- Paperback: 225 pages
- Publisher: Razorbill; Reprint edition (8 Sept. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1595140328
- ISBN-13: 978-1595140326
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 17.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 700,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
So Yesterday Paperback – 8 Sep 2005
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"Westerfield tackles the merchantry of cool like no other YA author offering a witty and provocative investigation of the surrealistic world of marketing and status."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Scott Westerfeld lives in New York, New York and Sydney, Australia.
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I think I was expecting some sort of science fiction thriller or spy novel from this book's blurb, but I got something quite different. "So Yesterday" is actually a novel set in contemporary New York about trends, fads and fashions. The main character, Hunter, is aptly named - like a market researcher, he hunts for new trends that will be the next big thing in the world of consumerism. One day, however, he stumbles on something a little more unusual and sinister.
There were a lot of points that I really liked here. Firstly, the concept was refreshing. I've lost count of how many times books include superficial characters (usually airhead blondes) obsessed with clothes and popularity, but in "So Yesterday", fashion and trends are discussed in a very intelligent fashion, and the fashion-obsessed characters come across as anything but superficial! This is something I definitely don't see very often, and I loved it. It's refreshing to see a book that doesn't associate style with arrogance, stupidity, or sexuality. It shows that fashion and popularity don't have to be linked to stereotypical, demonised bimbos, and has a much more realistic portrayal of associated issues. It also comes at the topic from a marketing perspective, equally unusual, and raises some interesting points about social behaviour.
The characters were very well done, all coming across as being believable and sympathetic. I found it easy to like them, even though I didn't really have much in common with any of them.
My only gripe with "So Yesterday" is the fact that the plot lost direction about halfway through. It began very promisingly, building up suspense, and in the middle of the book came a fantastic scene full of mystery and action. I couldn't wait to find out the secrets behind it all. But then it all drifted off into obscurity. The most interesting questions in the book were never answered, and no hints were given about the eventual outcome. This made the story seem realistic, but I found it rather disappointing. At the halfway mark, the book could have gone off in many different ways, all with clever conspiracies and mysteries, but it simply degenerated into more of the same old thing it started out with.
Overall, this was a pretty good book, and a refreshing one. However, the plot ground to a halt in the second half, not coming close to fulfilling its potential. I can only give it 3.5/5 stars because of that (or 4 on Amazon's rating system).
Cool is the new black. Oh nevermind. Scott Westerfeld's young adult novel SO YESTERDAY is a clever chase after what exactly is cool and who defines it, or (perhaps better said) who finds it. Teens either want to be told what is cool, or they want to tell the world what is cool. After all, everything cool had a beginning and a beginner, a starter, a creator, an innovator.
See, the world divides up nicely:
Laggards (aka Classicists).
Cargo pants...wide belts that don't go through any loops...gaucho pants...propeller hats (okay, so that never really caught on)...patches with safety pins...heelies...wife beaters...chained-up wallets...etc. Wrack your brain for the most obscure trend, and someone started that too.
Our friend Hunter is a trend setter in search of an innovator, and he finds one in standard, logo-exile Jen. And after he finds her, his weekend spirals into a frenzied flight from the anti-client (No, I'm not going to tell you about them) and a welcomed discovery of who he hasn't known he is. Until now. Until Jen.
Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens
But what if there's a group that's trying to undo the work of all the marketers and trendsetters (these would clearly be my people)? Are they the anti-cool? What if they themselves somehow become cool? This is the premise of Westerfeld's book. When Hunter (a Trendsetter) discovers the ultimate shoes in an abandoned building in Chinatown, he's determined to find out where they come from and whether they have anything to do with his boss's disappearance (her phone was found in the same building, but nobody seems to know where she is). What he learns about the "cool pyramid" and it's relationship to revolutionary France makes him re-evaluate his own status as a Trendsetter. It also gave me a lot of food for thought on the subject.