Title: The Here and Now
Author: Ann Brashares
Publication Date: April 8th 2014
Rating: 3.7 stars
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.
Note: This eARC was provided by Hachette Children’s Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book puts a new spin on time travel and its consequences. The beginning is told from the perspective of Ethan Jarves but the rest is from the perspective of Prenna James. The transition between the two viewpoints is seamless and the rest of the story flows beautifully together. Even Prenna’s flashbacks and reflections naturally fit into the story. Right from the beginning of the story, it’s obvious that Prenna “isn’t normal.” There are plenty of references to assimilation and lack of “basic knowledge” which most people of that century would know.
I instantly liked Prenna James because she’s not brainwashed and gullible like most of the immigrants. She’s smart, logical and realistic. She can also be pretty badass and quickly learns the fine art of blackmailing and manipulation. Ethan Jarves, on the other hand, didn’t seem that important to me. Eventually though, his role in her story became more defined. He also gives us more insight and perspective on the immigrants. In addition, there is some serious chemistry between Ethan and Prenna but its hindered by the fact that the immigrants are not supposed to get “intimate” with time natives because they might pass on a virus from the future.
Would I recommend it? Yes!