Thursday, May 5, 2011

Can't Wait To Read: The Future is Us

I could not be more excited, because today on Twitter (and later on Jay Asher's blog), I got the news that Asher and Carolyn Mackler have joined forces to write a YA about a time-traveling AOL CD-Rom.


From the release: The Future is Us is set in 1996, when less than half of all American high school students have ever used the internet. Facebook will not be invented for several more years. Emma just got a computer and an America Online CD-ROM with 100 free hours. When she and her best friend Josh log on to AOL they discover themselves on Facebook … fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what life has in store for them. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

First of all, let me pause for any youngsters who might be reading and going, AOL? Wait, CD-what?!

Once upon a time, the Internet was doled out in units of time, often hours. AOL used to send CDs in the mail that let you get online FOR FREE, but only for a few hours. At first it was a small number, like 10 or 20 or 30. These cds were coveted, because it meant you could go into chat rooms and meet cool people (read: creepers) without your parents having to pay the astronomical fees to hop onto AOL.

But then the Internet arms race started and they had to pump up their guns. Soon you were getting THOUSANDS of free hours. No, really.

It didn't take long for the discs to become all but worthless. When I was in high school I worked at Target, and we had the CDs hanging out at the register to give away for free. Pretty soon people were using them as wall art.

So I'm pretty psyched for a YA novel to be set in, you know, my YA years! In 1996 I was in 8th grade at Maryville Middle School. I was a gawky, awkward mess, but I didn't totally know that at the time. In fact, I'm pretty sure I thought I was hot shit. I rocked my retro-cool jellies, my over-sized plastic candy-colored rings, and more chokers than you could shake a stick at. My parent's should have bought stock in Claire's. I thought baby tees looked HOT on my flat-as-a-board bony frame. I devoured RL Stine books and was obsessed with Carolyn B. Cooney's The Face on the Milk Carton. I quoted Clueless incessantly and dreamed about the day I'd finally get my driver's license and my very own Jeep (spoiler alert: I drove my grandmother's old 1989 Honda Accord). My friends and I spent the week convincing our parents to drive us to the movies or West Town Mall in Knoxville on the weekends. When we couldn't get a ride somewhere cool, we'd go rollerblading (my future derby girl cringes...). I was dying to get to high school so I  could start working on the school newspaper, just like all my favorite YA heroines (Nancy Drew, Elizabeth Wakefield, etc).

I'm trying to imagine that girl discovering Facebook and all that comes with it.... and I really can't. My poor, 14-year-old brain would probably explode.

So yes, as soon as this book is available for pre-order, I'll be clicking the button with vigor.

Oh, and speaking of Facebook ... how 'bout you go "like" my author page? I'll be doing some giveaways there this summer!

Let's have a mid-90s party in the comments ... what were YOU up to in 1996? And guess what? If you comment here, you get a super secret bonus entry in the Future of Us ARC giveaway contest!

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