward to Brashares' next book! 


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