Future of Us

Future of Us

Events from 15 years in her future are the last things that Emma expects from her new computer in 1996! A birthday gift from her dad and stepmom, it even has an internal modem to dial-up and “get online” so her best friend Josh brings over an AOL install CD-ROM.

After dialing up on mom’s phoneline, Emma gets an AOL “welcome” message and something called Facebook with pictures of all these people she doesn’t know. Curious, she searches for other Emma Nelsons on the Facebook and finds one, someone who went to her high school, who has the same birthday, whose picture looks exactly like Emma…15 years older! This Emma has a rotten husband – you can tell by her messages to her “friends” (who could have hundreds of friends?). And the future Josh is married to the most popular girl at their high school! Josh, who’s too shy to talk to anyone except Emma and his best friend Tyson?!

Getting ready for the track meet, telling her boyfriend Graham that it’s all over, Emma wonders if she’s been pranked somehow with this Facebook thing. But when she tears up her application to the college that the future Emma attended, suddenly the Facebook entries are different. The future Emma is less-stressed about her husband (a different one!), but unhappy about her work… hmmm.

As Emma’s updates on the Facebook site change, Josh decides that he’d better start making his big-house-and-a-boat future come true, so he gets up the nerve to ask beautiful Sydney on a date. Never mind his long-hidden feelings for Emma and that awkward try at kissing her a few months ago.

So, can Emma completely alter her own destiny just by changing a few things now? Is Sydney going to be the best thing that ever happened to Josh? Do they really want to know ahead of time about their futures or would they rather go back to the way things were before?

Josh and Emma react to their view into the future in alternating chapters written by Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why) and Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things) - would you want to know about your future?

Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA


If you could see into your future, would you want to? And if it was possible to change your future by doing something different in the present, would you risk messing with the lives of your best friends? These are some of the questions best friends Emma and Josh must face when Emma gets her first computer. Although they live in a time not very long ago, the technology that Emma and Josh deal with is drastically different than what we use today. Therefore, when they are magically able to log onto a futuristic site called Facebook, they have no idea what they are looking at, yet somehow they can see the pages created by their future selves. Each small choice that Emma and Josh make has the potential to drastically alter their future identities so they must proceed cautiously before making any massive decisions. This relationship-heavy book is perfect for those interested in thinking about time, but not the science behind it.  356 pages  Ages 14 and up  9781595144911

Recommended by Carrie Shaurette, New York City Librarian, New York USA


If you had a chance to see your life in the future, would you want to? It's 1996, and Emma and Josh are your ordinary teenagers. They've lived by each other for years and have practically grown up together. But now they're sophomores in high school and things are a little different.

In Emma's room is a bright shiny computer. It probably weighs 25 pounds, but it's all hers.  Josh is the one who hands her the AOL Online CD with 100 free internet hours, but when Emma finally gets online, she's shocked by what she sees.  A page begins to emerge - something called Facebook, which Emma has no idea what it is.  What Emma is looking at is her life fifteen years in the future...

Teens today were born around this year, so they may not get the 90's references (Wayne's World, Boyz 2 Men, only one character has a cell phone) but the theme and situation remains a popular one.

Common core pair at the bottom of the post :)

Recommended by Naomi Bates, Librarian, Texas USA

 Editor's Note:  FRIEND ME: 600 YEARS OF SOCIAL NETWORKING IN AMERICA by Francesca Davis DiPiazza is a non-fiction title that pairs well with this book...suggested by Naomi Bates.

User reviews

Have you read this book? We'd love to hear what you think. Click the button below to write your own review!