Bingeing on ‘The Here and Now’ by Ann Brashares

 

Pub Date: April 8th, 2014

Description:

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.

 

First off:  How legit is this cover?  Seriously, everything is working really well for me on this one.  The holographic type colors, the half sad face..I’m really digging it.  I’m also thinking it will catch a lot of eyes on the bookshelves.  Well done.

Secondly, I took a leap of face on this one because Ann Brashares is the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  I have a really hard time with science fiction.  My brain has a hard time processing time travel.  It’s pretty much just waiting patiently for the next romantical scene.  My brain enjoys teenage romance.  I know..creeper status.

I have very mixed feelings about this story.  I started off being really into it and really excited for where it was going.  The unrequited love was really working for me.  Prenna and Ethan had some GREAT tension going on.  This may be my favorite paragraph/line from the whole book:

I don’t lie to Ethan, but I don’t tell him the truth either.  I can’y.  To share anything with him, even if I could, would put him in an impossible place.  Already he is the drip, drip of water that carves a canyon right through the middle of me.

There’s no doubt that Ann is an extremely talented writer.  I really felt the emotion in this story.  The tragedy and the sadness.  But the thing that really threw me is the fact that I just didn’t understand a lot of what was going on.  There would be this terrific line and then in the next paragraph I would be lost because we were talking about time travel again.

If there was a sequel, I would give it a try.  Solely based on the fact that I really liked the relationship between Prenna and Ethan.  But if you aren’t a fan of time travel/science fiction I don’t know if this is the story for you.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars!

 

 

 

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Bingeing on ‘Eleanor & Park’ by Rainbow Rowell

Before I completely gush about this FANTASTICALLY AMAZING contemporary young adult novel, here’s a blurb so you have an idea of what it’s about.

 

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Okay, so that’s a really short blurb but you get the picture.

This is one of those books that is hard to describe in a review because it just gives you that feeling.  That hard to pinpoint feeling that only very special novels can give you.  Like, I wanna weave a BFF bracelet for me and this novel to wear because I felt like it just really spoke to me.  But alas, books don’t have wrists.  Also they aren’t people.

‘Eleanor & Park’ touches on everything.  First love, race, social class, bullying and it’s FUNNY.  These are heavy issues and Rowell’s wit really balanced that out.  Now that I’ve said that I need to say something about the romance.  THE ROMANCE, PEOPLE.  Read this…

Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.

and this….

“Nothing, really. I just want to be alone with you for a minute.”

He pulled her to the back of the driveway, where they were almost completely hidden by a line of trees and the RV and the garage.

“Seriously?” she said. “That was so lame.”

“I know,” he said, turning to her. “Next time, I’ll just say, ‘Eleanor, follow me down this dark alley, I want to kiss you.'”

This love story is so pure and so innocent.  High school kids will eat this up.  Adults will eat this up.  Seriously, it’s definitely at crossover status.

Another quick note I want to make is about the fact that it’s set it the 80’s.  Music is definitely a big factor in this book and it almost feels like another character.

There’s a reason this is at the top of all the best books of 2013 lists.

5 out of 5 stars

Bingeing on:’OCD Love Story’ by Corey Ann Haydu

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Just finished this fantastic young adult novel. Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic… and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.

Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down…and she might end up breaking her own heart.

Okay, so first things first.  I love Corey Ann Haydu’s writing style.  She’s fun and quirky. Which is definitely needed because this book is a smidge heavy.  By young adult standards.  Think 15+.  Her attention to detail is insane- if you don’t know what it feels like to be really anxious, you will get a taste of it in here.

It’s also her debut novel, so congrats!

ANYWHO.  Here’s the short of it.  This is isn’t a standard young adult romance.  There are real issues going on in this novel. Our main character, Bea has OCD along with the other kids in her support group.  Her love interest has OCD too.  It’s not pretty.  Haydu does a fantastic job of capturing anxiety on paper.  Bea is just that perfect amount of quirkiness that I like.  She’s got some SERIOUS issues but her character was a good balance of strong/flawed so I couldn’t get TOO mad at her when she was doing her compulsions.

If books with characters with mental illnesses aren’t your thing, I say skip it.  But really, just give it a try.  I really think more books need to be like this, especially in the young adult sector.

P.S- I really enjoy the cover.

Totally bingeworthy!

3.5 out of 5 stars.