Blog Tour: The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler exclusive content!

The Future of Us
by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Pages: 356
Release Date: January 5th 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

It's 1996 and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Facebook will not be invented for several more years. Emma just got a computer and an America Online CD-ROM with 100 free hours. When she and her best friend Josh log on to AOL they discover themselves on Facebook... fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what life has in store for them.
Josh and Emma are about to find out.

Chapter 5

“HEY,” JOSH SAYS, pushing open my door. I look up from my bed. He’s standing at the edge of my room, holding the spare key we hide under a rock by the garage. It has a Scooby-Doo keychain that lights up when you press the nose.

“Sorry I took so long. My parents made me load the dishwasher.” Josh pushes his hands into his pockets. “So what’s going on? You found something bad?”

I’m worried if I open my mouth I’ll start crying again. As it is, Josh already looks uncomfortable being up here. It’s kind of sad, because we always used to be there for each other. He went on so many bike rides with me when my parents were splitting up. That was back in fifth grade. When Josh broke his leg skating, I hung out in his back-yard even though everyone we knew was swimming at Crown Lake. Josh sat with me at my mom’s wedding last September, pinching my arm every time I succumbed to inappropriate giggles. And here he is again, yet things feel like they’ll never be as easy between us as they once were.

“I was able to get back to that website,” I say, wiping my eyes. “Only it was different.”I catch Josh glancing at the wilted roses on my dresser. Graham gave them to me before prom, when we were taking photos in my yard. I make a mental note to chuck them as soon as Josh leaves.

“It still says Emma Nelson Jones went to Lake Forest High,” I say, “and it’s still says ‘Facebook’ at the top. No matter where you click, it always says that.”

“Do you think Facebook is the name of her company?” Josh asks.

Maybe.” But that’s not the point. The point is what the website says about her. Thinking about it makes my
chest hurt.

“Emma, you still don’t know what this thing is, or whether it’s even real,” Josh says. “Somebody’s probably just screwing with—”

“No, they’re not!” I sit up and touch the necklace resting against my collarbone. “Emma Nelson Jones was wearing this necklace in her photo.”

Josh looks at the gold chain I always wear, with the del-icate E pendant dangling from it. “The woman’s name is Emma,” he says. “What other letter would she put on her necklace?”

“And she said it’s Thursday, May nineteenth.”

Josh’s forehead wrinkles in confusion.

“Today is Sunday, May nineteenth,” I say. “That means she’s writing all this from another year where May nine-teenth is a Thursday.”

Josh shakes his head. “If someone is trying to prank you, they would’ve thought of all that.”

“But everything was different! When I checked just now, it was a brand new picture of Emma. And there were different people saying things to her. You think all that could change with one corrupted CD-ROM? Don’t you get it? This thing . . . Facebook, or whatever it’s called . . . it’s from the future.”

Josh sets the key chain on my desk and sits down. When he jiggles the mouse, the brick wall disappears and everything’s right where I left it, with Emma Nelson Jones writing about macaroni and cheese.

“Why does it say she has three hundred and twenty friends?” Josh asks. “Who has that many friends?”

“Scroll down,” I say, peering over his shoulder.

Emma Nelson Jones You know why I need comfort food? JJJ hasn’t come home for three nights. His trip was only supposed to last one day. I feel hopeless.
12 minutes ago · Like

Josh looks up at me. “Who’s JJJ?”

“My husband. Jordan Jones Junior. The guy with the fish. I never say why he hasn’t come home, but obviously I’m suspicious. When I saw that, it made me sick.”

Josh rubs his forehead with the tips of his fingers. “Maybe he went on another fishing trip.”

“keep reading,” I say, reaching past Josh for the mouse.

Emma Nelson Jones
Hit my sixth month of unemployment. They say it’s the economy, but I’m starting to believe it’s me. Thirty-one is too young to have a failed career.
Tuesday at 9:21am · Like · Comment

“Thirty-one,” Josh says. “So this is supposed to be fifteen years from now.”
I point to the next sentence.

Emma Nelson Jones
Can’t even afford a decent therapist.
Monday at 8:37pm · Like · Comment

Josh turns to me. “I can’t believe she’s writing these things.”

“Not she,” I say. “Me.”

“Why would anyone say this stuff about themselves on the Internet? It’s crazy!”

“Exactly,” I say. “I’m going to be mentally ill in fifteen years, and that’s why my husband doesn’t want to be
around me.”

Josh leans back in the chair and crosses his arms against his chest. When he does that, he looks like his brother. I haven’t seen David since last year, but he was always a fun person to have in the neighbourhood. Guys wanted him to be their older brother, and girls had a crush on him.

“Listen, Emma. I think . . .” Josh says, but then he pauses.

“Just say it.”

Josh points toward the screen. “We don’t know for sure who Emma Nelson Jones is or what we’re looking at. But even if it’s real, you’re still reading a lot between the lines.”

The front door closes. Josh and I jump back from the computer.

“Emma?” my mom calls. “Marty says he locked the door when we left, but—”

“It’s okay,” I shout. “Josh is here, that’s all.”

“Are you ready to help us get email addresses?” she asks.

“Can we have another minute? Josh is helping me find something . . . an assignment.”

“That’s fine,” my mom says. I hear her footsteps climbing the stairs. “But you need to finish up soon. It’s a school night.”

She cannot see this. I reach over and click the X on the top right corner of the screen. The cheerful voice chimes, “Goodbye!” My mom walks by, waving as she continues on to her bedroom. Josh picks up the Scooby-Doo key chain. He stops in the doorway and looks back at me.

“What is it?” I ask.

“I don’t think you should look at this thing alone,” he says. “It’s either a mean prank or it’s . . .”

I feel the tears coming on again.

“Let’s make a deal to only look at it together,” he says.

“So you’ll come over again?” I ask. “You don’t mind?”

Josh stares at the key chain in his hand, pressing the Scooby nose on and off. “No, it’s cool.”

“How about tomorrow? After track.”

“That’s fine,” Josh says. “Maybe Tyson and I will even stop by the meet.”

I smile for the first time all evening. Last year, Josh used to come to all my home meets just to wave and cheer me on. It makes me want to be honest and tell him what else I saw on the website, before he came over. But I can’t bring myself to say it. I look down at my new white carpet. What I saw would make things even more awkward between us. And for one night, I want to feel like things can be normal again.

“What is it?” Josh asks.

I’ll have to tell him eventually. “Tomorrow,” I say, “we should see if you have one of those web pages, too.”

I haven't read The Future of Us! Though, after reading this extract I sure want to. What do you think? Oh and don't forget to stop by The Story Siren on the 8th January for the next part of the blog tour!


  1. Can we be honest? We had absolutely zero interest/intention of reading this book, but that excerpt just changed our minds. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  2. Hehe, Scooby-Doo keychain. I wonder what else Emma saw. Cannot wait to read this, despite the mixed reviews.


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