The Here And Now by Ann BrasharesThe Here And Now by Ann Brashares

The Here And Now

byAnn Brashares

Hardcover | May 30, 2017

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is an epic star-crossed romance about a girl 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.
The world Prenna James comes from is in ruins. She and the others who escaped are here to prevent humanity’s destruction. But if they don’t follow The Rules, everything that matters will be gone: Friends. Families. Dreams. Love. 

Ethan Jarves can never know Prenna’s secret. That she’s not from another place. 

She’s from another time. 

"This gripping story is set in a world unlike any other and inhabited by beautifully imagined characters that stay with you long after the last page.” – Sara Shepard, bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars

“An appealing romantic thriller . . . [also] a potent reminder that we inherit the future we buy with our actions today.”—Cassandra Clare for the New York Times Book Review

“Fast-paced, gripping, and romantic.”—Publishers Weekly 

“Lightning-paced . . . like a cinematic blockbuster.”—Kirkus Reviews  
“The Here and Now could just as easily sit among the time-travel sci-fi, coming-of-age, or romantic thrillers of YA. Honestly, even though I really don't know how to categorize it, I loved it.”—Happily Ever After/USA Today
Ann Brashares is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Whole Thing Together, The Here and Now, 3 Willows, The Last Summer (of You & Me), and My Name Is Memory. She lives in New York City with her family. Visit Ann online at and follow @AnnBrashares on Twitter.
Title:The Here And NowFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:256 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 0.93 inShipping dimensions:9.5 × 6.5 × 0.93 inPublished:May 30, 2017Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385736800

