Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Review of THE FUTURE OF US and a Signed Jay Asher Giveaway

I hate to break it to you, but I'm not giving away a signed Jay Asher. I am, however, giving away a couple of his signed books, including an ARC of THE FUTURE OF US, cowritten with Carolyn Mackler (and signed by both) and a signed award winning THIRTEEN REASONS WHY.

Below, you'll also find my review of THE FUTURE OF US. You may notice I say nothing about the awesomeness of the authors. I wanted to focus on the book, because that's what reviews do. But let it be known, they are awesome, in that same way that cereal covered donuts are awesome.

Onward.



THE FUTURE OF US
by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
TheFutureof Us
Summary: It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.
Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.
Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.
Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.


MY REVIEW
Teenagers from 1996 stumbling across some time warp glitch in a computer to discover their Facebook identities fifteen years later? SOLD. In fact, I liked the premise so much I was a little dubious. So often I get excited about a book only to read it and find myself curling into a fetal position, ripping my hair out in clumps. But, just so you know, one day. That's it. That's what it took me to read this book. I set aside my entire life just to read this. Happily.

Okay, so I love 1996. For obvious reasons. So I won't mention them here. But I will say those reasons make it into the book. You'll see. If you were a teenager in 1996 and on Facebook today, reading THE FUTURE OF US makes you feel like you're a part of a secret club where you know the secret handshake and all the inside jokes. BUT. The cool thing is  you don't have to have been a teenager in 1996 to get it. And to love it. You don't have to have been alive, even. If you're a teenager today, you'll read it and probably scoff at the idiocy of us poor schmucks who carted around gigantic Discmans to go jogging, in the same way we old people laugh at those even older people who wore plaid bell bottoms like on purpose. So, there's that aspect of it--laughing at prehistoric times, which always makes for good reading.

But also, and more importantly, there's a story here. A solid, beautiful story. Friendship, love, hopes, dreams, fears--everything all teenagers face whether it's 1996 or 2011. Indeed, everything we face at any age. But as teens, we don't always know that. It's impossible to imagine a life of experience when our experiences have been so limited. So, yeah, we all want to see our futures because there's just no picture our minds can realistically conjure of them yet, not as teens (or maybe ever). But man, how dangerous if it actually happens, right? Have we learned nothing from BACK TO THE FUTURE? Well, yeah, that getting a view of your grown-up self makes for glorious fiction. I still get a huge kick out of stories like THIRTEEN GOING ON THIRTY, BIG and now THE FUTURE OF US. It's an exploration of possibility and consequence. As  teenagers, many of us said we had no idea what we wanted out of our lives, but really, come on, we knew. We knew.  And we sort of thought we'd get it right? A happy ending. Pshaw! Here's what you learn in THE FUTURE OF US: there's no such thing as a happy ending. Or a sad ending. Err...or an ending. There's just a happy or a sad now, your choice.

What I love most, and what makes this such an original story is that these characters don't actually travel to the future. They merely get to see it, AND see how the things they do (and change) in the present affect those fragile futures of theirs. It's a bit of an eye-opener. Just imagine seeing your future change with every choice you make, small or big--how powerful you might feel, and equally helpless, because not all actions are within our control. THE FUTURE OF US is more than just a cool comedy/fantasy/romance about two teenagers who get to see their futures on Facebook. It's a poignant exploration of identity and longing and a touching look into the lives of two teenagers who circumnavigate extraordinary circumstances to find each other in their ordinary lives.

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Today, I'm offering

TheFutureof Us

ARC of THE FUTURE OF US, Signed by both Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
AND


13ReasonsWhy THIRTEEN REASONS WHY Signed by Jay Asher









This giveaway is international and ends Monday, October 24, midnight EST. You must be 13 years old to enter. If you win, you will need to provide an address for shipment. Under 18's must have parent/guardian permission to enter.

Click Here to Enter the Signed Jay Asher Giveaway




This Giveaway has now closed. Here are the winners:


Signed ARC of THE FUTURE OF US
Katy U.

