Saturday, January 17, 2015

REVIEW: The Here and Now - Ann Brashares

Proceed with caution, extremely minor spoilers ahead.

Yep. Following in the footsteps of The Time Traveler’s Wife, but coming off a lot better than its predecessor; this story is another time-traveling romance, where the lovers are star-crossed due to their different coordinates in the fourth dimension. Fully aware of the risks I was taking by picking up my tablet to read this (since I hated TTTW), I decided to do it anyway because I’d read and liked Brashares’ Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (well, Book #1 at least) and was willing to give this one a chance.

Most of the time, whenever I read a sci-fi romance, I go ahead with the romance and fault with the sci-fi part of it (see These Broken Stars). I’m happy to inform you that this time it was the other way round. No, I didn’t hate Ethan and Prenna – I really do ship them. But the insta-love killed me. In the most tragic sense of the word. I may understand Ethan’s fascination with Prenna – hey, when you see a beautiful girl appear magically out of a mysterious haze while you’re out fishing and then go out of your way to help her, there is a tendency to feel possessive about her, and I get that. What I don’t get is why Prenna would feel this fascination with him – for those of you yet to read, she doesn’t remember her unearthly manifestation as was witnessed by him – so, that was, inexplicable on her part. Then, they get the chance to change the future as they know it, and they spend the days counting down to the D-Day having a great time – shopping, playing handsies on the freaking beach (although to be fair, it was only when they weren’t running for their life). 
Again, I’m prepared to accept that they aren’t like me, when I would have spent that time going through alternate action plans and rechecking a hundred times, in between biting off all my nails and turning my hair grey.

But, that was the rational, cynical me venting. The girly-girl side of me went along with the cliché scenery and the choppy route this ship was taking. Which made the whole above experience forgivable/tolerable/overlook-able. You should also know that the above-mentioned dual personalities were in agreement of the fact that the plot (while suffering from the classic unanswerable time-traveling paradoxes that openly question the soundness of the plot) was engrossing. As in stay-way-past-my-bedtime-engrossing. While Prenna isn’t exactly your average futuristic badass heroine, Ethan compensates with his aspiring - super -boyfriend talents (both romantically and ass-busting-ly, of course). The writing had the present-tense-dramatic-flair that the book demanded and I really liked it. I also loved Prenna’s letters to Julius, because it showed Prenna as a girl in need of closure and as someone still coping to the luxury of the early 2000s. I also felt like the spotlight was majorly on our ship and that none of the other characters felt as vivid, as necessary as them – like they were just woodenly acting out their roles in the script.

VERDICT: 3 stars

P.S: Can somebody please read this book and tell me if Ethan/Prenna reminded you of Ethan/Lena in the Beautiful Creatures series, like it did for me? Have I mentioned how much I loved that ship?

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