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.
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.
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