Signed THIRTEEN REASONS WHY
Mary B.


Congratulations winners! Please email me an address to which I can send your book. Thanks so much to all that entered. Stay tuned for the next giveaway!


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Winners of my last giveaway (ASHFALL, WITHOUT TESS, UNFORSAKEN, TRIS & IZZIE) are posted HERE.

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Be sure to check out what the other Bookanistas are highlighting today!

Bookanistas-logo-hisnhers
Elana Johnson is obsessed with Possess
Christine Fonseca twirls for Audition
Shannon Whitney Messenger is wowed by The White Assassin – with giveaway
Shelli Johannes-Wells applauds The Pledge
Beth Revis interviews The Girl of Fire & Thorns author Rae Carson
Carolina M Valdezdelves into The Future of Us – with signed book giveaway
Shana Silver shouts out about Shut Out
Sarah Frances Hardy fancies You Will Be My Friend

81 comments:

  1. Oh, these books sounds great! Thank you so much for the chance to win them :D
    Love, Carina

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  2. I thought the concept for 13 Reasons Why was really intriguing so I'm very much looking forward to reading Jay's next book as well. The premise, again, sounds really interesting and your review in particular makes me want to seek it out, so thanks! :) (also for the fab giveaway)

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  3. I also have vivid memories of 1996...it seems like yesterday, haha! These books both sound awesome. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  4. A very passionate review. I have been intrigued by the premise of this book, and I like how you cleared ups some details I was wondering about (like the teens don't actually time travel) I am even more interested in the book now that you also talked about how making small or big changes to the present affect the future. Great review and thanks for the giveaway!

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  5. I loved Thirteen Reasons Why and got a signed copy when I saw Jay Asher at a SCBWI conference. He's an awesome speaker. I'd love to win The Future of Us. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  6. Wonderful review, Carol! I love the 90s too. Will be interesting to see what those teens thought of their future and facebook :)
    Thank you for the giveaway!

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  7. I really have no words for this beyond Squeeeeeee! TRW is, well, only one of my all time favorite books. Crossing every joint that I hit the lotto and win this one! Thank you:)))

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  8. As someone who was a Sr in high school, this book feels like it was written for me. I've been very nostalgic about the 90s lately. I keep saying the music was better, ive been listening to Nirvana...Really, I sound like my parents when they talk about the 70s! I must read this. Thanks!

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  9. I am so excited for The Future Of Us. I was a freshman in high school in 1996, and I've been on the internet since BEFORE then (my dad works for IBM).

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  10. These books sound great! Thanks for the giveaway!! :)

    sarabara081

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  11. Funny that Jay and donuts (with cereal) just so happen to come up in the same post. I see what you did there.

    I haven't read this yet, but I know Jay, a little (don't know Carolyn), and I just have to say this is one of the most brilliant, and commercially sound concepts for a book, like EVAH. If that was all there was to it, it might be lame, but that's clearly not the case. I've heard nothing but great things about this book.

    Thanks for breaking it down, Carol.

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  12. Seeing the future without travelling to it - that is a different perspective, different from other current books.

    I would LOVE to WIN this GIVEAWAY!!

    Thank you for the opportunity, Caro-Lee-Na !!

    my email:

    madley (AT) cogeco (DOT) ca

    "The Future of Us" Rock On!!

    Patricia

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  13. Awesome giveaway thanks!

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  14. Cannot wait to read The Future of Us. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  15. HA....it's been too long since I've won something....

    Hope all is well!!!!

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  16. AMAZING review, Carolyn! Really. Wow. And who wouldn't want to win a signed ANYTHING by Jay Asher? :-)

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  17. I've been waiting for a new Jay Asher book for a couple of years--Thirteen Reasons Why was such an AWE-some, inspiring read. The Future of Us sounds just as original and awesome.

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  18. 1996 I WAS STILL IN ELEMENTARY I THINK...I'VE NEVER TOUCHED COMPUTER BACK THEN T_T.

