08 Mar2014

DNF Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

DNF Review: The Here and Now by Ann BrasharesThe Here and Now
by Ann Brashares
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Pages: 288
Source: Received in exchange for review
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.

Goodreads Purchase

My Review

I was actually quite excited to read this one. I can admit without shame to loving Ann’s sisterhood series in grade eight. All of my friends would read the series and we basically idolized the books. Seriously, we even searched high and low for a pair of pants that would magically fit all of us. We sadly had to settle for a pair of cringe worthy pair of neon boots. They were definitely a crime against fashion.

So, my expectations for The Here and Now were actually quite high. I now realize that was an huge mistake, as I couldn’t even finish this story. I managed to slog through 80 percent of The Here and Now. I can honestly say that I haven’t read a book in quite some time that I was less invested in The Here and Now. I found myself reading the same line over and over again, this book was simply mind numbing for me. I wasn’t invested in the plot, characters, setting, and world building….not an thing.

What is logic and science? Well this book definitely isn’t friends with either. The Here and Now supposedly contains a world eighty years in our future. Instead of being quite livable, the world sucks. A disease transferable by mosquitoes causes a mass pandemic. People miraculously use the ability to use the “th” sound. Clearly that would totally happen over the course of 80 years. If we were to go back eighty years the year would be 1934. Obviously people in 1934 speak totally different then we do. Not. I found this random tidbit to be completely stupid. Clothes are no longer made by recycled.

You may think I’m not describing this world well, but guess what? That’s all The Here and Now describes it to be like, 80 percent in anyway. I don’t except there to be any sudden beautiful world building with that remaining 20 percent. You get bare bones descriptions that frankly make hardly any sense.

This book also had time travel in it. I just recently finished an pretty awesome time travel book, so I was excepting a lot from this one. Right away my hopes were dashed. The actual science of the time travel was loosely explained and parts often contradicted each other. Originally you’re made to believe that making any changes to the present is bad. You don’t want to mess with time. Wait .89897987 seconds later and you’re being told you must change the past to make for a better future.

You know that plague I mentioned above? Yeah, that’s the reason for the time travel. A select small group from the future are allowed to time travel to the past. How somebody as insipid as Prenna got picked, I’ll never know. The fact that technology has gone to the point where time travel would be ground breaking. So why can’t they cure this pandemic, or at least find a way to prevent it? It made zero fucking sense that people could time travel in this world yet not be able to do anything with the disease. Apparently travelling to the past was the only viable solution.

I mentioned Prenna in the above paragraph. She was the main character in this novel, and definitely not one I enjoyed. She supposedly had an IQ which was truly laughable to me. I haven’t met a character as dumb and careless as Prenna in quite some time. She makes truly stupid choices and has to be rescued by the love interest all of the time. She has no substance to her and I didn’t connect to her any way, except for laughing at her utter stupidity. An example of her lack of intellect is when she discovers that her glasses are how the strict time traveling leaders monitor her. How does she react to this knowledge? Oh, she just continues to make her plans against them out loud. The fact she reveals her plans is one thing, but the fact she does it knowingly? Complete idiocy. You’d think somebody in the future would be better educated but it appears Prenna missed that boat by a mile. Prenna never learns from her mistakes throughout the novel and keeps on needing the love interest to save her. She makes assumptions with little evidence. I honestly tried to find something redeeming about Prenna but I can’t think of a thing that would make up for her total incompetence.

The love interest is completely boring. In no way did I enjoy or connect to Ethan at all. He simply seemed to be a plot device, one that needed to constantly save Prenna from her stupid choices. He’s perfect in every way it seems and can’t do any wrong. HE’S SO BORING.

The chemistry between Prenna and Ethan was of course unconvincing and contrived. It appears out of nowhere and just keeps getting more and more ridiculous. I personally think The Here and Now has also set an new record for insta-love. This is evidenced by a quote, which is in the fucking prologue.

“She was the kind of girl he would dream up because she was approximately his age, her skin was bare except for the dark wet streamers of hair around her body, and she was supernaturally beautiful, like a mermaid or an elvish princess.”

stressed

It’s insane to me that the very first second Prenna walks into this time period that Ethan’s one hundred percent in love with her. Their romance was truly nauseating and it definitely took over the book. Instead of doing something that could possibly save the future world Ethan and Prenna’s romance takes centre stage. I mean why save the fucking world? You could instead drink sangrias on the beach, kiss, talk about sex, learn card games and kiss some more. It was laughable that all of the aforementioned was done instead of anything useful. Certainly there was some talk about possibly going against the time travel leaders and maybe not taking suspicious pills. Still, there’s no way anybody could argue against the fact that priorities were seriously skewed in this novel.

