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.
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.
I’ve never read anything by Ann Brashares before, although I saw the first Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants movie. My understanding is that this is quite a departure for her, but I think ultimately it was a successful one. I’m not generally fond of science fiction, but this book is light on the science and more about the relationships. As a reader, I didn’t care how Prenna and her family came back from the future (something about a worm hole?), I just accepted that they had, and so I was glad Brashares didn’t dwell on this, giving long scientific explanations that I would have skimmed over anyway.
The relationship between Prenna and her mother, Prenna and her “community” of time travellers, and Prenna and Ethan, are what mattered to me as a reader. Yes, there was an intrigue behind all of this, but it was secondary, in my opinion. And Brashares doesn’t back off from the issues a teenage girl would face, suddenly being thrust into a world unknown to her, except from history books. “The Community” has to deal with not knowing how they are affecting the future – or, their own time – by their actions in the early 21st century. Prenna has been told right from the start that she will never be able to have a romantic relationship with anyone outside of the community, partly because of the risk of affecting the future, but also because of the viruses they carry with them, which could kill those who are not already immune. She begins to wonder whether “the rules” are really about safety, or if they are more about control.
I enjoyed this book, and I plan to pass it along to my thirteen-year-old daughter, as well.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Rating: 4/5 stars