So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld
Publication: September 13, 2004 by Razorbill
(240 pages, hardcover)
Summary: Ever wonder who was the first kid to keep a wallet on a big chunky chain, or wear way-too-big-pants on purpose? What about the mythical first guy who wore his baseball cap backwards? These are the Innovators, the people on the very cusp of cool. Seventeen-year-old Hunter Braque’s job is finding them for the retail market. But when a big-money client disappears, Hunter must use all his cool-hunting talents to find her.Along the way he’s drawn into a web of brand-name intrigue—a missing cargo of the coolest shoes he’s ever seen, ads for products that don’t exist, and a shadowy group dedicated to the downfall of consumerism as we know it.
My thoughts: Going into So Yesterday, I definitely wasn't expecting a deep, thought-provoking story line like in his Uglies series. I was expecting something light and kind of edgy; but in all honesty, it was kind of a big letdown. It was interesting, and I was intrigued by the fast-paced plot and different society, but it wasn't enough in the end. Hunter was likable, as was Jen, but both characters fell flat. Also, the writing seemed out-of-place and awkward a lot of the time. Overall, I wouldn't recommend So Yesterday, unless you're looking for a quick, superficial read without any real meaning.
It's all fine to have a story that's about clothes and consumerism, but it's another to have one about clothes and consumerism and nothing else. The romance was superficial, since Hunter barely knew Jen when he decided he really, really liked her, so it wasn't really a strong point in the story. And the commentary on society today's obsession with clothes and advertisement seemed dull and forced. I was bored through a lot of the book, and counting down the pages anxiously.
Hunter was an alright character. He wasn't amazingly smart, and he wasn't super dumb either. I liked him fine, but I didn't have any sort of emotional connections to him at all. I recognize that as a short novel, it didn't have a lot of time to have a huge impact, but in the end, it had really no impact.
All that's not to say that the story was completely pointless and horrible. I liked the little tangents Hunter would go into sometimes. The non-stop action was pretty nice too. Really, the writing, while a bit clunky, wasn't that bad; it just wasn't spectacular, and paired with non-spectacular characters and plot lines, it didn't nearly live up to expectations. SO Yesterday wasn't a favorite of mine by any means, and I suggest skipping this one, to be completely honest.
Covering the Cover: I actually kind of like the cover. It's a bit busy, but it's interesting and eye-catching.
Overall Rating: 2.5 stars