The Here and Now, by Ann Brashares Review

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Here and Now, by Ann Brashares

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Time-Traveling, Romance

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Publication: April 8, 2014, by Delacorte Press

Format: Hardcover Edition (borrowed)

Goodreads Summary: An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. 

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. 

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves. 

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.


*sighs* This is going to be a very difficult review to write, as my senses tell me. *twirls mustachio* 

Ann Brashares was my favourite author since I was 9. I actually read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when I was 9, and fell in love with it instantly. To this day, I am glad to admit that it was one of the first books that truly got me to fall in love with YA literature. I soon went onto the next three books, laughing and crying with Ann's four protagonists who changed my life with just a pair of blue jeans. 

From then on, I couldn't wait to read more from this spectacular author. Finding out that she was going to be releasing a new standalone in 2014, I literally was squealing.

But now after this whole situation, I'm in a very un-squealing moment. I feel like bawling instead of squealing. Coming from past experiences with Ann's writing, I was expecting something bigger and better and more inspiring. Instead, we've gotten a contemporary-romance mixed with time-traveling which all reminded me of Star-Crossed, the TV show. This is a very Starcrossed-wannabe, I must admit. 

But then again, it was unique for the fact that it explored the concept of time-traveling. We seriously rarely get that. I can't even remember the last time-traveling book I've read before this one. Now, Ms. Brashares, that is something you found well and did well with this book.

Now—the plot. Ethan Jarves was living a normal, ordinary life, until he fell for Prenna James. Prenna is not your ordinary new-girl. She's new, new from a completely different time period way into the future, where she time-travelled back into time (2012, was it?) because of a mosquito-borne illness that has turned into a pandemic. Now, she is in the past with a group of people that she can trust who have went through the same situation. They cannot reveal who they are, where they're from, and anything about their "past" lives. That's all that goes on until Prenna and James become closer, and Prenna's secret may have to slip.

Yes, this is also kind of like another Twilight, same old paranormal/fantasy stories that we hear about. This time around, it's gender-reversed. So the girl this time is with the secret. 

You can easily predict what will happen in this book. Boy meets girl, girl meets boy, girl has a huge secret that she cannot tell anybody, it's instalove, aka love at first sight, they become closer although the girl knows that she shouldn't, secret comes out because girl feels like it has to, boy is okay with it but shocked at the same time, girl feels safe that the boy "can protect her," drama and stuff happens and they're separated and everyone's pissed off at the girl for telling, they calm down and make sure that the boy won't tell, boy and girl live happily ever after. That was one of the longest sentences I've ever used, haha. If you're thinking that the long sentence above may describe what this book is about, then you're correct! *says in the voice we hear in gameshows*

It's almost exactly what I've described about. And I guess you can say that that was the way Twilight was planned out, too. 

So the plot was blasted downhill, as you can tell. No sorts of originality was found, at least for me! There were hints of dystopia and mystery in it, but for the most part, this was a contemporary-romance with a darker-scifi way to it. 

The plot was thin, I got bored easily because I knew what was going to happen and it was all predictable... So you may ask—why keep reading then? My answer: Because I wanted to keep giving it a try and because Ann Brashares cannot let me down. Period. Ta da. That's my answer. I couldn't stand to DNF it. DNF-ing books cracks my heart in half, and it stays that way for the rest of my life until I find a book that is worth more than the usual 5 star rating!
The good side of things *hears angels singing* were the characters. I can't say I loved Ethan, but he was not bad. He made good decisions, didn't act as stupidly as I thought he would in his situation, and he made the whole Prethan ship go pretty smoothly and cute. Prenna was all kick-ass and tough, just the way I want a girl like her in her situation to be. So, for that, high fives to them and their gorgeous romance! (THE FEELS)

Yeah, I must admit I clenched the book so hard that I literally was about to crack it because I wanted them to be together. *smiles weirdly* I couldn't let my ship sink! 

So here we are, at the end. The book ended okay, not as predictable as I thought it would. Ann gave us a little twist at the end to keep me happy, but I wasn't as happy as I wish I'd become! 

If you trust my opinion, then I must say that the reviews are correct for the most part. Stick to the negative reviews, they all have a point. I really don't recommend this book to much, for the part that the plot was strongly crushed because of its idea and predictability. Want something like Twilight? Good luck with this. :)


  1. Oh dear, I was really interested in this book initially because of the time travelling theme, but I read all the negative reviews about the predictability, insta-love, weak plot, etc. Great review Michelle, sorry it disappointed.

  2. Thanks, Jeann! I went for this either way because I love Ann Brashares. Her writing is usually pure genius! Hmmph—I guess I was wrong with this one.. <3

  3. Eh, this doesn't seem as great a book as it looks from the cover! I have read the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and like you - adored it. Couldn't get enough of that. It's funny because I just read a book about time travel. But the rest of this book seems to be unoriginal and nothing new - not something for me.

  4. Yes! TSOTTP is so popular and raved about, newbies are loving it to this day! Sure, this had its differences from other reads, but it was ugh disturbing to read. I love time traveling reads! I've only read a few! :)


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