First of all, you can’t go into this book with any thoughts of Brashares’ previous YA titles, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books, in your mind. It would be like expecting to find apples in a book all about oranges.
Second, this is a really beautifully done futuristic/dystopian kind of a thing with a flat-out gorgeous cover. It’s difficult to put a label on this book, but it’s intriguing from the very beginning. The concepts explored by Brashares in The Here and Now were compelling – I found myself thinking a lot about the idea of time, the future, the impact of everything on the future, global warming, disease, I don’t know. It was just very thought provoking, but not in a depressing way.
Prenna and Ethan are characters that I instantly wanted to know more about, and I found myself actually reading slower than usual so I could enjoy their story for longer. I love characters I can root for, whether it’s in a friendship or in a romantic relationship, and they didn’t disappoint. They make a great team. I was also super impressed with Prenna in the final third of the book – she develops into a force to be reckoned with, which is always fun to see in a YA novel.
My only complaint is that the ending felt abrupt. I don’t know if it’s being set up for a sequel or a trilogy or something… wouldn’t surprise me given the Pants books being a series. There was enough resolution that I felt satisfied, but not enough to wrap up all the loose ends, which I suppose is the perfect mix if it’s going to continue in the future. I’ll definitely be picking up any future books related to The Here and Now!
You can find it here on Amazon, or in your favorite book store, on April 8th. Enjoy!