Great Reads brings you book reviews on teen books that parents will love from such great young adult authors as Garth Nix, Clare Dunkle, DJ Machale, Stephanie Meyer and many more.

Monday, March 17, 2008

So Yesterday, Scott Westerfeld

"So Yesterday" is a great read by prolific author Scott Westerfeld. I think at this point I've ready most of his books- they're always inventive, have great characters and engaging stories that keep you reading. "So Yesterday" is no exception.

17-year-old Hunter has a job that would make most teens jealous. He's a trendsetter- which means that Hunter participates in product focus groups, makes a little money, gets tons of free clothes and shoes, and is constantly on the look out for the next trend. His newest find is shoelaces, tied in a unique pattern by Jen- another teen he meets after snapping a picture of her shoes. Jen is what Hunter calls an innovator- you know, the person who first started wearing jammies to class, or who thought it was cool to where their pants too low. Hunter immediately likes Jen and brings her to a focus group for a new commercial. But Jen's "Innovator" brain and ideas nearly get Hunter into trouble (as they tend to rock the boat too much), but his boss Mandy, also likes Jen and asks the two of them to meet her at a warehouse to see a new product.

But when Hunter and Jen arrive, they don't find Mandy anywhere- only her cell phone which holds a dark image of a man that may or may not have something to do with her disappearance. As Hunter and Jen struggle to find out what happened to her, and what's up with the huge stash of the most amazing anti-logo (sort of like a Nike swoosh with a slash through it) shoes they've found, they end up deeper and deeper in a consumer conspiracy that involves fake shampoo, subliminal messages and a pair of shoes that threatens to change the consumer world as we know it.

"So Yesterday" is definitely a satire of our consumer driven society, but the book takes itself and its characters seriously (much in the way that "Uglies" is a commentary on society and our desire to be beautiful). It has a message, and a good one, about accepting yourself no matter whether others consider you "cool" or not. Most teens will identify with Hunter and Jen in different ways (heck, I know I started a certain up-do hair trend in high school, but sadly will never get the credit for it). If you like Westerfeld's another novels, you'll be sure to enjoy this one.

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