Study Guide

The Future of Us Summary

By Asher, Jay and Mackler, Carolyn

The Future of Us Summary

Emma and Josh are teenagers in 1996. They are neighbors and used to be best friends—until Josh admitted that he liked Emma and things got awkward. Together, they discover a CD-ROM that let's them access their Facebook accounts.

But wait… it's 1996. Facebook hasn't been invented yet.

Emma's future life looks pretty average. She has a normal husband (whom she hasn't met yet) and is unemployed. Josh, on the other hand hits the jackpot; he ends up married to Sydney Mills. And for those of you who don't go to Lake Forest High, Sydney Mills is the hottest girl in school.

Emma and Josh quickly realize that their day-to-day actions change what happens on their future Facebook accounts. For example, a simple experience changes Emma's status about her favorite food from macaroni and cheese to lasagna. (14.39). Huh? And these simple changes escalate quickly into rapidly changing careers, kids, and partners—especially for Emma, who keeps trying to get a future she likes better.

Josh immediately starts hunting down Sydney—he can't wait to start his future—but Emma keeps doing things to meddle with what's to come and, in doing so, only makes her future worse. You can imagine what comes next: Emma gets jealous of Josh, and Josh gets angry with Emma for playing with fate. After all, anything that she does could do something to mess with his life with Sydney.

Emma and Josh's fight gets so bad that they aren't even Facebook friends in the future. Yikes. Josh's future with Sydney is looking like a reality, but they're missing the chemistry that he had hoped for. And Emma jumps from guy to guy, both in the present and the future, and each time she ends up more miserable than before.

So they do a bit of soul-searching. Finally, (as we breathe a sigh of relief) they realize that there's something missing. Something obvious. Josh still has feelings for Emma, even though Sydney is the greatest thing ever. And Emma realizes that maybe she feels like Josh should be more than a friend after all.

With some coaxing from their friends Tyson and Kellan, Emma and Josh come to their senses and admit to liking each other. At the same time, Future Emma decides to delete her Facebook account. This leaves Emma and Josh in the 90s free to make their own decisions and truly leave their future up to fate.

Ten bucks they end up married in fifteen years.