Disclosure: We may earn a small commission from products or recommendations mentioned in this post. This in no way influences our opinions. You won't pay more for purchasing through these links, and we'll be grateful for your support.
The Futures is a novel about love, betrayal and redemption. What was good and what was bad about this book? Let’s see.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Anna Pitoniak
Publication date: January 2017
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Julia and Evan fall in love as undergraduates at Yale. For Evan, a scholarship student from a Canadian logging town, Yale is a whole new world, and Julia—blonde, beautiful and rich—fits perfectly into the future he’s envisioned for himself. After graduation, and on the eve of the great financial meltdown of 2008, they move together to New York City, where Evan takes a job at a hedge fund. But Julia, who has only known a life of privilege, feels unmoored and increasingly shut out of Evan’s secretive world.
With the market crashing and banks failing, Evan becomes involved in an increasingly high-stakes deal at work—a deal that, despite the assurance of his Machiavellian boss, begins to feel more than slightly suspicious. Meanwhile, Julia reconnects with someone from her past who offers a glimpse of a different kind of life. As Evan and Julia spin apart into their separate orbits, they each find that they are capable of much more—good and bad—that they’d ever dreamed, and that betrayal is easier than they ever imagined.
Rich with suspense and insight, Pitoniak’s thrilling debut reveals the fragile yet enduring nature of our connections to one another and to ourselves. THE FUTURES is a glittering story of a couple coming of age and a tender, searing portrait of what it’s like to be young and full of hope in a city that often seems determined to break us down—but ultimately may be the very thing that saves us.Buy on Amazon Add to Goodreads
“It’s so tempting. Being told: this is who you are. This is how your life will go. This is what will make you happy. You will go to the right school, find the right job, marry the right man. You’ll do those things, and even if they feel wrong, you’ll keep doing them. Even if it breaks your heart, this is the way it’s done.”
The Worst: The unlikable characters.
The Best: The alternating point of views.
Who should read it? Someone looking for a contemporary quick read.
Would I recommend it? No.
The Futures had the premise of a realistic plot, simple enough to be easily relatable. At least that’s the idea I had after I’ve read the synopsis. It’s supposed to be about growing up, leaving university, finding your first job, figuring out what you want to be in life.
The main problem I found with this book – and I’ll add a warning that I’ve read the uncorrected advanced reader copy – was the chronological mess. You think dedicating a whole chapter to each character (alternating point of views) would give the author enough room to explore the timeline in a more organized way. Instead, we keep jumping from present to past events. I’m not saying a book needs to follow a chronological order, no, and that would probably ruin some of the surprises. But there are better ways to tell the story than overwhelming the reader with the constant flashbacks.
Another thing I wanted to be interested in was the 2008 financial crisis and Evan’s parallel story at his workplace, but there are too many pages with irrelevant details for something that seemed to be no more than a backdrop for Julia’s betrayal.
The main issue with the characters is that it’s not easy at all to sympathize with them. Considering the book is supposed to be an accurate portrayal of growing up – something we all have done, are doing, or will do eventually, the characters should have been more relatable. It’s true that nobody wants perfect characters who never make mistakes, but it was very difficult for me to relate to these privileged characters with dubious morals – rich people problems! I also felt that despite the fact that the book is a lot about growing up so we’d expect the characters to be young and somehow mature, both Julia and Evan act much younger than their age. The way Julia behaves is childish to say the least, and Evan’s character is confusing and difficult to understand. From a romance’s perspective it was interesting to see how both characters saw things so differently in the relationship, and I think the main lesson intended here was to show how we can often overlook our own mistakes and quickly blame the significant other. It was such a shame that the character’s development was not compelling enough to support the main idea.
The Writing Style
The story is a first person narrative told from two alternating point of views – Julia and Evan. Many of the events are narrated by both characters and I think that’s what I liked most about this book – the fact I could see how both reacted and interpreted situations differently. Apart from the chronological issues, I liked the writing style – simple, straight to the point, exactly what it needed to be to match the book’s content and tone.
Overall, The Futures is easy to read and the story narrative’s style was a smart choice. It has some plot twists that aren’t completely unpredictable but entertaining enough to keep you going. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get 3 stars for me, but doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy it more.
Portuguese geeky girl living in France. My first OS was Win 3.1 and Sony Playstation was officially the first console I’ve owned - of course that didn’t stop me from emulating SNES and GameBoy games, mostly RPGs. Roleplaying games were part of my childhood, they've expanded my horizons and made me start writing Fantasy too.