I read this novel a few months ago when I was in the library and thought “I need to read some new novels”. So I went to Scott Westerfeld’s section and picked out a novel I hadn’t read before; So Yesterday. Warning that this post may contain spoilers.
The storyline was average. It’s interesting enough do keep you reading but with cliffhangers like “They were the coolest shoes we’d ever seen”, it wasn’t a I-can’t-put-you-down book. If you’re a nerd and couldn’t really care less about what’s apparently ‘cool’ or ‘in fashion’, then this novel isn’t really going to draw you in. The main character, Hunter, seems entirely focussed on what’s cool and what isn’t (I mean, it is his job, but still). While Westerfeld’s writing makes it seem that what is happening in each scene is very important and world-changing, when you take a step back, it appears to be the exact opposite.
Reading the blurb you’d assume that this book is a fantasy, but it isn’t. I was disappointed when I discovered how ordinary and normal the storyline was. It was a story that actually could (but probably wouldn’t) happen in real life. I think Westerfeld does Sci-Fi and fantasy better to be honest which might be why he tried to make it seem like it was in the blurb; to pull his usual readers in and then let them down with a completely normal story.
After reading many of Westerfeld’s novels (others of which I will post reviews on in the future) I think I’m starting to see a pattern; if there is a girl and a guy around the same age in the story, they will end out having a romantic relationship. It’s very predictable and kind of irritating, and also entirely unrealistic. Teenage males and females are actually capable just be friends, but not according to Scott Westerfeld.
Don’t get me wrong, the novel isn’t exactly bad. Westerfeld’s writing style really helps the story along. Without it, the novel would be doomed to fail, but with it, the story has interest, humour and entertainment. I did want to know what happened to the characters, but I didn’t have to find out straight away. Unfortunately, So Yesterday didn’t have any neat little tricks or educational chapters like in Peeps and The Last Days.
Despite this, the book has an educational side as well, sort of. It shows how companies use advertising to manipulate people (especially teenagers) into buying their product. It sends out a kind of warning message to teenagers; what you think is cool isn’t really, it’s just what major companies and corporations want you to think.
Favourite character: Mandy
Least favourite character: Jen
Favourite scene: Hunter asking the library how to put on a bow-tie
Least favourite scene: All the discussion about the ‘cool’ shoes