Genres: Mystery & Detective, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by Albert Whitman and Company on April 1, 2016
Reading Challenges: 2016 Good Reads Challenge, 2016 NetGalley Reading Challenge
Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Goodreads
Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life--or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can't say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future to bring back data, and she'll be set for life.
Elena joins a team of four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy with his own reason for being there. But when the time travelers arrive in the future, something goes wrong and they break the only rule they were given: do not look into their own fates.
Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding. With time running out and deadly secrets uncovered, Elena must use her eidetic memory, street smarts, and a growing trust in Adam to save her new friends and herself.
Future Shock follows the story of five teens who are sent to the future by a company known as Aether. They’re only supposed to go ten years ahead, but when they come out on the other side, it’s thirty years in the future. Each teen was selected for their special talents; Elena Martinez was chosen because of her eidetic memory, which will be invaluable for remembering everything they see in the future. But she has a violent streak, one that she is constantly concerned about controlling. When the teens are greeted by surprising and unwanted news in the future, they go against Aether’s warning to not look into their future selves’ lives. Then its a race against time to figure out how to change their own futures (which are currently in the past), and try not to get stuck in the present (their future) in the meantime.
So this book clips along at brisk pace; Elizabeth Briggs does away with any unnecessary information or descriptions, giving only the straightforward plot, and just enough information about each character to give them realized personalities. I liked how fast-paced everything was. Because they only have 24 hours in the future, they are practically sprinting from location to location, with hardly any downtime. They pick up clues along the way that builds a mystery, one they hope to change in their own immediate futures.
I liked the characters; they were all suspicious, anxious teens who were curious about the future, but not trusting of anyone. It was interesting to have a group of main characters that were, for the most part, in the conflict for self-serving reasons. Elena is pretty no-nonsense, and she is pretty willing to go as far as necessary to keep everyone safe. The others are not as self-sacrificing as she is, and I thought for sure they would split up at some point in an ‘every man for himself’ play.
There’s a sweet romance between Elena and Adam, one of the other teens, though it happens super quick. It’s not really instalove, but since they only know each other for 24 hours, there were moments where their relationship moved rather quickly. But it was cute, especially since Elena recognizes that Adam is not her usual ‘type’ (which I guess is like, big and violent or something). Adam is hot, by description, but he’s a genius, and dubbed a total nerd by the other teens. Still, they grow close during their insane adventure in the future, and it’s acceptably sweet.
The one big problem I had with this book was that Elena finds out something that she does in her own future, and then she resigns herself to the fact that she’s going to do it. I kept thinking, “hey Elena, have you maybe thought about NOT doing that terrible thing? No? Ok cool.” It was really quiet ridiculous and annoying. She was always moping and being like “I can’t believe I’m going to do this awful thing.” MAYBE JUST DON’T DO THE AWFUL THING ELENA. IT HASN’T HAPPENED YET.
I digress. I think lots of people will enjoy this fast-paced sci-fi. It’s a mystery, a time travel story, a romance, an adventure with fun sci-fi gadgets; there’s a lot here to like.
Content: Kissing. Some violence. Recommended for 14+.