I stopped reading this book in the climax of the book, and that should definitely be a red flag to you. I’m pretty sure the characters were in a life threatening position. Did I care? Nope, not even in the least. I couldn’t care less about what happens to Prenna or Ethan. I couldn’t even be bothered to read the final few pages. Honestly, I hope the stereotypical antagonist prevails in this case.

Overall this book was a huge disappointment to me. This book wins a prize for being the book I was the least invested in this year. I can’t honestly pick out any positives in The Here and Now, and believe me when I say I actually tried. If you’re looking for a book that actually contains some good time traveling and gets better with every book I’d recommend checking out Julie Cross.

I certainly hope our world doesn’t go to shit in 80 years and we have to rely on Prenna. We’d be so fucking screwed.

~Thank you Delacotre Press for sending me this copy!~

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Larissa was born and still is living in the land of ice, snow and maple syrup. She's 17 years old and really has no idea what to do with her life lately. Larissa's plans are contantly changing--though there’s one thing has remained constant throughout her seventeen years, and that’s reading. It takes her to another world and puts her into impossible situations and that’s why she loves it so much.

32 Responses to “DNF Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares”

  1. Kelly

    That sucks, to reach 80% and then have to abandon it. Some books are just so frustrating and crap that it’s almost painful to keep going. I can’t stop laughing, you’re review is brilliantly funny and I bloody hope we don’t have to rely on this Prenna either.
    Kelly recently posted…Stacking The Shelves and Weekly Wrap #014My Profile

    • Larissa

      Yeah I honestly felt no drive to continue reading. I wasn’t even concerned about what happened to the characters. Awe, thank you! :D I’m glad you enjoyed it. Lol if we do ever had to rely on Prenna hopefully Ethan’s around. He’s clearly amazing at everything and perfect. So perhaps we’d actually have an chance at survival [;

  2. Faye @ The Social Potato

    Man, this book sounds pretty horrible. I hate it when a book’s world-building is consistent and does not make sense. Why write anything other than Contemporary if you’re not going to the new world/time/conditions logical? IMO, either you explain it in full or you just don’t bother at all. It speaks volumes when you don’t even want to finish the book and at the climax, too! That’s like the highest peak of the book! If that’s already a low, what more of the other parts? :S I’ll definitely steer clear of this. Thanks for the review, Larissa!
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: Wicked Little Secrets by Kara Taylor – Wickedly AwesomeMy Profile

    • Larissa

      It was definitely one of the worst books I’ve read this year. Honestly this book really is an contemporary. The Here and Now exemplifies how adding extra unnecessary details can ruin the story. Yeah I know! Usually I’m glued to an book during the climax, even if I disliked it or found it meh. That wasn’t the case for The Here and Now though, I wasn’t attached to anything regarding the book at all. Thanks for the lovely comment, Faye! <33

  3. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    I am really picky when it comes to world-building, so if that isn’t executed properly I don’t know how well I’d like this one. Also the fact that the romance takes precedence over saving the world from this ridiculous plague is even worse. Ugh I’m glad that I haven’t read this one yet; I feel like I definitely wouldn’t like this one. Fantastic review, Larissa! <33 Sorry you weren't a fan of this one D:
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    • Larissa

      Yeah I’m not even that picky when it comes to world-building, so it’s practically guaranteed you won’t enjoy this one then. Yeah the romance was definitely overbearing and completely ridiculous. Thank you Eileen <33

  4. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    Ew, no no no….I don’t think I’ll be reading this at all. I actually haven’t read the author’s other books either, but that’s a dying shame this one sucks so much. WHAT THE…?!! The world doesn’t even seem to make sense. And any book that you feel like sleeping 80% of the time is hardly a good use of your day, eh? Dang. Skip this one for moi. Great review, though. I always find myself smiling when I read yours… ;)
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    • Larissa

      Yeah I think that’s an wise choice, I really don’t think you’d enjoy this one at all. The world doesn’t make sense at all, haha even when I was describing it I felt like I wasn’t making any sense :P Nope, not at all! It actually did make me feel quite sleepy whilst reading it haha. Awe thank you girl (: That makes me very happy to hear <33