ISBN - 13:9780385736800


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Poor Characterization Distracted Me from an Otherwise Enthralling Read The complexities of time travel, and how minor changes in the fabric of time can have grave consequences, is always fascinating, if tricky, and in that aspect, The Here and Now excelled. As the intricacies of the plot overwhelmed my senses, it was poor characterization and a resolution that seemed much too tidy that served to distract me from an otherwise enthralling read. Having escaped a future Earth where a blood plague has been killing off civilization for several years, over 900 time travellers have travelled back to 2010 in order to escape their diseased and dying future for an Earth at the height of its technological advancements. While I found this history (future?) absolutely fascinating, I couldn’t help but wonder why these time travellers wouldn’t try to alert the scientific community to a potential deadly disease outbreak. For a group of individuals capable of travelling throughout time, capable of creating new personas, and successfully infiltrating a different world by forging the proper documents, I can’t see why they couldn’t have forged a string of blood plague-like deaths in a third world country in order to provide present day scientists with a good incentive to begin working on a possible treatment for the plague that haunted their future. Instead, the time travellers contented themselves with being integrated into society, shunning their former lives and essentially pretending it had never happened. I also didn’t understand the level of scrutiny the time travelling Community kept their citizens under, or how they were successful with their approach. With a group of about 20 or so responsible for governing the time-travelling Community, their ability to monitor the daily actions and conversations of over 900 people, while looking for transgressions, seems quite implausible. And while I could understand that fear was a motivator for acquiescence for many, after years of complacency, that fear should have ebbed slightly; I didn’t understand why the members of the Community who had been silenced initially, didn’t ban together to speak out against the injustices they faced now. Why leave a dying world in order to live, to only live a half life? Gripes aside, I loved a lot of the time travel aspects of The Here and Now. Listening to Prenna talk about future events like they existed in the past was something I stumbled over several times, but that I found endless joy in. I also loved how the overall plot was a giant puzzle, and that pieces from the future were necessary in order to complete the picture in the present. It made the little twists and turns The Here and Now took all the more suspenseful, as piece after piece clicked in to place. It also made the picture much larger than The Here and Now would seem to suggest, as the events required to fashion Prenna’s future world came from the most innocuous of present times. I also loved how The Here and Now took current environmental concerns and used them to fuel Brashares’ devastating future. While Brashares’ commentary bordered on being preachy, I love how Prenna managed to touch on several current events – the energy crisis, global warming, corporate responsibility, socio economics – in her quest to explain to Ethan how her future world became so grim. Where The Here and Now was found lacking was in its characterization. I found Prenna fascinating, but it was only because I loved hearing about her experiences in her future world, where something as small as a mosquito bite was a death sentence. As for her personality, I really couldn’t tell you much about her besides the fact that she was curious and that she had a crush on Ethan, the boy who saw her appear from the future on the day she arrived in his present. It was this connection between Prenna and Ethan, that he knew she wasn’t completely normal, that prevented their relationship from growing organically; Brashares assumed it would be enough that they had a shared history. His obsession over his mystery girl explained his fascination with Prenna, and his unwavering attention explained why she paid him any attention. "I see myself kind of like the homeless guy in Ethan’s eyes; a bit of a sad case, but an interesting one. More of a project than a friend. He knows something’s a little off about me. Or suspects it. I can see by the way he looks at me, and I guess there is kind of a subtle alliance that goes with it." What it didn’t explain, was how that obsession and unwavering attention equalled love, and at first, it seemed like Prenna would be realistic about their relationship. Talking about how she had lustful feelings for him, and that she could see herself possibly falling in love with him. But with the flick of an unseen switch she was suddenly referring to Ethan as the boy she loved, and I was left wondering when she had made the leap from lust to love. Ethan made the leap from obsession to love seemingly simultaneously, but turned me off by how quickly he went from proclamations of love to trying to be intimate with her at every turn. "If I could make love to you right now, I wouldn’t mind if I died." Considering how hard it had been for Prenna to even talk about her life with Ethan, I also found myself surprised by how quickly she threw caution to the wind and rejected every rule she had spent the last four years living and breathing. With The Here and Now’s ending, I found myself conflicted. On the one hand, I really enjoyed how everything came together, with the various links that were established between present day and future events and how the blood plague came to exist. On the other, I found Prenna’s speech at the end to be laughable, and the way in which everything was tied up in regards to the time travelling Community was too tidy. Despite the lack of characterization, The Here and Now was an enjoyable read that I felt compelled to finish in just one sitting. While the resolution was also found wanting, the twists and turns in the plot that brought me to the ending were fantastically intricate, and the time travel elements were weaved in seamlessly, providing an element of mystery I was pleasantly surprised with.
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Different It was very different from her other books but like still good
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good, and Easy Read Read it in one sitting. Cool story, easy to follow. Really fun.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really good easy read Another good Dystopian novel that kept my attention. I really enjoyed the story and the characters. Very simple and easy summer read.
Date published: 2015-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from With strong Dystopian lines, The Here and Now is set in present day. If you are looking for a fresh take on this type of book, I recommend checking it out! I really liked this novel because it takes a popular story line (Dystopian novel) and gives it a new twist (time travel) and it was really well done. As the future continues to shift and change, I was hooked. Prenna is a very likeable main character and Ethan is the perfect mix of determined and charming boy. He is smart, good looking and cares about the planet. While the main driving force in the book is the love story, there is enough substance and depth with the rest of the plot line to make this more than a romance story. With strong Dystopian lines, The Here and Now is set in present day. If you are looking for a fresh take on this type of book, I recommend checking it out!
Date published: 2015-01-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A quick and intriguing story I liked this book, it was enjoyable and it was easy to read. The story didn't only focused on the romance between the two main characters, Prenna and Ethan, it also talks about the stories time traveling aspect and troubles about being from the future and living in the past. I haven't read anything like this before and that can be because I haven't picked up many sci-fi books yet but I really enjoyed this book. It was what I needed to read when I picked it up and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.
Date published: 2014-05-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Story! Summary: On the outside Prenna seems like an ordinary teenager, but everything about her is a lie. Because when she immigrated to New York four years ago, it wasn’t from another place… it was from another time. And this secret must be kept at all costs. Ethan has always been the one person Prenna didn’t want to lie to, but it he might actually know more about her secrets than she does. Then when a mysterious stranger reveals that he also knows the truth and asks for her help, Prenna is forced to make a very difficult decision. Should she go against the rules that keep her loved ones safe and risk everything to possibly make things better? Or should she listen to her elders and not take a chance that could make things even worse? In a literal race against time, it turns out the truth holds all the power. Review: The Here and Now is a wonderful mix of mystery and science fiction, with a touch of romance, a dose of environmental awareness and a strong female protagonist all coming together to form a great story. Tales about time travel often involve space and a futuristic society. The Here and Now differs in that the story takes place entirely in our time, offering only references to the future. It’s also the first book concerning time travel that has described the future in a way I could imagine it. In Brashares’ future, mankind has continued to abuse the planet leaving no more viable resources until humans and animals are almost at the point of extinction. Even after I’d finished reading The Here and Now, I thought a lot about how entirely possible this outcome is for us if as the book says, we “don’t want to take any risks to fix the future, but just want to live out another day”. While I didn’t find there was a lot of deep character development throughout the story, Prenna and Ethan are well-written and believable characters who I was eager to follow on their adventure. The story is very plot driven, and kept me captivated as small details were revealed that slowly brought the bigger picture into focus. The conclusion isn’t exactly what I expected, but I loved it and felt it was a fitting end to a thought-provoking story. Verdict: Ann Brashares has delivered another amazing story that I didn’t want to put down! The Here and Now will leave readers thinking about the message long after they’ve finished the book.
Date published: 2014-03-12

