Saturday, April 5, 2014

Review of The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Title/Author: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Publisher/Date published: Delacorte Press, April 8th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: 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.

So I read 2 or 3 of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books and I loved them. So obviously I was excited when I heard about this new and completely different book by Ann Brashares! But I'm sad to say that it didn't quite live up to my expectations.

I'm always fascinated by time travel and creepy diseases wiping out most of the population, it's what I read about when I want to freak myself out, because I can imagine this happening in the future. And I thought the part about the mosquito-borne illness was really well done. It's awful and made me chase all the mosquitoes in my home and kill them.
I'm still a bit confused about how the whole time travel thing worked, it wasn't really explained.

At times I liked Prenna. And at other times I was just REALLY annoyed by her. REALLY annoyed. I mean, she catches on REALLY slowly and if her mom hadn't sat her down and gave her a decent talking to, I think she would have risked the fate of the whole planet for her crush. I felt that for someone who's seen the world basically end, she's way too naive. But then there are the moments when she takes charge and sort of threatens the powers that be and how she cared for her little brother when he got sick and those are the moments that I respected her. Those are the moments when she made a change.
But she had a serious case of too-stupid-to-live going on when she walks right into a trap from the powers that be eyes wide open and then Ethan gets her out way too easily. SO ANNOYING.

I wasn't really convinced by the romance either. Though they do share some sweet moments in the beginning and I could see how they could be friends and maybe have that develop into something more. They jumped to the something more awfully fast and there was a love bomb I wasn't prepared for and just UGH. Also, I didn't really like Ethan. I felt like he was pressuring Prenna to have sex and that's just not ok. And while he did so jokingly, it's still not ok.

I felt like the powers that be were making things difficult just because they could. Also, there's one pivotal moment that Prenna and Ethan are trying to prevent from happening and they have to save someone, only they don't actually KNOW who they're supposed to save and one person knew and told them they had to save SOMEONE but now WHO that someone was. WTF?? I mean, seriously, the fate of a lot people is riding on this and you're deciding to keep this a secret? WTF??

So I did like the whole background for the story and them finding out what actually caused the disease in the first place, but I had a lot of problems with other things in the book and it wasn't what I had hoped when I started it.

My rating: 2 stars


  1. *Sighs* The reviews for this one definitely haven't been the most positive, and I'm really sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this one as much as you wanted to either Daisy. It definitely sounds like there's a lot of "WHAT?!" moments in the book; and the characters definitely sound iffy as well.

    I think I'm going to give this one a miss as a lot of what you mentioned would probably bother me too! Thanks so much for sharing though Daisy, and, as always, brilliant review! :D

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

  2. I'm curious to see how I'm going to react to this novel! I've read and enjoyed every single one of Brashares Sisterhood novels, so I'm definitely excited that she has something new in YA. However, the reviews have been less than stellar, so I'm a little worried. We shall see!

  3. I didn't not like this book, but I also didn't really like it. That doesn't make any sense. I liked the story and the whole mosquito borne illness was very interesting (and scarily realistic), but the instalove just totally killed it for me. It was so bad. I haven't read a book with a case of insta-love as bad as this in a long time. And yes to Ethan pressuring her to have sex. Seriously, that's all he could talk about! I mean, I know he's a teenage boy, but come on.

  4. *sigh*
    You know I've tried to read Ann Brasheres books - outside the sisterhood of the traveling pants - and I always come out with this feeling that she complicates things just because she can without an endgame in sight. It's kind of disappointing.

    I'm sorry you didn't like Prenna, it sounds like I wouldn't either. So I'm going to be skipping this one.

    Thanks for the review, Daisy.

    Also, I love the whole diseases take over scenario for some reason, my otherwise fragile psyche is totally down for them, oddly enough.And... now I wanna go see Outbreak. Laters!