The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and NowThe Here and Now by Ann Brashares

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.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’d like to preface this review by saying that I truly love the work of this author most of the time, and for me not not like one of her books is a rare exception. I had heard before reading this that it was different from her other books, much different, and after reading it, I have to agree. I’m not sure in this case that I would say the difference is a wonderful thing.

One thing that I particularly like about the writing of Ann Brashares is her ability to make me feel like I am part of the story, and bring forth characters who are not only unforgettable, but feel like friends and family. I never felt that way with this book. Instead, I almost felt as if the author was removed from her own work. The strong emotional connection I usually make with her main character was absent, leaving me struggling to pay attention to the story.

This is a relatively short book, but honestly, it felt longer than it was based on my own inability to connect with the story. The premise is interesting and although time travel has definitely never been my favourite of all subject matter, I think had the connection with the characters been there, this could have worked.

I did like the mystery aspect of the story, and thought the idea of a young girl with the fate of the world and the future in her hands was explained well.

Sadly, this is not a book that I would read again, but don’t let that stop you from reading it and coming to your own conclusion.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from Netgalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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13 thoughts on “The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

  1. I think this is an excellent review. It is always difficult to review a book in a balanced and unbiased manner when you do not connect with it. I believe you have done this exceptionally well. Your review makes me want to explore this book further.

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  2. That’s a shame. The premise sounds really interesting, and I don’t usually go for “one person who can save the world” type stuff. I might check it out if I see it at the library.

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  3. I couldn’t agree with you more on this. I did a review of this book back at the beginning of March (3 stars – I won’t link, cause that’d be rude XD) but I think we came to similar conclusions. I loved the idea behind what happened to Prenna’s world because it’s so easy to see the parallels between what happened to her world and what is currently happening to ours. It’s terrifying to see that we’re on a similar path of knowing something is wrong, and actively choosing to ignore it on a grand scale. (Which is why it got three stars from me) BUT, like you, I didn’t feel connected to the characters. The narrative felt clinical. there was no warmth to the characters, so it was hard to particularly care about any of them, and it made it a bit dry at times. It’s awesome to see someone else who’s reached the same conclusions. Great review, Ionia 🙂

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