Publishing Info: April 1, 2016 by Albert Whitman & Company
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 3, 2016
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.
I’m always so impressed with the different ways authors explain how time travel is possible in their stories and I’m constantly floored by the way science and fiction blend. FUTURE SHOCK ended up not really working for me on that level so it was a hard adjustment to make while reading.
As a whole, this book was… okay for me. The very first chapter started out great and the book really didn’t waste any time getting into the meat of the story. That’s usually something I appreciate because it’s hard when I get halfway through a book to feel a chance in pacing or action, but with FUTURE SHOCK, I really felt like things moved a little too fast. There didn’t seem to be much explanation at all about how the time travel worked and yes, the teens involved in this project were in great need of the money that they were offered in exchange for participating but I feel like someone should have asked a few more questions before BAM, kids in the future. It was a little hard to make such a quick leap from not even knowing time travel was possible to fully accepting and not even needing answers before agreeing to be shot ahead in time.
Aside from the characters getting to know more about the process, I personally also wanted to know so much more. How was it possible? Who designed the technology? What’s the science behind it? I felt like the book glossed over the explanation and it was mentioned briefly instead of really being a solid part of groundwork that made up the book.
FUTURE SHOCK just felt a little inside the box for me. The time travel aspect felt like something I’ve read so many times before and there wasn’t too much that made this book really stand apart from the rest. There were a few twists that kept me reading and there were a couple dynamic characters (although two of the secondary characters felt exactly the same to me) but it just felt like it fit into too many different molds and didn’t really stand out as something unique and noteworthy. I waffled back and forth for a while, wondering if I really wanted to continue and I did something I NEVER do — I skipped to the end to see if it was worth reading. I actually did like the little twist that I discovered (YES, I spoiled the book for myself. Let’s all gasp!) so I kept on reading but I still didn’t find myself as engaged as I had hoped. Once the book wrapped up, I was still happy with the twist but I still found myself feeling less than impressed.
Don’t get me wrong — FUTURE SHOCK wasn’t a bad book. I just didn’t feel like it stood out at all for me. It was a solid, middle-of-the-road read but not one I’d really lean towards recommending. There are just so many more impressive and creative time travel or alternate universe stories that I would recommend first. It was nice to read a stand alone though because so often time travel books turn into series so it was great to read it and have the full story.
“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Kept Me Hooked On: Time travel. I always love a good time travel and it’s always so interesting to see how the author spins their own story.
Left Me Wanting More: Originality. 30 years into the future? I was totally getting a Back to the Future Part II vibe… more than once. It just felt a little too like so many other time travel stories I’ve read before.
Get a second opinion
Some seemed to enjoy this but this wouldn’t be one I’d jump to recommend. I’d say check out some reviews and see what you might like/dislike and make a decision from there!
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