    CAROL IS RIGHT.THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS HAPPY ENDING OR SAD, (AS LONG AS YOU'RE ALIVE)..LIFE JUST GOES ON AND ON...
    THANKS FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN THESE..

    (i'M SURE EVERYONE'S REMINISCING THEIR LIFE BACK IN THE 90'S NOW LIKE ME!) SAD AND HAPPY MEMORIES! THOSE WERE THE DAYS!
    HAPPY REMINIScING EVERYONE!!! GOODLUCK TO ALL OF US!

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  19. I didn't know this book, it sounds interesting. Thanks for this great review ! Thanks too for the giveaway

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  20. Thirteen Reasons Why is one of my favorites! I can't wait to read The Future of Us. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  21. These books sound amazing!Thanks for the giveaway!:)

    Janhvi

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  22. This sounds like such an amazing read. I've been drooling for it since it was announced. I like that you mentioned that it's about viewing the future, not actually living it or going to it. Thanks for the amazing giveaway and the great review!

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  23. *Uber excited* about this book! I just did a quick giveaway the other day and the winner ended up picking the ARC that I had for this. *sad face* I'd love to win this one so I can actually get a chance to read it!!!

    -Em

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  24. As always, thanks for the awesome giveaway! Love the premise of this one and have been hearing good things. Plus, I always meant to read 13 Reasons Why!

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  25. Great review! Read and LOVED Thirteen Reasons Why, and really looking forward to The Future of Us! Thanks a lot for the giveaway, and for making it international!!

    juanma-98(at)hotmail(dot)com

    Juan,
    Geeks & Books

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  26. Thank you for the giveaways! Both of these books sound great and I've been meaning to read them. Especially after I saw Book trailer for 13 Reasons Why.

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  27. The premise of the book sold me on it, no doubt. Especially the question that's bound to come up: what the !@#$ is Facebook?

    I'll have to read this now, seeing as how 1996 is probably my favorite year ever. I don't know why. It just was.

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  28. I'm super pumped to read this because the synopsis sounds so intriguing. As someone who was born in 1996 rather than a teenager during it, I suppose I'll be on the side laughing at the prehistoric antics. :P

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  29. THank you so much for this giveaway! I loved Thirteen Reasons Why and I'm dying to read Future of Us!

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  30. I love Jay. I've loved 13 REASONS WHY forever, and I've been dying to read this book. I was a teenager in 1986 (yeah, I AM the same age as Marty McFly), but this book sounds amazing. :)

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  31. I want! I want! I want!!
    What a cool premise!! And why didn't I think of it?!!

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  32. Thirteen Reasons Why is one I recommend to all my students -- they LOVE it!

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  33. I'm so excited for this one! He plans on coming to my town for a signing that I really want to attend.
    Thanks!

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  34. Geeeeez how are you giving away all these amazing books???? I may have appeared as a Jay Asher fangirl stalker at SCBWI...sigh

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  35. What a wonderful giveaway! I have been wanting to read The Future of Us. Thanks for all the info and intro to it!

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  36. AHHHH! I want to read this!!! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  37. I have been trying to get my hands on Thirteen Reasons Why for a while now. I keep trying to swap for it but I don't know how much longer I can wait! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  38. Both, Thirteen Reasons Why and The Future of Us are on my wish list so thank yo for this chance to win signed copies:)

    I love the whole idea of being able to read your future through Facebook statuses. Imagine that!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting:)

    Sarah Bibi Setar @ Random Thoughts of A Confused Adolescent

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  39. OH, I love 13 Reasons Why and can't wait to read The Future of Us!

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  40. I really want to read this because I was a hs senior in 1996. :-)

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  41. How would we actually react if we saw a taste of our future - what an interesting concept. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway opportunity and sharing with us today.

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  42. Awesome giveaway! I loved reading THIRTEEN REASONS WHY. I'd love to get my hands on his new book.. Pick me!
    Isamlq(sassyreads)

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  43. The books sound great and your followers are certainly excited about them so I just must enter and hope I get lucky.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Carol T

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  44. What a great review!! And it's international *screams* thank you thank you!! I am absolutely dying to get my hands on The Future of Us!! I really want to review it for my blog. The YA Reader

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  45. Thank you so much for the chance to win♥

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  46. Thank you for taking the time to do a giveaway :)

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  47. It's so weird to think of what things were like back then compared to now. I would much rather have been a teen then oppossed to now. I don't think I would make it as a teen these days.