Read from the Book

OneApril 23, 2014We all know the rules. We think about them every day. How could we not know them? We learned them by heart before we came here, and they’ve been drilled into our heads by constant use ever since.But still we sit, nearly a thousand of us, on plastic benches in a former Pentecostal church (desanctified in the 1990s, I don’t know why) listening to our twelve inviolate rules recited over a crackling PA system by nervous community members in their best clothes.Because it’s what we do. We do it every year to commemorate the extraordinary trip we all took together four years ago: our escape from fear and sickness and hunger, our miraculous arrival in this land of milk and honey. It’s a trip that almost certainly had never happened before and, based on the state of the world when we left it, will never happen again. So April 23 is kind of like our Thanksgiving, but without the turkey and pumpkin pie. It is also, coincidentally, the day Shakespeare was born. And died.We do it because it’s easy to forget amid all the sweetness and fatness of this place that we don’t belong here, that we pose a danger to it. That’s why the rules are critical and the consequences of forgetting them are grave. It’s like any strict religious or political system. When your practices are hard to follow, you’d better keep reminding your flock of them.I put my feet flat on the floor as the projector hums to action at the back of the hall, cutting a beam through the dark air and slowly illuminating the first face on the wide screen that hangs behind the old altar. It takes a moment for the shadows and shapes to become a person, to become someone I know or don’t know. It’s hard to watch this, but they always do it: as we recite the rules they show the faces of the people we lost since the last time we met here. It’s like the “in memoriam” tribute you see on the Academy Awards or the Grammys, but also . . . it’s not. This year there are seven of them. There’s no explanation or commentary. They just scroll through these faces again and again. But most of us have a sense of the story behind each face. We understand, without saying so, the overrepresentation of the fragile, the wayward and the incompliant members of our community up there on that screen.My mother glances at me as Dr. Strauss stands up from the dais at the front to recite the first rule, the one about allegiance.The rules are never displayed, never even written down on a piece of paper. That’s not how we do things. We’ve gone back to an oral tradition.I try to listen. I always do, but the words have been stirred around so many times they’ve lost their particular order and shape in my ears. They’ve melted and dissolved into a chaotic mix of impressions and anxieties.Dr. Strauss is one of the leaders. There are nine of them and twelve counselors. The leaders make the policy and the counselors hand it down to us and translate it into our daily lives. We are each assigned to a counselor. Mine is Mr. Robert. He’s sitting up there too.A girl near the back in a green dress stands to recite the second rule, about the sequence of time. Heads politely turn.It’s an honor to get to recite one. Like landing a part in the Christmas pageant. I was chosen once, three years ago. My mom dressed me in her gold ballet flats and her most expensive silk scarf. She mashed rouge into my cheeks. I got to read the sixth one, about never submitting to medical attention outside the community.After the girl speaks, we all turn back to the front, obediently awaiting rule number three.The black-and-white face of Mrs. Branch now takes its turn up on the screen. She was an acquaintance of my mother’s, and I know she died of breast cancer that barely got treated. The photo doesn’t exactly hark back to happier times. It looks like it was taken on the day she got her diagnosis. I look away. Briefly I catch the eyes of my friend Katherine a few rows behind.I find it’s hard to figure out from watching the leaders fanned out on the dais which one of them is really in charge. No one will tell you, but I think I know. I think this because of something that happened to me when I was thirteen, not long before my turn at reciting the sixth rule.It was around nine months after we’d gotten here. I was still disoriented, still way too skinny, still watching TV to learn how to talk and act. I hadn’t started going to school yet. I was having chronic breathing problems. My mom said it was really incredibly fortunate that somebody with asthma got