It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long – at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. And they’re looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.
By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right – and wrong – in the present.
I really wanted to like this book. When I picked it up I thought it would be a really cute novel. It was a good idea, and it’s not that it was delivered badly, the flow was good and it was easy to read, Josh was a nice, sweet kid that did the right thing, but Emma, Emma was just a terrible, terrible person.
First of all, I couldn’t keep track of how many guys she had dated. Every time a new character was introduced, it was like, oh, Emma dated him for a little while. On to the next one. At one point, Josh accused her of doing just that, and she denied it, feigned emotional hurt (because really, how could you be hurt if that’s exactly what you’re doing), and basically kicked him out of her house. And then her future wouldn’t be going her way, and she would blow up at Josh, talking about how much better his was and how he was rubbing it in her face, which of course, he wasn’t, he never did that once. And then, she did something incredibly selfish and incredibly stupid. I won’t spoil it for those who want to read the novel but it was basically the most hurtful and disrespectful thing she could have done to Josh, her supposed best friend. And I lost all respect for her (not that I had much to start with). By the end, she did turn it around a little, by realizing how shallow she had been being basically during her entire high school career, but not without whining about how she messed up and how everything was ruined and she would never get a chance with Josh, blah, blah, blah.
To review the novel as a whole, I thought the “relationship” between Emma and Josh took much too long to develop (and that’s not a spoiler, believe me, it’s painfully obvious the entire time that that’s what this book is really about). I mean, it really doesn’t happen for them until the last freaking page, and by then you’re just so fed up with the whole thing that it really doesn’t matter. The world building is practically non-existent – I have no idea where they lived – and the style of writing was very amateurish.
Basically, I was done with this book two-thirds of the way through, but kept reading because, well, because I was two-thirds of the way through. If you’re looking for… well, honestly, I can’t recommend this book to anyone at this point. It did have it’s good parts – the friends, Kellan and oh God, I can’t remember his name (that should tell you something about this novel?) were very cute and they made me laugh – I said good parts but that’s all I can really think of right now. That seems harsh, but the whole thing just wasn’t very likeable at all.