07 April 2014

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

“If it was okay for me to kiss you…would you want me to?”


by Ann Brashares
Published April 8, 2014 by Delacorte Press
YA - Hardcover, 256 pages

Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for providing me with a digital copy for review.


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.


THE HERE AND NOW is a beautifully written, YA sci-fi about time travel, forbidden love, and doing what’s right. It’s almost dystopian, except the world in which the characters exist is almost 100 years before the truly awful things have happened (due to mosquitoes, global warming, and humankind’s general lack of making changes in time to save things). The story follows Prenna, a teenager living with her mom, four years after they traveled back in time.

The time travelers must learn to fit in, while being careful about what their presence means for a changing future. There are twelve rules to keep them in line, including: “12. We must never, under any circumstances, develop a physically or emotionally intimate relationship with any person outside the community.” Of course, not forming any connections isn’t always easy and a good portion of the book focuses on this aspect of Prenna’s troubles. 

Ethan, a time native, has a secret connection to Prenna, that even she isn’t always aware of, and becomes a part of her possible love story, and the group’s time-traveler-in-an-old-time woes. He’s smart, resourceful, and totally into Prenna. Their friendship is sweet and pushing the boundaries of what’s allowed before anything more is ever even suggested. (The time traveling bosses are super strict!)

If you’re the type of person who wants every detail to be wrapped up at the end of the book, this one won’t satisfy that need, but I hope you’ll give it a try anyway. What needs to be concluded is, and enough is left open that you’ll have room to imagine (and maybe hope for another book). Think: the Delirium trilogy’s ending (which I loved), rather than anything with an epilogue telling you if she got married and had kids.

THE HERE AND NOW is one of those books I kept thinking about when I wasn’t reading it and had to get back to. While the world of 2014 isn’t bad, there are signs that it’s leading to exactly what Prenna and the others escaped when they traveled back in time, and doesn’t that mean some changes need to be made?

GET THE BOOK: Goodreads | Amazon | IndieBound

“Already he is the drip, drip of water that carves a canyon right through the middle of me.”