to make the trip at all. She said something about my “enhanced IQ” making up for it, but barely. We tried to pretend it wasn’t as bad as it was.And then in February I caught a bad cold and it turned into pneumonia. My mother knew this almost certainly because she is an MD and keeps a stethoscope in her bathroom drawer. A couple of other members of our community’s medical team came over. I was pretty whacked by that point. I was using an inhaler and they were pumping me full of antibiotics and steroids and God knows what else. There was an oxygen monitor clipped to my finger, and I know it was dipping too low. I struggled. My lungs couldn’t take in enough air. It’s a horrible feeling, in case you’ve never had it.By the second night it had gotten dire. I was completely out for some stretches, but I saw the look on my mother’s face. She was shouting. She wanted to take me to a hospital. She said a simple ventilator for one night was all it would take to save my life. I guess we didn’t have one in our community clinic then; we were still pretty new here. But putting me in a regular hospital wasn’t something any of them would even consider because of the danger we pose to them, to regular people who were born here, who have different immunities than we do. And because what if, in taking my medical history or getting too close a look at my blood under a microscope, a doctor or a nurse started asking questions?“There’s no need for her to die!” I heard my mother crying from the next room. She was begging them, promising she would watch over everything, she wouldn’t let anyone else care for me. No blood tests, no diagnostics. She would figure out a way to do it, to keep everything secret and safe.Sometime later Mrs. Crew arrived. I could feel the mood shift in the house, even deep in my oxygen-poor brain. The screaming and cajoling stopped and there was just this lulling voice from the next room. For a few moments I was strangely alert, strangely cogent, listening as she calmly talked my mother down. “After all we have sacrificed, Molly. After all we have been through . . .” My mother left the room and I heard my counselor, Mr. Robert, talking to Mrs. Crew instead. I felt like I was listening to them from a perch on the ceiling, like I was already dead, as she coolly explained to him the procedure for dealing with my body, the issuance of a death certificate and the proper strategy for handling what remained of my identity in the state and federal databases. They had created our identities here; they could take them away. Finally she offered him some injection or pill or something like that. “The angel of death,” she called it in a low voice, to make my passing more comfortable. She assured him she would stay until it was over.But it wasn’t over. Sometime in the early morning my lungs started to open up a little. And by the end of the day a little more. And six weeks after that I was reciting the sixth rule in this very hall.Mr. Botts, two rows behind me, stands up to recite the third rule, about not using our knowledge to change anything. I remember him from our early tutoring sessions. Mrs. Connor, with the thinning hair and in a weird orange tunic, takes up the fourth, which is kind of an extension of the third. I forget how I know her.A guy named Mitch, who’s a star because he goes to Yale, recites the fifth one, the secrecy rule. That may be the rule we think of most often. The leaders are obsessed with the minutiae of it, with us fitting in and never letting anything slip that might give us away. But at times I seriously wonder, if one of us did let something slip, could anybody ever guess where we are from? And if they did, could they possibly believe it?The sixth and seventh rules, the ones about medical stuff, are recited by two people I don’t really know and who, like me, probably just barely survived those rules.I zone out on rules eight through eleven because a purple bead pops off my shoe and I scan the floor for it without appearing to. I’d frankly rather look anywhere than at the big screen up front, because for the finale they’ve left up the photo of Aaron Green, and I suspect that’s no coincidence. It’s a heartbreaking picture of a confused and well-meaning fourteen-year-old who tripped over his lies so clumsily they stopped him from going to school in the middle of last year. His teacher went to his house to check on him, and two days later he drowned in the Housatonic River on a rafting trip with his dad and his uncle. There was no ambulance, no emergency