26 January 2014

The Here and Now

Author: Ann Brashares
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

I received an advanced reading copy of this novel from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

The first thing that brought my attention to this novel was the cover; beautiful and different and somehow achingly heartbreaking all without even reading the synopsis of the novel.  Knowing Ann Brashares from The Sisterhood series (the entirety of which I own) that I adored growing up, the cover art and the author alone were enough for me to dive in, no further questions asked.

I will say perhaps I am a little biased.  Romance is not my favorite genre, although young adult romance is better that adult romance, as it is oftentimes at least attempted to be mixed with a legitimate plot instead of force fed raw.  The Here and Now is no different; a legitimate plot it does hold.  I am also a little biased because while I love sci-fi and fantasy, it has to be done right, and when you get into the likes of time travel I get very picky, as time paradoxes abound, especially when the author makes no attempt to treat the world as a subset of multiple universes and attempts to change the future by going to the past (right off the bat, my brain scream fiction and paradox at this point).

The Here and Now falls prey to this point, which is why I did not enjoy the novel any more than I did.  It was still an interesting and engaging read, but a bit predictable at times (for example, when Prenna gets the letter, I had more than an inkling of an idea what it would say before the truth was revealed).  And the time paradoxes aside (though it counted for a large majority of the plot), it was a well written novel, though enjoyable probably more by leisure reading teenagers than physics nerds and engineers such as myself.  The romantic side of the story was a bit off for my taste, but I will admit that I did enjoy the ending and how the relationship developed and played out.

Overall, I would be hard pressed to point out anything special about The Here and Now, but it was an interesting and refreshing change of pace for Brashares based on her other literature I have read.  And while not exactly my cup of tea, it was engaging enough for me to follow through to the end instead of giving up halfway through as I have been more inclined to do recently.

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