Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Synopsis: 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.

Review: Younger, I took great pleasure in reading the Ann Brashares novels and I was curious to read one of her new writings. I saw the novel on several blogs and while the opinions were quite different, I wanted to see for myself how the story would be. And I can tell you now that I’ve had a good time with this new book.

Prenna is a bit different from the other girls. After fleeing a future where disease and death are everywhere, she and some of her people have opened a portal to immigrate in the past and to try to see if it was possible to stop this thing that destroyed their world. Yet, while they thought they could live a free life, it seems they are all locked in a cage of fundamental rules. They can not bind relationships with natives, can not be treated for health problems, can not reveal the truth and are constantly monitored by their leaders. You can imagine that this is something really unpleasant and yet they all follow these rules that seem so important. But even if Prenna understands the need for some of them, it is very difficult for her to follow them all, especially when she begins to fall under the spell of a native who knows more about her lifestyle than she thinks. They will have to team up to try to outsmart the moment that tipped the lives of many people. It is also through this quest that they’ll be able to learn a little more on each other and todiscover that things are not necessarily good or bad and that there are variations for everything.

Despite a rather rebellious appearance, I found Prenna was sometimes a little too naïve. There are things that we understand and that we accept fast enough, which is not the case of the girl and it’s true that I struggled to understand that. But it is also a person who does not hesitate to stand up against her leaders, who nevertheless have a great power over them. I was really impressed to see what she could do when she thought that her actions were justified. She does not think of the consequences that might fall on her, as soon as she can correct the mistakes of the past. Her relationship with Ethan is really cute. We understand immediately that they both greatly appreciate each other and things between them develop slowly before our eyes and I confess that I liked the ideas of the author about them, as she didn’t take it easy with her characters. Ethan is also a character that I enjoyed. He is very smart and does not let him down by all the new information coming down on him continually. He is there for Prenna to help her and to try to understand what is happening and will happen exactly.

This story was a nice surprise even if it is sometimes true that our heroine is perhaps a little too silly. I loved to understand what happened in this futuristic world. However, I am curious to see if we’ll have sequel as many questions remain somewhat unresolved.



46 thoughts on “Here and Now by Ann Brashares

  1. Prenna sounds a little tricky what with being a bit naive and not giving thought to the consequences of her actions, but I’m glad she stands up against her leaders and has a backbone. I can overlook some of her flaws as a result of that! Glad you enjoyed this one overall Melliane!

  2. I think the heroine’s silliness would annoy me after a while, and I haven’t read anything by this author yet, so this is perhaps not the best book for me to start with. I’ll have to read a few more reviews before I fully decide. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great review, Melliane. I’ve been curious about this book for a while simply because of how time travel was handled, and given its own spin. Though you had some minor problems with Prenna, I think she’s still an interesting character to get to know. 🙂

  4. I have seen this one around. I can’t believe it’s been more than ten years since her book Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants came out, I loved that book when I read it! That alone would probably prompt me to check this one though, though that was ages ago and I wonder now that I’m older how I would view her work.

  5. The reviews seem pretty split (I’ve only actually read reviews that have been 2-3) and that it seems to be more for the younger teens more than YA, especially because of the naivety of some of the characters. Still, glad you still kind of enjoyed it despite that! 🙂

  6. I enjoyed The Here and Now, but I felt the same on many of the points you made Melliane. Sometimes, Prenna was too naïve, and it almost seemed like it ws used to lengthen the story ( her kidnapping ect.) I eneded up liking the romance and thought it was cute like you did, and kinda laughed at Ethan being at times so preoccupied with the romance *smiling* vs. saving the world . One of the things that did really fascinate me was the parallel universe and the destruction there. Great review 🙂

  7. I also loved her books when I was younger, the Traveling Pants books were so fun. I’m not sure if I would like this one leaving me with so many questions, but Ethan sounds nice! 🙂

  8. I always love how you read and review these books that I don’t see very often! The premise for this one sounds really interesting and it’s nice that you enjoyed the relationship between Prenna and Ethan 🙂 I like smart boys more than the “bad boys” haha! Great review Melliane! <3

  9. YA has been tricky for me for this precise reason: the heroine is usally naive, reckless and a bit annoying. Sounds like this isn’t so bad here, and I’m glad to see you enjoyed the story overall. Wonderful review, Melliane! 🙂

  10. I haven’t heard a lot about this one yet…and I haven’t read any of the author’s other books (cue: gasp!) xD I was going to give it a go, but I heard some negative reviews, like REALLY negative. So skip for moi. Although, it does sound interesting from your review! The naive narrator….bleh. Not so much.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

    • lol really? It was so popular when I was younger that I read some of them but never the last books. Yes I can understand, I saw a lot of different reviews about it good, not good so well sometimes we have to try I think.

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