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  48. I've been wanting to read 13 Reasons Why for a very long time. I'd love to win this. :)

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  49. I find the premise of THE FUTURE OF US so appealing... can't wait to read it. Thanks for the fabulous review, Carol!

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  50. Sounds interesting and I was a teenager then :)

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  51. I love the sound of this book! Thanks so much for the giveaway:)

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  52. Sounds like a great giveaway!! Thanks!

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  53. I've only recently heard about Jay Asher but I am mad to read his stuff. The Future of Us is set in my teen year and Thirteen Reasons Why sounds so good in a "keep tissues handy" way. This is a seriously aweseome giveaway! Thanks!

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  54. After Thirteen Reasons Why, I am pretty much going to read anything Jay Asher puts out. It was amazing, one of my favorites, and I would love to have signed copies!!! So thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  55. I loved 13 Reasons Why and I have The Future of Us on pre-order. I can't wait to receive it! Have a great weekend.

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  56. I had heard about this book, but I hadn't heard the concept. That sounds amazing. 13 Reasons Why remains one of my favorite books. Ever.

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  57. The Future of US sounds good! Thanks for the giveaway . . and giveaway!(:

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  58. Both of these books have great premises; I definitely need to get my hands on them. Here's the blog post where I linked to the giveaway.

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  59. Great giveaway!!! I loved Thirteen Reasons Why and the Future of Us looks awesome!!! Count me in!!

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  60. You always have such awesome giveaways! The Future of Us definitely sounds interesting. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  61. I can't say anything original. These sound great! Thanks for the chance to win.

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  62. Hi! I'm finally back!

    And your blog is more genius than ever!

    --jennie
    www.jennieenglund.blogspot.com

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  63. Every time I read your reviews, I want to stay home and devour books.

    All. Day. Long.

    DANG it I can't believe some people get paid to do that.

    The Future of Us sounds like one of those books where I'll think, "Why didn't I think of this first?!?"

    Love such original ideas. Oh yeah and I'm jealous of them, too.

    Did I say DANG it yet?

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  64. I was just like you--I loved the premise so much, I've been a bit nervous to read the book. I was a teenager in 1996! Your reviews have never led me astray, so I'll take your advice and take the plunge!

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  65. Thank you so much for doing this contest! The books look awesome! Love the cover of Thirteen Reasons Why!
    ilepachequin(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  66. I can't wait to read the Future of Us. I love both authors so the book has to be good!

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  67. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! You are awesome for having these giveaways! And the book sounds awesome!

    Yes, I tend to use 'awesome' a lot!

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  68. Wonderful review! Thanks for this awesome giveaway! I'm so excited to read this book!

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  69. love your review, I swear.:)) I think I saw this book once and love it,then now that your featuring this, It made me crave more for the book.

    hope to win;p
    so I could read it too.:DD

    http://optimisticasme2.blogspot.com/2011/10/review-of-future-of-us-and-giveaway.html

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  70. I'm dying to read something by Jay Asher!!!

    PS. Back to the Future??? LOVES IT. :D

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  71. YES I WANNA READ THE FUTURE OF US. MAY THE ODDS BE IN MY FAVOR :)

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  72. I've been so curious to read Thirteen Reasons Why! I always pass it in the book store :/
    Thank you for the giveaway!

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  73. One awesome international giveaway. Hoping to win.

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  74. Thanks for the giveaway. Loved your review. :)

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  75. Thank you for this awesome giveaway, Im a huge fan of Jay Asher's Work! I tweeted this giveaway : http://twitter.com/#!/lasha908/status/128111528254775296

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  76. I loved it but the ending killed me! I recommend this books to young adults especially 90s babies- that is what time the book is set In!

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