I have been avoiding this because I hated Asher’s Th1rteen R3asons Why SO HARD. (At the time I hated it for being a blamey piece of blamey garbage, and I failed to even NOTICE how very stupid it is to have numbers in your title. Did ‘Sk8er Boi’ teach us nothing?) But then People On The Internet kept being all, This is fairly good. And ‘fairly good’ is sort of all I ask of things right now.
So. It’s fairly good! And no one blames anyone else for making them commit suicide, which is a PLUS, because that is a jackassy thing to do (still paddling my rage-canoe about that book).
Right. It is 1997 and Emma gets The Internet and her neighbor-and-former-best-friend-before-he-ill-advisedly-tried-to-kiss-her-that-time Josh lends her an AOL Online CD-ROM (HA! Remember THAT? This will be the only ‘remember that’ I employ in this review, otherwise the thing would be RIDDLED and you would all wander off to feed your Tamagotchis [remember THOSE?]).
And they get online and what is this FACEBOOK business? It must be a website from the future (← an obvious conclusion, obviously) and Emma’s future sucks but Josh’s is surprisingly marriedtoahotwife and livingonthelake so he is like, Rad. And then Emma figures out that by changing things in the present she can change her future but Josh is like NO DON’T and Emma’s future keeps coming back craptastic ANYWAY, leading her to conclude that she is fundamentally an unhappy person.
Meanwhile there is angst vis-a-vis Emma and Josh’s non-relationship. And it’s not PAINFULLY angsty, but there’s no real sexual tension either.
It’s pretty Ho ho, the 90s, where people had BEEPERS and THE GAYS, they could not marry, and while a large part of me is like, AH YES, *wink* another, more specific part of me is like, A running mix full of 1997-era Dave Matthews and Pearl Jam is a shitty running mix, yo. And writing things set in the past that access the future (where The Future Is Now) is always difficult, because you get characters being all Hurrr, what is a status update? and it starts to sound like one of those novels narrated by a dog.
But on the whole it’s completely fine. It’ll do! Somebody pass me my flannel shirt. (Oh yes! Also, Emma has a papasan chair in her room and which of us didn’t, but every time they referred to the chair they referred to the papasan chair and after a while it was like they were saying, I sat on Emma’s 90s-specific chair because this is the 90s. Which, eventually you just start calling it a chair, right? Anywert.)