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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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. From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Th…

The Here and Now

by Ann Brashares

Overall Book Review:

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares bursts brilliantly out of the gate with a splendid set-up and a stylistic voice for the seventeen-year-old protagonist, Prenna.  This book starts off exactly as the publisher promises–an interesting, science fiction thriller and romance.  However, inexplicably, the author takes the foot off the gas mid-way through the book, pulls the pacing way back, shifts the style of writing, and allows the story to coast.  The novel finishes in a measured and moderately plausible fashion, rather than in a climactic burst.

Time travel is always a tricky plot line to successfully pull off.  Overall, Ms. Brashares does a respectable job, but there are a few holes left unexplained, or perhaps they are intentionally unaddressed.  The book’s plot line is tied up neatly, but the relationships are left unresolved, leaving an opening for another book.

Ms. Brashares is also the author of the popular The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. 

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House Children’s Books

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  11 religious exclamations; 3 mild obscenities; 1 derogatory name; 5 scatological words; 1 anatomical term.

Violence/Gore:  Report of a drowning; reports of deaths of family members and others due to illness; brief, non-detailed scene in which a character is murdered, blood is mentioned and blood gets on a character’s hands and clothing; report of holding a family member while they died; extended scene involving pushing, punch, threat with gun, with one person shot (murdered) and another injured by gunshot, non-detailed; report of a suicide.

Sex/Nudity:  Character is naked, non-sexual; sexual references to hooking up, boobs, sex, “make love”, being “physically intimate”; characters hold hands and embrace upon separate occasions; character kisses ear, shoulder, neck; character touches and caresses another on arm, hip, belly button, thigh; characters kiss upon separate occasions; characters sleep holding each other in the back seat of a car; a character lies on top of another character on a bed and kiss (characters are clothed); character climbs in bed with another and lies on top briefly and places hands under tank top before going to sleep; character reports he has “slept” with two people; characters briefly discuss whether to have sex, agree to, and set a time and place. (The preceding content is almost all between a 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old boy.)

Mature Subject Matter:

Death of family members, pandemics, ethics, murder

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Characters are given pills for medical reasons.  Minors use fake ID to get sangria to drink.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!