cover image The Here and Now

The Here and Now

Ann Brashares. Delacorte, $18.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-73680-0

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. Seventeen-year-old Prenna James is from the year 2098, but she, her mother, and nearly 1000 other Travelers have fled an Earth devastated by climate change and plague, and are now living in 2014. The Travelers are a tight-knit and secretive community, and their 12 cardinal rules forbid everything from seeking outside medical care to interfering in the “natural sequence” of time or engaging in “intimate” relationships with outsiders. Prenna has long had a crush on her classmate Ethan, but she has always followed the rules until a mysterious homeless man upends Prenna and Ethan’s lives, and she begins to question her community’s dictates and intentions. Brashares focuses on Prenna and Ethan’s burgeoning romance, rather than the nitty-gritty details of her time-travel premise, and her fans will be happy to find that her prose is as resonant and realistic as ever. An Alloy Entertainment property. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, William Morris Endeavor. (Apr.)