In The Here and Now , Ann Brashares takes the old and overdone dystopia genre and gives it new life by bringing a damaged future into the present. Prenna James is an immigrant, but she comes from the future-a dark future where blood plagues and food shortages make life unlivable. She and a small group of other immigrants form a secret community trying to blend in with life in 2014. Life is better, but Prenna feels bound by the strict rules and constant surveillance by community leaders. When Prenna breaks some rules and forms a bond with Ethan Jarves, a 'time native' who senses something different about the time travelers, her world changes. Together, Prenna and Ethan must discover how to change the present and prevent an awful future.
The Here and Now has all the elements that draw dystopian readers-controlling governments and leaders, intrigue, impending world disaster, and a little romance. However, Brashares adds the exciting twist of time travel and an ability to change the future. Ethan and Prenna are interesting and well-written characters with typical teenage concerns as well as admirable maturity. Their story is a captivating mystery where elements of science fiction combine with a contemporary plot. With these style combinations, The Here and Now will appeal to a wide variety of teen readers. Conservative readers should be aware the characters talk about sex, but it is not a major plot point and no teen sex occurs.