Archive | April, 2014

Here and Now by Ann Brashares

6 Apr

Here and NowHere and Now by Ann Brashares

Publisher: Delacourt Press
Publication Date: April 8, 2014

I read this book a couple of weeks ago, but it took Spring Break to finally share it.  Part  of that was before I could review the book, I had to look up the Newberry winners list.  Why?  Because in 2010, the Newberry winner was When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.  [If you’ve never read it, STOP and pick up the book!]  In the Stead book, there is a strange-acting vagrant and odd notes to Miranda that accurately predict the future.  The high kicking vagrant is actually practicing.  You can read the book to find out why.

In Here and Now, 17 year old Prenna arrived from the future when she was 12 years old.   There is a strange-acting vagrant who passes odd information to Prenna.  And, it turns out for much the same reason as in When You Reach Me.  It’s a time-travel story with twists and turns that doesn’t really make sense. She falls for Ethan, a 17 year old boy from the current time, but it feels sudden after he’s been fascinated with her for years.  For a 17 year old boy, he’s got everything.  He’s a brilliant hacker, he puts a tracker on his girlfriend (a little creepy to my way of thinking) and conveniently finds money and the solution to the problem.  The story wraps up with a nice, unbelievable tie without explaining the time-wrap issues.

To be fair, the book is very readable – I like Prenna from the start, though I had the constant nagging thought of having read this before.  I like the letters to Julius that explains the oddities in our time line versus her original one.  I like the overall, terrifying premise that we could, in fact, be facing a terrible future.  But the plot is soft and squishy and too conveniently answered.   She does discuss sex with Ethan, which takes it up from being appropriate for sixth graders.  I probably won’t purchase for our school library, but it is a perfectly acceptable book.

Allowable for 7th graders and up.