I have to say, I’m really torn on this one. In fact, I had to sit on it for a few days before actually writing the review. I thought maybe if I stepped back and thought about it for a while, it might be easier to write it up, but it’s not. Bear with me…
We start out in 1985 in Ontario, Canada where we meet Freya. Something about her life feels off. She knows her family yet she doesn’t really feel close to them. She remembers things from her past, but the memories don’t really bring up any real emotions. What’s really freaking her out is that she can sense things before they happen. When she sees a guy who looks very familiar, she is drawn to him. Garren (the guy) has no idea who she is, but the more they talk, the more they realize they have in common. The deeper they dig into their similarities, the more dangerous things get for them and before they know it they’re on the run from some people who are determined to keep them from finding out too much. See, Freya and Garren are from the future where technology controls pretty much everything, and the evil “men in black” will do anything to keep them quiet.
Let me start with what I liked about the book. First of all — 1985. I’m an 80′s kid, so the 80′s references were awesome and I felt the author did a great job placing me there. Since this is a book for teens, many of the references will probably be lost on them, but I really liked it. At first I thought it odd that she would set the “past” part of the novel in the 80′s, but then again it makes sense. We didn’t have a whole lot of technology back then outside of TV’s. We didn’t even have email or websites (the horror!) Since one of the main plot points was to show what a difference technology makes (and in the case of this book how it can control us to the point of being a weapon) it worked. Secondly, I liked the idea of the story — technology controls EVERYTHING in this future (even sex — I don’t mean gender either, but the bow chicka wow-wow kind). It was actually believable. I mean look how dependent on our smartphones a lot of people are. Anyway…
I also liked the characters for the most part. I didn’t feel like either Freya or Garren were particularly unique from a lot of other characters I’ve read in other dystopian novels, and they’re probably not my favorite, but I did like them and I did feel for them. I did like how their relationship wasn’t an immediate “I’ll die without you if you ever leave me.” It felt more realistic.
My biggest problem with the book was the execution. The story was moving along at a descent pace (in my opinion it could have had a little more action, but that’s just me) and then when the future is revealed it hits with a huge boat-load of information that I never felt I was able to fully process. This left me feeling a little overwhelmed and a little confused. From that point on I just felt really jumbled and I had to do a lot of flipping back and forth, which, in turn, made me start to lose interest.
The writing is good, and the story unique, but Yesterday felt a little too jumbled for me. Is it worth checking out? Sure, but it’s not one I would put at the top of my list of recommendations.