Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: The Here and Now

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Expected Release Date: April 8, 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.

Taken from Goodreads

Start: 3/16/2014 | End: 3/16/2014 | Pages: 288 | Rating: 3 Stars 

My Thoughts:

I received an e-copy of this book through NetGalley. And here is my honest opinion:

The Here and Now by the author who wrote the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a novel featuring the effects and consequences of time travel, along with a dystopian community, and of course, the illegal romance between two "time-crossed" lovers. 

I went into this book accidentally forgetting how time travel is the most complicated and confusing concept to read and write about. 

It started out great, well maybe just typical. You're introduced to a community of time travelers, somehow living a normal life in New York without the contact of hospitals, "native time" scientists, etc. etc. There are a bunch of rules put in place to keep anything "bad" from happening. No one's allowed to mate with anyone out of the community. 

Now this seems just a little unrealistic. There's no way a whole community can live so long without any contact from the government. Also, it's constantly mentioned throughout the novel that the leaders of the community "can't deal with the real world and they don't know how the real world works". Well they would've HAD to know, so that they can disentangle themselves from society. Wouldn't it be a little suspicious if about 100 people just appeared out of nowhere. What about the background checks, official documents, etc. etc.?? Did they just forge everything? 

Also, Prenna? Yeah she's pretty bland. Sometimes I don't understand what's going on in her head. For example, when Prenna decides to take off with Ethan to find the source of the plague, she ends up going back to her home to tell her mother and "take a shower". Really. REALLY? 

Don't you know they're waiting to take you away? I think you deserved it.

And not only that, but it takes Prenna the whole book to realize how the community leaders don't care. They just want to live in their happy world.

About half way, the plot starts to thicken, and we get more of a picture of how everything happens. I am not sure how this happened, but I still somewhat enjoyed the story development even though there were multiple plot holes. But still. Plot holes.

I guess it's because the story finally picked up. Some of my questions were answered, others weren't at all. I really think this is why I'm practically failing one of my classes now, because I demand answers and explanations where there are none. Like in this book. I could still follow along with what was going on, but I kept on thinking to myself "is this how it would have happened?" 

I don't want to spoil anything, especially for those that received this book as well, but to me, most of the ending was unsatisfying. No closure at all. Sure there's a new alternate future, but Prenna and Ethan's relationship? Nope. It's like it never happened. 

Truthfully, I do not see The Here and Now creating hype in the blogging world. There's simply nothing new being introduced in this book. However, if you disregard the characterization and the world building, it is still a decent and quick read. 


  1. I felt the same way, I got confused with all the time travel stuff. I almost want there to be another book though just to finish what was obviously happening between Prenna and Ethan.

    I've nominated you for The Liebster Award. Follow the link to find out what to do next

    1. Thanks for the nomination!

      Yeah there should've definitely been another book, or this book should've focused more on character development. There are so many unanswered questions

  2. Great review.

    I received this through NetGalley too, I was feeling a little eh about it, but it was showing up everywhere in people's Stacking the Shelves... maybe I'll get to it, maybe I won't.

    1. If you have time. It's a really short read though. I really didn't spend much time on it because it was meh.

  3. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts on this one! I actually love time travel books, but it sounds like this story suffers in a lot of other areas like character development and world building. Maybe I'll pick this up someday but I'm not in any rush.

    1. Yay time travel! If you know of any good time travel books please let me know!

  4. I was looking forward to this one, so this review is disappointing to read. I'm glad you shared your thoughts, though, because I now won't expect greatness. Time travel is really hard to execute, and this book seems annoyingly unrealistic. It sounds like Brashares should stick to contemporary because the characters and plot in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants are both more well-developed than you say they are in this book.

    1. Ahhhh don't let my review stop you from liking the book! But anyways, yes I do agree that time travel is very hard to execute, and I have not read a decent amount of time travel books to know how to write one correctly. I don't remember The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (but I have it and I DID read it at one point), but I can definitely agree with you that it's more well-developed than this one.

  5. Hi Val! Thanks for stopping by Book Swoon. I felt the same way on many of the issues you brought up here. Although I still enjoyed The Here and Now, I'm a sucker for forbidden romance, there was just so many little issues that kept it from being a remarkable book rather than a okay one. Great review :)


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