I loved this story. John Chu’s “Thirty Seconds from Now” is wonderful in it’s ability to mirror the sense of destiny that comes with falling in love, especially young love. The main character, Scott, is a juggler and a college junior. He has a magical ability to sensually preview the future, well, kind of. He is attuned to the myriad possible forms the future may take, and he can explore these possible futures with all of his senses. He’s kind of like a synesthetic daydreamer, haunted by the phantoms of what may be. And his future is love, and his future is heartbreak.
Because of Scott’s unique ability to sense the feelings of a future self, to embody the present and project that same body into the futurally orientated search for sensual experiences, Chu can rely on an inventive structure for this love story. He mixes past, present, and future tenses, overwhelming the reader in the same way that infatuation, that the early stages of love, can wreak havoc on one’s sense of linear time. We stay in the moment before Scott meets Tony, but we also wander with him through the intense build up and the break down of their love.