“The Future of Us”—A Book Review

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The Future of Us written by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler was kind of a letdown for me.

I won’t say it was horrible, because it wasn’t. It was really well written and smart, but all-in-all I just felt kind of “meh” about it.

The setting is the year 1996, when the internet is just becoming prominent and not many people have their own computer in their home. Emma received a computer from her dad for her birthday (sort of a guilt gift since they don’t see each other often since the divorce) and she uses her neighbor Josh’s AOL CD to create an email address. Then a mysterious website pops up on her computer prompting her to enter her email address and password.

The website is facebook, which wasn’t founded until the year 2004. On facebook, Emma sees the profile and constant status updates of her future self. She gets excited and wigged out by this all at the same time and soon calls Josh over for examination. The two quickly become obsessed with their future selves’ profiles and constant status updates and changes.

The thing is, Josh future is pretty ideal and awesome. Emma’s, not so much.

The duo soon discover that they can change their future statuses by making minute and resolute decisions in their current lives. Emma keeps doing things or making mental decisions NOT to do something so that her future status will change. Josh gets kind of annoyed at this, because he doesn’t want the decisions that Emma is making to affect his seemingly perfect future. This goes back and forth in switching narrations from Josh and Emma’s points of view for the entire novel.

It was weird (and kind of surreal) to hear all of the 90’s references in the books about things that children of the 90’s grew up with (like walkmans, for example). But truthfully, I think the references are way lost on today’s generation of young adults. The people most likely to pick up and read this book are teenagers—since this is a teen book—and they were mostly raised in the 21st century, which is rapidly becoming overcome with the latest technological advances.

Like I said, the book wasn’t complete crap, but it just didn’t “wow” me. I guess my standards were set pretty high for Jay Asher after reading his debut novel, 13 Reasons Why. I give this book 3 out of five stars, mostly just for the fact that it was well written.

 

I did find this to be a very amusing quote, because it helps to paint the picture of how diluted and relevant personal connections have become.

“Why does it say she has three hundred and twenty friends?” Josh asks. “Who has that many friends?”

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What’s your story?

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“Every story starts somewhere.” Such simple words, but resounding with so much power and truth.

I think it’s safe to say that every booknerd out there has, at some point, drooled over the library Beast gives Belle in the Disney animated classic, Beauty & the Beast. And what are the books in the library filled with? Stories. And who wrote these vast stories? Somebody.

That’s all it really boils down to, isn’t it? That somebody got an idea and took the time to write it down. And inspiration can strike you anywhere at any moment, if only your mind is open to it. Whether it be a realistic notion or something completely out of this world, all stories start from that one little brain spark.

And I recognize that not everyone has the creativity to be a writer—we can’t all be gifted with awesome right brain activity levels—but even the simple act of journaling can give you such an amazing outlet.

One of my favorite sayings that came out of the mass hysteria that is Harry Potter is: “It all started with a book.” Even Walt Disney’s insane world has the slogan, “It all started with a mouse.” All it took was someone to take the glimmer of an idea and water it until it blew up and grew into a worldwide phenomenon.

It is success stories like J.k. Rowling, Walt Disney, Stephen King and John Green, which give me the inspiration to keep at it. Because my story matters. And so does yours.

“Twisted”—A Book Review

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Twisted is another exceptionally thought provoking read by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Tyler was your average fade-into-the-background teenager, until he gets busted for vandalizing the school grounds with graffiti. In order to pay back the debt, he spends all summer doing manual labor, which in turn grants him with a killer smokin’ bod.

Back at school with his new physique, Tyler is now attracting the kind of attention he has only ever dreamed of. Most specifically, Bethany (his long-time crush) is noticing him.

Sounds like the perfect high school year, right? 

Perhaps it could have been, but not for Tyler. His home life still sucks, with a verbally abusive father, and a mother who pretends like it isn’t happening. And also, it turns out that the school hottie, Bethany, is still the stuck-up, pretentious, bitch that she always was.

Like things always seem to do in high school, a bad rumor—involving Tyler taking suggestive photographs of Bethany—quickly spirals out of control. So not only does Tyler become the object of high school bullying, but he still continues to take verbal assault from his dad at home.

Twisted does an amazing job of getting inside a troubled teen’s head, and showing the reader that even though you can’t necessarily see it on the outside, someone could be going through hell on the inside. A perfectly painted narrative urges you to ponder your actions of taking out your frustrations on others, because no one can guess at how damaging the side effects may be.

I give this book four out of five stars.

#portkeyproblems

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So, I’m listening to the 4th Harry Potter audiobook (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and I’m at the part where they are getting ready to go to the Quidditch World Cup, gathering around the portkey.

While the portkey is being described to Harry about how it’s always some old ordinary and uninteresting looking object so that a muggle won’t come and pick it up, that’s when my Sarah brain takes over.

In my head, I keep seeing those road side crews who pick up trash along the highway coming along with their pokey stick thingys and stabbing a portkey, which thrusts them unknowingly into some crazy ass location, such as the inside of a pyramid, or a dragon’s lair.

Needless to say this image has been cracking me up all morning, so I thought I would share 🙂