The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

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The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Time-travel novel with a touch of sci-fi, a dollop of environmentalism and a big (huge) dollop of romance. If you're looking for a romantic novel with a time-travel flavour, you'll love it. If you become impatient when the romance takes centre stage and the various paradoxes in time-travel aren't very carefully treated, you'll love it less.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: January 2015
Publisher: Hodder
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1444921924

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Never reveal where you're from. Never be intimate with anyone outside your community. And never interfere with history.

These are the rules Prenna's community lives by. They have travelled back in time from a disastrous future in which mosquito-borne plagues have ravaged humanity. The community leaders say they are working to prevent this disaster from ever happening but they keep the details hidden. And they police the returners fiercely. Conversations are monitored. Activities restricted. Those who disobey are dealt with severely.

But Prenna has always felt that something isn't quite right. And her burgeoning relationship with "time-native" Ethan and his homeless friend only serves to increase her suspicions. And things are only complicated by Prenna's romantic feelings for this forbidden boy...

Ack. You know. This is a matter of horses for courses. If you're looking for a romantic novel with a time-travel flavour, you'll love The Here and Now. Ethan is quite the dreamboat and he is fiercely loyal to Prenna, even when she's being obstinate or foolish. We all want a boy like that, don't we? Even if we don't say it out loud. On the other hand, if you become impatient when the romance takes centre stage and the various paradoxes in time-travel aren't very carefully treated, you'll love it less. There is quite a bit of time-travel daftery, the various pieces of the mystery fall into place far too quickly and the baddies are so easily vanquished that you'll heave a big ol' sigh.

I freely confess that I'm in the latter camp. I prefer my love stories without all the bells and whistles and I want my time travel stories to be a bit more credible. But I don't want to criticise The Here and Now. It does what it says on the tin - it provides an enjoyable romantic thriller and if you take it as such, it is a pleasure to read. Prenna can be a bit of a twit but she's a twit you can identify with. Ethan is just lovely - he wears his heart on his sleeve but he never pressures Prenna into revealing or giving more than she wants to. I really loved Ethan. And I also enjoyed the environmental flavour that permeates the book. We don't have to look too far into the future to envision a world ravaged and so weary of its greedy and rapacious human inhabitants that it strikes back with disease. Anything that reminds us of that is a good thing in my book.

So, if it's emotional intensity you're looking for, I think you'll enjoy The Here and Now.

If the combination of time travel and romance appeals to you, you might also enjoy After Eden by Helen Douglas.

Buy The Here and Now by Ann Brashares at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Here and Now by Ann Brashares at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Here and Now by Ann Brashares at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Here and Now by Ann Brashares at Amazon.com.


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