Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
The year is 1996. High school junior Emma and her best friend Josh, a sophomore, discover one day that Emma’s brand new computer has downloaded a version of AOL that includes a link to Facebook in 2011 and they can see their lives 15 years in the future. Highjinks ensue in which they make a series of reckless choices to change their future and click refresh to see instant results. What I really liked was that Emma eventually realized that just changing the person she marries, or where she insists on living, wasn’t enough to make her happy – she had to change the kind of person she was interested in altogether, and learn how to let someone in and get to know the real her. You know she’s going to get together with Josh in the end, but the way she gets there has you rooting for her with just the right amount of tension in the timeline. Josh, for his part, seems excited to have married the hottest girl in school, but as they start to actually get to know each other, he realizes that he too has been a bit shallow and may not be as happy as he lets on in the photos he posts. The narration is done alternating perspectives between the two of them, and also features their two other friends, Kellan and Tyson, who have an on-again, off-again relationship.
Pretty predictable teen romance. I will say, this one caused me to review my Facebook posts recently and see how they might have looked to my 16-year-old self. Would I like my life? Would I think I was happy? Interesting thought experiment!
Plot like: Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski
and Landline by Rainbow Rowell
and 13 Going on 30 (movie!)