Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs
About: Elena Martinez is a seventeen year old Hispanic with a photographic memory who has lived her life in the foster care system. With her impending birthday she needs to find a solution for her future, and fast. Tech business mogul, Aether Corporations, approach her and four other teens in dire situations to go 10 years in to the future to scout out new technology in exchange for a penchant that will set them for life. Their one instruction is to not look into their own fates. Instead, they arrive 30 years in the future where cars hover, and money and cell phones are obsolete and replaced with “flexis” that attach to the brain and retain information. Once arriving it is apparent that Adam, one of the teens, is a science prodigy who has discovered a cure for cancer and is trying to contact them, but for what reason?
Audrey’s Thoughts: Briggs deftly tackles extreme technologies, time travel, and provides insightful awareness in to the foster system and urban teen life in an impressive fashion. As the story progresses we find out all teens with the exception of Adam will die upon return creating a page turning whodunit up to the last chapter. All characters are gritty, yet likeable and empathetic. The violence and sexuality make this book a good fit for older teens and adults. Future Shock is a cyberpunk tour de force thrill ride that aptly provides urban fiction, sci-fi, and mystery. A guaranteed hit recommended for all young adult collections.
This review is also featured in VOYA, June 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 2).