The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and NowThe Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers on April 8, 2014
Genre: Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Pages: 288
Source: NetGalley
Book Details
Rating: ★½

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.

The world may end. We’re at the pivot point that will determine the future of humanity. This moment in time will doom us or save us. All we have to do is prevent one murder from happening, and we can save millions of lives…

But all Prenna and Ethan can think about is whether or not they should have sex.

Ethan is a freaking horny bastard. He may die by having sex with Prenna, or contract some creepy futuristic virus.. but he doesn’t care! He’s still determined to get into Prenna’s pants. That’s all this guy thinks about.

“If I could make love to you right now, I wouldn’t mind if I died.”

Bit by bit I feel [Ethan’s] hands searching around my body, pushing up under my tank top.

And when Prenna asks Ethan what he’d want to do if he knew he was going to die, he replies:

“Are you sure you want me to tell you the truth?”
I nod, pressing my lips together.
He seems to gauge my tolerance for sincerity.
“Okay, well, since you insist. If I were going to die, there would be nothing to keep me from you—from all of you, from everything with you—and there’s no reason you could give me why we shouldn’t.”

In case the lack of context isn’t clear for you.. he’s talking about sex. He’s saying that if he knew he were going to die, the one thing he’d want to do is have sex with Prenna, and nothing could stop him. Sounds a bit rapey, don’t you think?

Prenna’s main argument for not wanting to have sex with him was a sound one. She’s from the future. She may be carrying all kinds of diseases that may not affect someone from her time, but may have devastating consequences for someone from present day. Think like some kind of futuristic AIDS, which Prenna is immune to but Ethan wouldn’t be, and is sexually transmitted. And yet, Ethan is like, “I’m not afraid. It won’t hurt me.” Is that what you say when you try to convince someone to have sex without a condom? “Honey, it’s fine. You won’t get chlamydia because we’re meant to be together.”

Okay, let’s talk about the actual book, shall we?

I almost didn’t finish The Here and Now. The beginning was so dull and insta-lovey right off the bat. Immediately she was all ga-ga for Ethan, but I didn’t care about him at all. He was pretty bland, and I felt like I knew nothing about him, but Prenna was obsessed with him.

At around the 50% mark, I did start to get more interested to the point where I didn’t want to constantly put the book down.. but it was still pretty ridiculous. Prenna got herself caught by making REALLY FREAKING STUPID decisions. Then in the second half, there’s this big overarching feeling of “we need to save the world”, but instead of doing that, she and Ethan check into a hotel, sit by the beach, eat hamburgers like 5 times, and go shopping. Oh, and talk about whether or not they should have sex… obviously. I mean, PRIORITIES GUYZ!

Then the book ended with a bit more ridiculousness. View Spoiler »

Ultimately, I was just left with a feeling of “meh”. I never cared much about the story or any of the characters. My favourite part was hearing about what the future was like, and some of the time traveling aspects were pretty cool. But most of the time I was just bored, and floored by how badly Ethan wanted to have sex.

The Verdict


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  1. Oh yeah.. *sigh* similar reaction here. The love was instant and not believable and I agree about the sex. But my main complain was that their love was way too epic for the short amount of time they spend together. Boring, sadly it was utterly boring;(

    DannyBookworm recently posted: Cress by Marissa Meyer
  2. *cringe* After seeing all the bad reviews, I’m relieved I got rejected! Seriously WTFing at the two characters at their decision and priorities and I’m pretty disappointed because I thought Ann Brashares could write better than that but after finding out the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was packaged, I’m wondering if this is too…

    Charlotte @ Gypsy Reviews recently posted: Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  3. Okay… this sounds… delightful (sarcasm, relax! LOL).
    The hangup on sex seems off putting, not to mention I HATE insta-love. And priorities! I always just ADORE it when the MC need to save the world but waste time just relaxing and doing nothing. Give the books such an authentic feeling! NOT.
    I wasn’t planning to read this book before, and I definitely don’t plan to now 😛 I’m just sorry you had to suffer through this 🙁

  4. YUP. I was just so. . . BORED with this book. I almost DNF and I kinda wished I had. I mean there were so many logical flaws and the characters were so bland. I never felt a sense of urgency even when they were in danger. I loved The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books but this was rather MEH.

    1. The thing is, I don’t even think he was supposed to be a jerk. And there were plenty of times when he was nice, but he was just SO obsessed with sex X_X It didn’t fit at all!

  5. Oh no! Well, suppose there’s a first time for everything and this must be it for us. More often than not we are one and the same with our opinions on books. Maybe it’s because I am and will always be a sucker for time travel stories, but I really really loved this one and can’t wait for more, ha.

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