- Yesterday Is History by Kosoko Jackson
Jackson, Kosoko Yesterday Is History. Sourcebooks Fire, 2021 [320p] Trade ed. ISBN 9781492694342 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 9781492694359 $17.99 Reviewed from digital galleys
Andre's gay, Black, and a cancer survivor, and now his liver donor's mom has just revealed a new fact: along with the lifesaving organ, he also received his donor's ability to time travel. It's a lot for one seventeen-year-old to handle gracefully, but Andre does his best, reminding himself that at least he's alive to have to negotiate all of it. Before he learns how to control the power, he is zapped back to 1969 where he meets Michael, with whom he feels an instant connection. Back in the modern world, Blake, the brother of Andre's donor, is trying to train Andre on the rules of time travel while also clearly falling head over heels for him. Andre has strong feelings for both Michael and Blake and doesn't want to hurt either of them, and he's also feeling the strain of bouncing between the two times, especially as his body begins to reject his time-traveling liver. It is narratively lucky that he meets two devoted, kind, passionate young men nearly at once, but it makes the tender, mournful unraveling of connections all the more compelling and memorable: it would be much easier if Blake or Michael was a jerk rather than both being flawed but ultimately utterly adorable potential boyfriends. This gem of a novel is a stellar entry in the niche category of transplant romance (see also Takaoka's Everything I Thought I Knew, BCCB 10/20) and it should be snapped up by both romance and sci fi fans.