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The Aussie Zombie

Zombie, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are like shoes - you can never have enough.

The Future of Us

The Future of Us - Jay Asher, Carolyn Mackler

In 1996 I was 14 years old.  I remember what life was like before the Internet, I remember 'getting' Internet when I was 16 and I remember what a dial-up Internet connection sounded like.  So I was incredibly excited to read The Future of Us - pop-culture references from the 1990s are my favourite.

The problem is, there actually weren't that many pop-culture references in The Future of Us.  What there was in The Future of Us were two characters that I didn't particularly like, nor find very realistic.  If I like the characters, I can overlook a lot of other faults, but it just wasn't happening for me.  Josh wasn't particularly interesting and Emma pretty much spent the whole book complaining about her future husband/boyfriend and trying to change who she ended up marrying without even knowing more than what a few status updates hinted at.

The second thing that really irked me was their complete lack of interest in the futures of other people in their lives.  Now, if I had discovered a Facebook page of my 30 year old self, I would have searched the shit out of it, trying to find out how the lives of my family and friends and those horrible bitchy girls at school turned out.  I would have searched for pages of my favourite movie stars and singers to find out future gossip, looked through peoples photos and walls.  After all, when I first had Internet access at home (and OK even now!), I was completely addicted.

At one point, Emma does make a list of all the people she wants to look up on Facebook, but Josh talks her out of it.  And that didn't make a lot of sense to me either - on one hand they are immaturely self-absorbed, and on the other hand are mature enough to think that it might not be a good idea to look up other people.  The whole thing just didn't sit right with me - it was all a big contradiction.

Thirdly, there are unresolved plot lines and it's not just small stuff - it's big stuff that they found out about the two people they searched for other than themselves and there's no resolution, despite the fact that they were actually life-changing events.

The Future of Us had so much potential that I just didn't feel was realised - a few more pop culture references, more realistic behaviour, less obsession from Emma about boyfriends and husbands and tying up those plot lines would have made this a much more enjoyable read for me.