Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Thursday, 5 February 2015

23352730The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Released: 1st January 2015
Published by: Hachette 
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Time Travel
Source: Publisher
Pages: 303
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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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 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year. .
Thank you to Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 

I hadn't read anything by Ann Brashares since her renowned Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, so I was curious to see how this very different genre of novel would stack up. I found The Here And Now to be quite an enjoyable read overall, though I did have a few minor qualms with it. Despite that, if you're looking for a novel which deals with the implications that coming from a different time can have, then you're sure to give this one a tick. 

We follow our scripts like actors in a very large, very long production. And even with no audience, none of us gives a hint that it isn't real.

Prenna had previously been the girl who went along with what the community dictated regarding the laws of time travel and playing her part in possibly altering the future. When she meets Ethan, perhaps somewhat predictably her mindset changes and she becomes rebellious against the regime she had been brought up in. What I did like about the overall concept of the novel was how Brashares set it up in the worldbuilding aspect. Including the '12 rules' which outlined what was expected of the travelers gave an authentic touch, and it was good to see some character development from Prenn as the mystery element of the story unfolded. 

What did take a little away from my enjoyment was the romance that developed. Ethan didn't really seem like a character with much depth, although he was of course good-looking. His cheeky antics at times didn't really make him appealing, and I just wish that I could have found more of a realistic 'romantic' in this 'romantic thriller'. That being said, the ending of the novel did in part make up for the discrepancies in the plot and slow pacing at times, and it was nice to have a proper conclusion that gave some satisfaction.


This is the second novel about time travel that I've read in quite a short time, and although there wasn't much focus on the science, the ethical and philosophical questions which arose did make me think. If you're already an Ann Brashares fan and want to check out her newest work in a different style, then I'd recommend giving The Here and Now a try.


  1. I'm not really an Ann Brashares fan (The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants didn't mesh with me) and I don't really like time travel books either...I don't think I'll be reading this one!

    1. That's alright Emily, not every book will suit every person which is totally understandable.

  2. I'm not sure if I'll read this book, but I have been looking for more time travel/sci-fi books recently, so I'll consider it. I'd like to read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, though.

    1. I had been looking for more books with the time travel concept too and I'm glad I at least found this one which was good overall! Thanks for stopping by Ana :)

  3. I love time travel / science-fiction books, and this one has been on my TBR list ever since I saw the cover. It's a shame about that romance, though -- I think in a story like this, that could be the one element that makes or breaks a story. Nevertheless, I will give it a chance. :)

    1. Yeah, I do wish the romance had more substance to it - but other than that I was satisfied with the story - it's good to keep an open mind, glad to hear you'd give it a go :)

  4. I loved The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, but this one just really didn't do it for me... It's possible that I've just grown out of her writing style and I might not even like the Sisterhood books if I read them again.

    1. We can certainly evolve as readers over time Lara - it's something that's part of the whole experience I suppose.


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