Now & When

Delacorte. Jul. 2020. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984896247.
Gr 8 Up–Skyler doesn’t put a lot of effort into planning her future, but she is looking forward to going to prom with her boyfriend and being there for her best friends Harper and Jordan. Skyler is the complete opposite of her classmate Truman; everything he does gets him closer to his future goals, and Skyler finds him utterly unattractive. When Skyler starts getting mysterious Instagram notifications from 10 years in the future that show her married to Truman, she begins to question her decisions. Tracking the account, as well as her school’s 10-year reunion website, she sees firsthand how choices made in the present affect the future. She becomes obsessed with the website, and how prom, the epicenter of the different futures, will play out. Most concerning is the future where Harper, who had been hospitalized in the present time line for trying to harm herself, is no longer alive. Skyler vows to do whatever it takes to ensure that future does not come true. This is a high school romance and coming-of-age story with a touch of magical realism. Since the novel is from Skyler’s point of view, readers don’t get as much perspective from Harper, even though protecting her is a driving force in Skyler’s actions.
VERDICT Purchase for young adult collections where books featuring social media are popular.

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