Future Imperfect by K. Ryer Breese is YA novel about a boy who can see the future, but to do so he needs to be knocked out. And after seeing the future he experiences the Buzz, and that is all he cares about until (you guessed it) a girl comes into his life.
The book isn’t bad, and you are so easily drawn into the world of Mantlo and the characters in the life of Ade Patience, our protagonist. I found myself unable to put it down when I actually sat down to read, regardless of what was going on. Something is always going on, but that isn’t to say it’s all action. The thing that kept me reading was the need to know what happens next. Ade has visions of the future and he spends a lot of his time thinking (I should mention it’s first person) of how his life is going to get to that point. Doctors tell him that being knocked out as much as he is, he risks concussion and coma. Yet the life he sees is dandy, so he doesn’t worry.
The Diviners come into the novel about half way and I consider this the kind of turning point of the book, the top of the hill, before things got a bit weird. I won’t explain who they are because their absence is kind of important. But the problem is that Ade starts to understand his psychic ability a bit more, but the explanations are confusing. In trying to be colloquial and analogical, I got more confused than beforehand at some points. It got to a point where I just said okay, I’ll just accept that and move on. It doesn’t ruin the story, but it makes it forgetful.
I liked the romance more than I expected to. I don’t really like the whole “fated to be together” nonsense I read sometimes, and the kind you’d expect in a book where your ‘hero’ can see the future, but it was played down more. Vauxhall (which persistently reminded me of cars) is the yin to his yang. That sounds cheesy, and reading it back I can’t believe I’m going to say this: I believed it. I think it lay in how she was a likable character once the slight promiscuity element was moved past, and I found her interesting itself.
The story is bit disgusting in places, and it uses Ade’s addiction to the Buzz as a kind of allegory for drugs, albeit the best drug on the planet, so it’s not really a Young YA (YYA?) but a more mature one, I’d say (MYA?). I also disliked the implicit preachiness of how Ade’s life was so much better once he didn’t need the Buzz. How it was a great weight of his shoulders, yadder, yadder, yadder. And man was is it easy for him! Most stories of people going cold-turkey are not pleasant; Ade here just seemed to brush it off.
I’ll finish off here, before I starting picking holes in the story, but I think the main reason I liked this was a) the psychic element because it was interesting to watch it change and manifest and b) the romance I didn’t expect to like. Some of the big shocks in the story, the terrible home truths, the dirty secrets and the skeletons in the closet all felt downplayed and Ade seemed to nonchalant. Saying that though, they were still good.
I think I’m torn about the book because I think I’m too harsh (I did enjoy it after all) and looking back it can’t have been that bad, but I think reading it, actually physically sitting down and reading it, isn’t as good as it should be.