Saturday, April 05, 2014

The Here and NowThe Here and Now by Ann Brashares
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Sci-fi/Time Travel

*This review may contain some spoilers.

Love as a teenager is never easy, but add time travel, a race to change a horrible future, and a dangerous cult-like community and love becomes damn near impossible but in the midst of all this Prenna and Ethan still find that one thing that everyone needs, love.

Everyone loves a love story. Especially a story about forbidden love, for the slow seduction, the tease so to speak, keeps all of us turning the pages, sometimes even skipping over the dull parts to get to the good ones. The Here And Now is one of these reads. A great guilty pleasure that will have you devouring almost every word (there are a few dull parts, at least in this reader’s opinion).

This love starts like all love stories, when boy meets girl, but this girl just appears our of thin air, well to be a little more technical she walks through time, she’s a traveler. Disoriented and naked Prenna and Ethan’s first encounter is not the sort that conjures an image of how a great romance should start, but there are many unique aspects to Prenna and Ethan’s relationship. No sooner does Prenna than she is off to find the others for she didn’t come to 2010 alone. Than is dumbfounded but he will not be able to get Prenna’s image out of his mind, including the number 51714 that was on her arm. What does it all mean? How is any of what he saw even possible?

{This occurs first thing in the story and that number has me wanting to know more.}

Fast forward four years later to 2014 and Prenna is assimilating herself into society, which includes going to high school, the same school that Ethan goes to, and since she started two years ago her and Ethan have formed their own type of friendship. Much of how Ethan and Prenna’s relationship forms and develops is based on the community rules for travelers, like Prenna. They are:

1.) We must uphold absolute allegiance to the community, to it’s survival and it’s safety, and accept the guidance of our leaders and counselors without question or discussion.

2.) We must respect time’s integrity and her natural sequence.

3.) We must never employ the experience gained in postremo to knowingly intervene in that natural sequence.

4.) We must never challenge that sequence to avoid misfortune or death.

5.) We must uphold absolute discretion about postremo, the immigration, and the community at all times and in all places.

6.) We are forbidden to seek medical attention or submit to medical care of any kind outside the community.

7.) We must use only the services provided by our medical team in all circumstances and to employ the emergency protocol if required.

8.) We must avoid entering the historical archival record, whether in print, photography, or video.

9.) We must avoid places of worship.

10.) We must make strenuous effort to fit into society and not to bring attention to ourselves or our community in any manner.

11.) We must avoid contact with any individual know to us from postremo who did not take part in the immigration.

12.) We must never, under any circumstances, develop a physically or emotionally intimate relationship with any person outside the community.

(pgs. 13-14)
All of these rules place a strain on Prenna and how she can act towards others that are naturals and not travelers like herself. Soon though Prenna is going to have to go against all the rules in order to change the horrendous future that she is from but to also break apart the control that head community leaders have on her and the other travelers. Ethan of course comes along for the ride and him and Prenn must stop a murder from happening. There seems to be a connection between this murder and why everyone in the future has to worry about deadly mosquitoes.

{I know I really only had to share rules 11 and 12 with you to really explain why Ethan and Prenn’s friendship is so strange, but I wanted to emphasis the others so that you can really imagine the strain placed on Prenn.}

Ethan and Prenn soon trace down Mona Ghali, who they must save from being murdered by Andrew Baltos, well, that is at least what they think. Despite their best efforts Mona still dies and Andrew is arrested. With some clues from Andrew, Ethan and Prenn find out that it wasn’t Mona that they were suppose to save it was actually Ethan he was suppose to die that night to. As more details become exposed Prenna and Ethan find out that Andrew was the very first traveler and that through intimate relationships with some naturals that he is the one who is the carrier of the “blood plague” that decimates the future. Prenna is able to bring down the totalitarian rule of certain community members and even though the future begins to look not so bleak Prenn knows that until they find out more answers about how the disease is passed that her and Ethan can never be together.

{See this is the tease part I was talking about, is it not a killer? Hate when this happens. Oh and that number on Prenna’s arm when she first appeared, 51714, was the date that Ethan was supposed to have died and the fate of the world would have changed.}

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