room. Mr. Green quietly followed the protocol; he called the special number he was supposed to call.I snap to attention for the twelfth rule. It is Mrs. Crew, the angel of death herself, who stands up to deliver it. She is about five feet tall and her hair looks like a cremini mushroom, but she still scares me. I swear she recites that rule staring directly at me.1. WE MUST UPHOLD ABSOLUTE ALLEGIANCE TO THE COMMUNITY, TO ITS SURVIVAL AND ITS SAFETY, AND ACCEPT THE GUIDANCE OF OUR LEADERS AND COUNSELORS WITHOUT QUESTION OR DISCUSSION.2. WE MUST RESPECT TIME’S INTEGRITY AND HER NATURAL SEQUENCE.3. WE MUST NEVER EMPLOY THE EXPERIENCE GAINED IN POSTREMO TO KNOWINGLY INTERVENE IN THAT NATURAL SEQUENCE.4. WE MUST NEVER CHALLENGE THAT SEQUENCE TO AVOID MISFORTUNE OR DEATH.5. WE MUST UPHOLD ABSOLUTE DISCRETION ABOUT POSTREMO, THE IMMIGRATION, AND THE COMMUNITY AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL PLACES.6. WE ARE FORBIDDEN TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION OR SUBMIT TO MEDICAL CARE OF ANY KIND OUTSIDE THE COMMUNITY.7. WE MUST USE ONLY THE SERVICES PROVIDED BY OUR MEDICAL TEAM IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES AND EMPLOY THE EMERGENCY PROTOCOL IF REQUIRED.8. WE MUST AVOID INCLUSION IN THE HISTORICAL ARCHIVAL RECORD, WHETHER IN PRINT, PHOTOGRAPHY, OR VIDEO.9. WE MUST AVOID PLACES OF WORSHIP.10. WE MUST MAKE STRENUOUS EFFORT TO FIT INTO SOCIETY AND NOT BRING ATTENTION TO OURSELVES OR OUR COMMUNITY IN ANY MANNER.11. WE MUST AVOID CONTACT WITH ANY INDIVIDUAL KNOWN TO US FROM POSTREMO WHO DID NOT TAKE PART IN THE IMMIGRATION.12. WE MUST NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, DEVELOP A PHYSICALLY OR EMOTIONALLY INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH ANY PERSON OUTSIDE THE COMMUNITY.TwoA bunch of us get takeout from a Chipotle around the corner from the former Pentecostal church and walk with it to Central Park. The ceremony has fallen on a Wednesday this year, so we’ve taken a vacation day. We eat it on the Great Lawn and kill a couple of hours between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the semiannual “teen social.” Because our spirits are so light after the Rules Ceremony, why not have a party?It seems crazy, but that’s what we do. The night of the ceremony everybody in our community between the ages of fifteen and eighteen gets together and tries to fall in love with each other over dumb music and soggy chicken fingers. Good luck with that.Because if we’re going to love at all, or even like or lust, we have to do it with each other. See rule twelve. And it’s not just for our own safety, as the counselors are quick to point out. It’s for the health and safety of the people outside our community too. It’s not something you can even joke about. Not that we joke about so many things.At the park it’s me, Katherine, Jeffrey Boland, Juliet Kerr, Dexter Harvey and a few others who go to school in Rockland County. Jeffrey falls asleep in the sunshine, Dexter puts on his headphones, and Katherine and I go for a walk around the reservoir.“So hard to see Aaron’s face up there on the screen,” I say slowly, glancing at the side of Katherine’s face as we walk. I see the color blooming in her nearly transparent skin.Aaron lived around the corner from her. He had a little dog, a pug mix or something, named Paradox, that used to run to Katherine’s house every chance it got. Katherine worried about Aaron. It was harder for him than for most of the rest of us. Maybe I worried too. Katherine gave Aaron her old Mongoose BMX bike, and you always saw him riding around on it.I know how sensitive Katherine is, and I know she’ll hide everything she can, but I want to say something. I want to say at least one true thing.“He wasn’t much of a swimmer. He never was,” I add. It’s a morbid point for me to make. I realize that, but Katherine looks relieved because it’s my way of telling her that I’m not trying to be too honest here. I’m not trying to challenge anybody. I’m accepting the story of Aaron’s demise, as we all must, even though we know it is total bullshit.She smiles a tiny bit. I can see the tears welling in her eyes. I see her look up at the cherry blossoms spread like an awning over the bridle path. I can see how much she doesn’t want to cry.I reach for her hand. I hold it for a moment and let it go. She is the only person I can do that with.“They renamed his dog,” she says, so faintly I can barely hear her.“What?”“Aaron’s dad renamed his dog Abe. He doesn’t come to it.”

