Review first published 22/06/12
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 Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD 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 their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. And they’re looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.
By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right – and wrong – in the present.
When I put this book on my Showcase Sunday/Letterbox Love/Stacking The Shelves thread last month, I said that I got this book due to my “Doctor Who” gene being drawn to its “wibbly wobbly timey wimey” nature. Whilst there is an element of this, the main plot device is more reminiscent of a plot thread from “Back To The Future” in so much that it deals with two people who have knowledge of their own future and debate as to whether they have the right to change their own personal futures, which impacts on the futures of others.
I loved the way that the authors split the narrative between the lead characters of Josh and Emma. The idea of using the first person is used a lot in YA books, so it’s good to see a skew on this device by alternating the chapters so the reader gets a “he said, she said” context to the story which freshens the story up and explores the emotions of both lead characters.
The character of Josh is presented as a happy-go-lucky skater boy, but as the book progresses you find that he is capable of some pretty serious insights, especially as the duo’s interference in their present causes some dramatic ripples including children being “unborn”. His go with the flow nature is also emphasised when he receives the knowledge of who he is destined to marry and he looks to stop ripples which could prevent this destiny.
The character of Emma is more complex and more interesting. She is a really nice character to follow – a great friend to Josh and the people who are close, her back story with Josh provides a tension between the pair and her Facebook page causes her to rail against her future as much as Josh wishes to embrace his.
To tell you any more would spoil it as the magic is that you find out about what makes Josh and Emma tick as they are thrust into this dilemma.
This book is easy going and, for want of a better phrase, cute.
Great for a holiday read.