Review of The Here and Now

The Here and NowThe Here and Now
By: Ann Brashares
Release Date: April 8th 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: ARC from Random Buzzers

My Rating:

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 didnโ€™t come from a different country. She came from a different timeโ€”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 theyโ€™re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as sheโ€™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.

My Thoughts:
Overall I was a bit disappointed in The Here and Now. I think my disappointment was more personal than in relation to the book’s plot or writing. Brashares’ story was intriguing and the pace moved at a fairly fast rate. Where this book failed for me was that nothing felt new about it. I think that since I’m a reviewer and I’ve read so many young adult books this one couldn’t stand out from the bunch. I truly think someone that has read less in this genre would find it a much more enjoyable read.

The Here and Now was yet another time travel story but this one was different because it was based upon a group of people migrating from the future to the past. I found this to be an incredibly interesting take on time travel and wished that Brashares had delved a bit deeper into the future setting. I found the moments where Prenna was contemplating and speaking of her life in the future were the most inspirational and moving. The details about the plague were gruesome and heart wrenching and I feel that if Brashares had focused a bit more on these thing I would have felt a deeper pull to this book and story.

Another area I would have loved to see more of was the main relationship between Prenna and Ethan. It was so close to being really beautiful and touching but I needed more. I felt that their moments were rushed and everything felt a tad insta-love. I felt like Ethan had the bones to be an incredible character but he was just short of being that for me. I never fully connected to him or Prenna though I wanted to.

Final Thoughts:
Even with these faults I was drawn into the story enough to want to continue reading and I was curious to see how it would all be wrapped up. I think that the overall story and aspects such as the plague and migrating people from the future were wonderful.

Interview with Ann Brashares


  1. says

    I’m sorry to hear the story felt a bit of the “been there, done that, bought the t-shirt” kinda variety for you… I’m glad that the plot was interesting and it was a fast read, even if it wasn’t the most remarkable one.
    Great and honest review as always, Kristen!

    • says

      Yea, sometimes I wish I hadn’t read so many books because it gets harder for a book to stand out. There were aspects that I enjoyed though. Thanks Pili!

  2. says

    Wow, your review is very convincing. I saw this book on Goodreads and after seeing the plot I was drawn to it. But after reading your review I realized I might read this one but not right now. Like you, I am also looking for something new in YA books. Anyways, amazing review, not to kiss ass or anything but really, I loved your review ๐Ÿ™‚

    • says

      Wow, thank you Ella! Your comment means so much to me ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope that if you do choose to read it you’ll enjoy it a tad more than I did. If you find that ‘something new’ please let me know! <3

  3. says

    I’ve read quite a few time travel stories, too, but I hope I find this more enjoyable than you did. So they’re not supposed to interfere with the past? Isn’t that impossible in traveling to the past? I suspect that won’t be avoided here, but if it is, I’m sure I’ll be aggravated.

    • says

      I can’t wait to read your review Stephanie. You tend to see errors in logic easier than I do…I can’t wait to see if this one passes the test.

  4. says

    I was wanting to try this…buuut, I haven’t seen terribly positive stuff about it yet! I might still have a go, but not asap. It’s a pity the relationships didn’t get explored more. *sigh* I’m the same, though. I really REALLY need the books I read to stand out in order to get a raving review. There’s just so much out there, and I reckon each book CAN bring something new to the table. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • says

      I’ve not read any reviews yet but I plan to–curious what others thought of it. I had pretty high hopes and wished I’d loved it a tad bit more.

  5. says

    Aw, I’m sorry that you were disappointed. And that the romance wasn’t what it could have been :\ I haven’t heard of this book before, but yeah. I probably wouldn’t like it much, hih (A) but I’m glad you did enjoy it a bit, even so ๐Ÿ™‚ Great review Kristen. <3

  6. says

    Honestly, I just wish she would write a sequel to My Name is Memory. I LOVED that book and haven’t really cared for anything else she’s written. Until I get my sequel, I’m pretty much ‘meh’ with this author. Sad, but true.

    • says

      This was my first and only book by her. I’ve not ever heard of My Name is Memory but what an amazing title…and seeing you loved it I’ll have to add it to my wishlist. I hope she delivers a sequel for you at some point. Do you know if one is planned?

  7. says

    I just read another review for this that was pretty much raving about how well it handled time travel and everything that entails, but I bet you’re right: she probably hasn’t read as many novels on this subject as I have, so I’d probably have a reaction more akin to yours. I’m curious to see if that’s the case, since I have a copy of this myself, but your middling review makes me think I shouldn’t bother when I have books in my queue that I KNOW I’ll enjoy.

    • says

      Oh Jen, so curious what you’d think of it. Honestly, nothing about her time travel stuck out to me other than people migrating to the past. I can understand how some people will really appreciate this one…I wish I had just a tad more.

  8. says

    I COMPLETELY AGREED with you on every level. Literally, my review at Next Page Reviews is almost exactly the same. I also had problems with Ethan and Prenna’s insta-love and several other factors. The romance was the most devastating thing of all!

  9. says

    I really enjoyed the time travel elements (they were my favourite part! haha), but I haven’t read too many time travel books so that might be why. I did find that the plot was kind of boring and that the characters were kind of one-dimensional, but I agree that it was extremely readable.

    • says

      I think that Brashares did a great job on hinting on the future Prenna came from. I wish there had been MORE of that aspect! The plot was a tad boring–I think because the stakes didn’t feel high enough?

  10. says

    Ahh this book is still sitting on my kindle gathering dust right now, I should really get on it. I haven’t read that many time travel yet, so perhaps I will have a better time with it. I do worry about the whole romance aspect though, afraid that they might take over the plot and turn a cool sci-fi ish book into regular teen drama. Nice review though ๐Ÿ™‚

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