What did I miss? is a feature here at The Grammarian’s Reviews showcasing weekly updates and highlights from both here and other bloggers. So let’s get on with the recap!
Deanna reviews… Future of Us by Jay Asher — Introducing a new co-reviewer!
TGR’s 2nd blog birthday! — That’s right. I’ve been running The Grammarian’s Reviews for two years now. Where did the time go?
[review] Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole — A cute, breezy vacation read.
Whip it Up Mondays — Let’s ogle some whoopie pies. Yummm.
Well guys, I’ve been slacking. I haven’t picked up a book in over three days. I always do this to myself — book burnout. Last week I plowed through a handful of books and felt like I was on a good, productive track. This week? Not so much. But that’s okay! I have time to get back into the swing of things. Plus, Bout of Books is fast approaching, and that will definitely get me in the mood to read.
In other books news, everyone but me has read The Evolution of Mara Dyer. This makes me sad.
The highlight of my week was the start of the Olympics. (It was killing me that I had to wait until Friday for it!) Since it’s started, it’s been taking up most of my time. I’m a sucker for the gymnastic and swimming bits. If you’ve been missing out on any of it at all, check my Twitter feed. I’ve been live-tweeting about a ton of the events with Mandi!
Blogging for you — Amanda hosted a thoughtful discussion about what it means to blog for you.
Team _____! – Nafiza discusses the breakdown of literary romances.
Looking for a good read? — Liz has a long list of awesome Contemp reads to try (picked by bloggers!).
50 Shades of Grey — WORD for Teens discussed in length the issues with the popular erotica book.
Let’s Talk — Melissa discusses book to film versus book to TV adaptations.
The Future of Us by Jay Asher
Josh and Emma are about to discover themselves—fifteen years in the future
It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long—at least, up until last November, when everything changed. Things have been awkward ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD-ROM in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto Facebook . . . but Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. Josh and Emma are looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.
Their spouses, careers, homes, and status updates—it’s all there. And every time they refresh their pages, their futures change. As they grapple with the ups and downs of what their lives hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right—and wrong—in the present.
320 pages | Published: November 21, 2011 | Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
The plot of The Future of Us is initially captivating (especially to me because I generally like futuristic/historical genres), but turns out to be a letdown. I figured there would be a greater focus on the kids’ futures and how Facebook changed social networking and communication so greatly from the 1990s. However, the whole plot revolves around their (Josh’s and Emma’s) individual lives. Nothing really happens to contribute to the premise. Josh and Emma only care about how their love lives turn out and how that affects the other aspects of their lives (occupation, number of children, mood, location, etc.). Emma is almost always complaining and comes across as being very self-centered – she’ll do anything to alter her future in a way that’s better for her, not even considering the harm it does to Josh and everyone she’s met (or will meet). It is because of her negative personality that I couldn’t empathize with her. Josh is the more personable character.
The story itself moves smoothly, its pace steady. And even though you get to see both Emma’s and Josh’s viewpoints, the thoughts aren’t repetitive. When one of them discusses something, the other doesn’t rehash the same events. This keeps the plot moving, rather than straggling.
The Future of Us is a cute and easy read, but more on the lovey-dovey side, rather than the mysterious side, and doesn’t tackle the complications of the future I hoped it would.
*Deanna is a close friend and new co-reviewer at TGR. As a lover of historical, mystery and fantasy reads, she’ll be helping expand TGR’s reading tastes!
Thirteen Reasons Why
FROM THE COVER:
Clay Jensen’s first love records her last words.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
Hannah’s voice explains that there are thirteen reasons she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a first-hand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself – a truth he never wanted to face.
Thirteen Reasons Why is both a compelling and thoughtful novel. The plot is unique and the use of cassette/recorder symbols (play, pause, stop, etc.) is original and engaging. It’s a book that causes readers to reflect on their own decisions and relationships with others, which is refreshing when so many books in the YA (Young Adult) genre are focusing more on providing pure entertainment than being thought-provoking.
However, as much as I enjoyed reading this book, I felt that the diction was lacking. While Hannah’s voice remains believable, Clay’s does not – first he’s boring and predictable, then later caring and likeable. It’s nice to read a story from a male’s point of view, but Thirteen Reasons Why would’ve been nicer if Clay’s voice and point of view were more distinguished.
Nevertheless it’s worth re-reading. Asher’s novel is a great break from YA romances.