    • Larissa

      Haha yeah, I was much less of an critical reviewer back in grade 8. So if I read the Sisterhood series again I may feel differently on them [; Yeah, having lower expectations won’t even probably make reading this one an enjoyable experience for you. Thank you Emily! <33

  5. Olivia

    Nooooooooooooo! I absolutely adored her Travelling Pants series! I remember reading these books when I was like 9 years old. It’s been SIX years. I like this cover more though, I bet it’s really pretty in person. Sigh, such a shame.
    Olivia recently posted…Review: If I StayMy Profile

    • Larissa

      It’s quite the disappointment. Same haha! (: I read them in grade 8 and I’m currently in grade 11 so it’s been awhile :P The cover does look quite nice, and I agree. I just got an e-ARC so I don’t know what it’ll look like in real life for sure. I’d imagine it’d looks gorgeous and reflect the light beautifully though.

    • Larissa

      Yeah normally I would have to. However this book simply did nothing for me and I couldn’t force myself to read any further.

    • Larissa

      I’m so glad you did Jeann (: Prenna was quite aggravating, I couldn’t sympathize or enjoy her narration at all. Yeah this book definitely was totally an romance then dystopian

  6. Aimee

    Nothing about the synopsis seemed to grab me, so I never requested this when I came across it on NetGalley. It definitely seems like I made the right choice. First off, I can’t stand stupid heroines. Prenna definitely sounds like one. The romance sounds absolutely horrid as well. And JUST NO to boring love interests. *cough* Prince Maxon *cough* Plus, I don’t read a lot of time travel books, but it gets boring if they aren’t explained well. Fantastic review, Larissa!
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    • Larissa

      That was an brilliant choice Aimee. I just requested it because of the author and that ended up being an disappointment. Prenna seems to be the epitome of stupid heroine, anything that could qualify as stupid she accomplishes effortlessly. LOL omg Prince Maxon is the worst. Thank you Aimee <33

  7. Melanie

    We’d be worse the screwed, by the looks of it! I really hate it when you give up a book when it’s nearly finished, but it only goes to show how crappy and disappointing this book was–even how hard you tried, it still didn’t get any better :( And that quote…WTF?

    Brilliant review, Larissa! <33

  8. Lexa Cain

    You’re so cute when you swear! I got quite a chuckle from the review. So many things to dislike. I’ve read books where I got so fed up I rooted for the monster/psycho-killer/villain to kill the main characters. Yup. I understand.
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Radio Hope & CelebrateMy Profile

    • Larissa

      Haha awee thank you (: I’m glad you enjoyed this review. Yeah, there was so many things wrong with this novel. Sadly no positive aspects stood out for me. LOL yeah it’s an interesting situation to be in when you actually root for the antagonist

  9. Zoe N.

    Oh no! :( I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy this one as much as you wanted to Larissa! But the world-building sounds absolutely horrible, and in time-travel books especially I’m picky about my world-building. And Prenna sounds like a very aggravating protagonist. :| But the romance is what bothers me the most – specifically the fact that it sounds as if it takes priority over the actual plot…that’s always a huge turn off for me!

    Honestly, with all that you’ve mentioned, I’m impressed you even made it to the 80% mark!

    Anyway, as always, brilliant review Larissa! I think I’ll still give this one a read since I have an ARC, but I’ll definitely lower my expectations!
    Zoe N. recently posted…FangirlMy Profile

    • Larissa

      Yeah the world-building simply didn’t work for me at all. Yeah, when time travel is featured in an book good world-building is needed so you can understand everything that goes on. Clearly that wasn’t the case for The Here and Now. Prenna was probably one of the worst heroines I’ve read this year, she seriously had nothing redeeming qualities.

      Hahaha so am I really. I was wondering if it would get better and by 80 percent I was convinced that wouldn’t be the case.

      Good luck haha

  10. Wendy Darling

    Uh oh–dumb, insipid heroine and boring love interest? No thank you. Especially coupled with faulty time travel science and non-existent world-building. :/ It’s got to be pretty wretched if you made it 80% in and couldn’t bring yourself to finish–that’s happened to me on occasion, and it’s never fun.

    Hope your next read is better, Larissa.
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    • Larissa

      Yeah this one certainly hit a lot of the negative aspects I end up disliking in books. I was hoping it’d magically become better, guess that wasn’t the case. I’m reading an book now and it seems like it’ll either be 2/5 or 3 stars. However I’m going on an verrrry long plane ride soon and plan on reading some pics I know are going to be great. Such as Cress and Written in Red [;