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Reviewed by:
  • Yesterday
  • Claire Gross
Martin, C. K. Kelly . Yesterday. Random House, 2012. [368p]. Library ed. ISBN 978-0-375-96650-7 $19.99 Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-375-86650-0 $16.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-375-89644-6 $10.99 Reviewed from galleys Ad Gr. 9-12.

After a dystopian prologue that lets the reader know that life is not what it seems, Freya wakes up in 1985 Canada with a set of memories that say she's a recent transplant from New Zealand, where her father died in a gas explosion. She can't reconcile these memories with her dreams and instincts, though, and when she sees a startlingly familiar boy on a class trip, she follows him home and starts to unravel the mystery of her identity and past. This intriguing beginning plays with perception and reality in a layered plot that never quite lets readers know where they stand. Unfortunately, this flattens into a more standard, linear action-adventure after hypnosis unlocks Freya's memory, filling readers in on seventy-eight years of environmental disaster and political turmoil with contrived exposition that reads like an excerpt from a history textbook. Relationships take precedence over world-building, with the book mainly focusing on the two teens trying to live their own lives separate from the attempts at world-saving unfolding around them. That's a compelling story, but it means that many fascinating aspects of the setup (which include a devastating future plague, a wormhole that sends people on a one-way trip to the past, and a plan to fix the future that's already created numerous paradoxes) are provocatively introduced but then never really developed. The slow development of the star-crossed romance (combined with Martin's chick-lit pedigree) will [End Page 36] ease unfamiliar readers into the dystopian genre, however, and the open ending leaves room for a sequel that could explore some of the threads left dangling.



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pp. 36-37
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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