Editorial Reviews

"This gripping story is set in a world unlike any other and inhabited by beautifully imagined characters that stay with you long after the last page.” – Sara Shepard, bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars"[A]n appealing romantic thriller, ‘The Here and Now’ also serves as a potent reminder that we inherit the future we buy with our actions today.” --Cassandra Clare for The New York Times Book Review “The Here and Now could just as easily sit among the time-travel sci-fi, coming-of-age, or romantic thrillers of YA. Honestly, even though I really don't know how to categorize it, I loved it — and the ending made me hope (really, really hope!) for a sequel.”—Happily Ever After/USA Today“From the author who brought us The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants come the gripping page-turner about a girl who’s willing to risk it all for love and the fate of the world.” --Teen Vogue  “Lightning-paced . . . like a cinematic blockbuster.”—Kirkus Reviews  “Compelling.”—School Library Journal“Best known for her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books, Brashares forays into science fiction in this fast-paced, gripping, and romantic novel about a girl from a future that seems eerily possible. . . her fans will be happy to find that her prose is as resonant and realistic as ever.” --Publishers Weekly “Brashares . . . builds on her adroit adolescent characterization and ear for teen dialogue and transports them into an exciting time-travel adventure complete with murderers to thwart and mysteries to solve.”--Booklist "Skillfully weaving together time travel, planetary devastation, climate change, plague and young love, the author creates an engaging, adventurous tale." --Shelf-Awareness"Brashares' era-hopping race against time is fast paced and heady...perfect for fans of Brasahres' earlier work, as well as Veronica Roth's Divergent." --RT Book Reviews"Fantasy and science fiction fans will enjoy the intricate cause-and-effect Brashares defines in her story. Filled with suspense and spiced with romance, the story will satisfy any reader who appreciates a well told story. [Brashares] is at the top of her game.""A satisfying mix of science fiction and romance." --Children's Literature