Imagine if you could look fifteen years into the future and see what your future self is getting up to. Now imagine you make some tiny, tiny alterations to your current life and then look into the future again only to see that huge changes have taken place. Wouldn’t you be tempted to just keep making those tiny changes until you ended up with a future you were satisfied with?
That’s basically the central conceit of The Future Of Us. It’s the mid-nineties and Emma and Josh are best friends, or at least they were until Josh tried to kiss Emma and Emma freaked out. Now, six months down the line they’re hardly speaking, until Josh’s mum sends him over to Emma’s house with a CD-ROM disc to get onto this new-fangled internet thing that’s all the rage. Only, when Emma loads the disc onto her (Windows 95) computer, she manages to log into Facebook. That’s the Facebook that doesn’t get invented for another ten years.
This book was really readable and I rattled through it at a fair old pace. I liked Emma and Josh well enough and the dual POV narrative gave a good insight into their situations - they had nice, distinct voices, which I think is in part due to the fact that this book has two authors. Some of the chapters were really short which made it feel a bit choppy and disjointed at times. Only a bit though. The story is divided into two strands - Josh and Emma’s growing obsession with their futures as viewed through Facebook status updates, and the possibility that they might or might not end up getting together (which it’s obvious that they ought to).
The plot is kind of fluffy and sweet. It deals with chaos theory without actually mentioning chaos theory and deals with pre-determinism, self-determinism and causal chains without getting all existential and up-its-own-bum and stays really, really readable. It also deals with Emma and Josh’s friendship and how it may or may not develop into something more if only they’d just both (a) wake up to what’s right in front of their faces, and (b) stop dicking around on Facebook all day long.
And that’s a lesson I think we can all take away with us.