Published by Albert Whitman & Company on April 1, 2016
Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
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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.
This book was fast-paced, fun, and full of action! Future Shock brings a cast of characters together to go into the future and bring back information on what’s happening over there. Elena is an orphan, and we start the book with her being rejected from yet another job. Thus, when Aether Corporation provides an opportunity for her to make big bucks, of course she accepted.
Elena was chosen for her eidetic memory, and the other kids also have cool abilities. At first I thought by “special skills” in the blurb it meant they had powers or something. Haha, WELL, their skills were a bit more mundane than that, like being smart in a certain area. Each of them had an ability that helped them survive in the future. (Certainly not superpowers, but it did make them quite unique.)
Elena is a very tough character. She has a strong will and doesn’t take crap from anybody. We see glimpses into her past, as well as her fear that she’ll become a murderer that stems from it. Her character really develops as she and the other kids explore the future. The rest of the group was as exciting to read about, but I felt a little disconnected from them. We see more about their backstories and how they came to be what they are in the story, but it doesn’t make much of an impact since we’re always caught up in the action. For example, there is a quiet Asian girl (grr at that stereotype!) and we see small glimpses of her life such as a sister that got separated from her when they were young. However, I read it in a detached way and couldn’t muster up sympathy for their situation. It was sad, yes, but I didn’t care that much. So, I really liked the characters but I couldn’t fully connect to them.
At Aether Corporation, they’re given instructions that they have 24 hours to find out all they can about the world in ten years. However, Elena definitely has doubts on the whole thing. When they get sent into the future, it turns out they got sent 30 years ahead, not ten. From there, the kids have to find out why they were sent so far ahead and discover the risks of it all. Aether Corporation may not have been as generous as the money they gave them, and the stakes are high in this book.
The science behind the time-travel was minimal, but didn’t detract from the believability. The author’s take on the future was also fun to read about. We can see that there are quite a bit of changes, especially in the technology department, but many past things stayed the same. Usually I’m pretty skeptic about our world in the future, but this one was pretty well-developed and realistic.
An unexpected romance blooms between Elena and Adam, the only kid in the group who’s not an orphan. His character was also interesting to read about, but again, I could never fully connect to him. Although there wasn’t an instant attraction, their relationship does progress rather quickly. Keep in mind though that the group had 24 hours together, which meant more time for them to create experiences that could lead up to a romantic development. While it was pretty quick, I surprisingly found it realistic in their situation and environment. Adam is really sweet, and had a different upbringing than the other world-wary teens in the project. However, he provides a nice contrast to Elena’s tough exterior and they form a cute couple.
I’m not in this alone anymore. Together, we’ll change our future.
Overall, Future Shock was a quick read that offers a fun escape from the present. The ending was quite conclusive and satisfactory, and I’d definitely recommend this one for readers looking for an adventure to excite their day. The fun yet fleeting cast of diverse characters as well as the exhilarating plot will hook you to the pages right until the end.
Rating: 4 out of 5
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This book sounds super exciting and tense with all that action! I like the sound of Elena's special skills and how tough she is. A shame that you couldn't fully connect to the characteres though. I'm glad to hear there was diversity, even though it was a little stereotypical at times. Lovely review Aila!
I believe I gave this one a 2.5-star. I can't remember. I mean, it's INTERESTING. I feel like the side characters were so much cooler than the actual MC. Elena was so basic and trying to overwhelm the story all the time, and I couldn't have it with Adam. I totally agree, it's definitely a hook type of read! Terrific review, A!
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Ooh I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Nick!
The action and fast pace is really quite exciting, and it definitely did not disappoint. I'm so glad the time travel was simple too – make it complicated, and my head just cannot keep up (*cough* ORSON SCOTT CARD *cough*)
I can never resist a book about humans with supernatural abilities – especially Elena's. Glad you enjoyed this one!
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Well, their abilities aren't that supernatural 😛 It's definitely unique, but something that everyday people could have! I actually watched a documentary on eidetic memory, and it's surprising to see how many people actually have that ability, or a form of it. But the abilities are definitely a variety 😀
I hadn't heard of this but I tend to like books with a Scooby gang of kids and their escapades. Maybe I will check this out when it releases!
Jen @ YA Romantics
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That sounds awesome! I comes out soooon 😛 (I think I'm seeing pics of it in bookstores already!)
This is one that I'm looking forward to reading. I have read great things about her writing.
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Ooh, that's great to hear! The writing didn't really stand out for me, but the adventure and plot certainly did. It'll definitely whisk you off your feet!
Sounds good but I'm hesitant about the sci-fi time travel aspect. I don't do well with storylines like that. But maybe…
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Hmm, this one might not be for you if you don't like time travel then, since the plot centers around that aspect of the story. But the fun cast was also worth the read!
I read this one recently, and agree with much of your review! This was a fun, fast-paced read, it was so hard to put down. I wish there was a little more weight to the characters too, but I thought the adventure of the story was definitely worth the read. Glad you enjoyed this one too!
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Sounds like we basically had similar ideas for this book Charlene! Overall, I thought it was super light but forgettable. Reading it was quick though, so I'd definitely check it out again in the future 🙂
This sounds like a fun and a great read! Definitely have to check it out. Loved your review!
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Thanks so much Poulami! <3 It was definitely quick and fun. It'll fly by!
Oh yay, Aila! I have this one coming up for review and I'm thrilled to see you enjoyed it so much. I love that she has eidetic memory! And I'm always up for some action and some fast-pace. I actually like that the time travel is simple because too much gives me a headache and I wind up not enjoying it!
Great review, Aila! Can't wait to read it!
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Wonderful review, Aila! I haven’t heard about this book before. Sorry to hear you couldn’t fully connect with the characters, for me it’s very important to fell connection with characters.
I agree, but the fast plot definitely made up for it for me! I'm glad I brought this book to your attention 😀
This sounds super interesting, wonderful review!! xx
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Thanks so much! <3 It really is interesting – and the pages just flew by so quickly!