Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Published April 8, 2014
Summary on Goodreads
Review:
This book basically describes my nightmare where the future is brought to ruins because of mosquitos.  Honestly, why do these things even exist?  I hate them with a dying passion and I am dubbed as a “mosquito killer” because as soon as I hear/see one, I go out of my way to kill them LOL.  But seriously, what is the purpose of mosquitos?  Do they contribute to the ecosystem in any way other than bring disease after disease to various animals including humans?  I believe in the Christian God so when I get a chance, I’ll definitely ask him, “God, why did you create the mosquitos other than torment everyone on Earth?”

Enough ranting about mosquitos and back to the book.  Despite the mosquitos, I did enjoy this book but the ending left me a little confused.  The entire book had a lot of mystery, action and even romance and then all of a sudden, the ending came around and I was like wait what? First of all, it was not at all satisfying because (SPOILERS) what ended up happening between Prenna and Ethan??  Did they actually end up together or not?  I got the impression that they didn’t due to the whole “spreading the plague” and whatnot but that can’t be otherwise what kind of ending is this where the MC didn’t end up with the boy? 

Second, the whole “finding” about Baltos and the dead lovers he strung along was confusing.  I mean, what did it really mean for the future?  Was that really the reason?  And how come him trying to off the girl who would later ruin the world’s resources somehow cause an even larger global warming hence mosquitoes infecting everyone with the blood plague?  To be honest, they’re both terrible choices – either have no more natural resources like coal, oil, fuel, etc. or have a blood plague that will infect the world?  Actually, one is clearly worse than the other now that I am looking back on it because at least for one of the choices, we can actually do something about it and find alternatives whereas the other is where everyone is just dead… Regardless, I found the ending to be extremely confusing and I was left with more questions than answers.  I had the feeling that the author was going along with the story so well that she was completely caught off guard with the ending and had to rush it because it definitely did not feel like any sort of conclusion that I know.  Or I guess there could possibly be a follow up book but there’s no mention about that anywhere.

As for the characters in this book, there were definitely a few characters I enjoyed and others I just flat-out disliked.  For example, Prenna.  I liked her especially at the end when she was able to fight for what she wanted.  Even though she and her friends/family were threatened, she felt that finding out the truth and stopping something that will trigger the future she and the rest of her group ran away from was more important and that is something I can respect.  I’m on the fence with Ethan because I liked him more in the beginning when he was giving her space without pressuring her to reveal her true identity but after he found out, he was more insistent on the physical aspect of their relationship.  I know it’s typical guy behavior but for someone who was willing to wait FOUR years for Prenna to reveal herself, I’m not sure why he couldn’t wait a few more days for her to figure out the solution to the world falling apart in like 75 years so they could be more intimate.  Especially since he knew about the risk involved. 

I definitely did not like Prenna’s mom.  For someone who is supposedly the adult and therefore be more mature and all that, she was always hiding.  It wasn’t until her own daughter stood up to the community that she finally revealed her tough nature and demand for more equality and rights.  I mean, why?  Why wait for your own daughter to do something you should’ve done 4 years ago?  The other side characters like Prenna’s best friend (Katherine…?) and the group leaders were very on the side especially her best friend.  I think she literally showed up twice so I’m not entirely sure how close they are but Prenna did fight for her at the end when she listed her demands so I’m assuming pretty close. 

Overall, definitely liked the book and it’s a concept that can very well be in our future: murderous mosquitos.  I just hope that will not happen and I would rather take the other future any day.  Definitely recommend if you’re into realistic sci-fi.
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