Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book Club Discussions: So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

Thursday, February 7, 2013
As you probably know by now, I've joined a book club. I'm very excited about this and thought that you guys might be interested in our discussions. Hopefully you'll join in in the comments! This month's book is The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. At last, a book I hadn't already read! 

I hope you'll participate in the discussion in the comments with your own thoughts about this book. Also, I'm going to try a slightly different format for this post. Let me know what you think!
So Yesterday
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.
Summary from Goodreads
Plot
So Yesterday had so much potential to be, well, cool. The social hierarchy, with Innovators at the top, is realistic, but still contains a kind of fantastical feel. Add in a rebellious group who (supposedly) wants to overthrow the material obsession that seems to control so many people's lives?? Heck yes!

But we all agreed it fell short. The "rebellious group" was actually trying to help Cool continue. (Which is not cool, it's lame. But maybe that's there plan....) The mystery was highly predictable, made all the worse by the  fact that it was all told in the summary on the back cover.

The Characters
Hunter is okay. I can't really say more. He's passive, which is part of the plot, yes, but it doesn't make for a character any of us was going to fall in love with. (However, his random history tangents make  Jen, meanwhile, starts off as a bit of a manic pixie dream girl, but is decently developed after that. Hunter actually sees her fairly objectively. But her behavior at the end of the book doesn't fit with the rest of her characterization. Wanting to join the Jammers? Why would she, an Innovator who doesn't buy into corporate brainwashing, want to be apart of the Cool Pyramid? It doesn't make sense.

So is "Cool" necessary?
We didn't spend too much time on this. Why would we? So Yesterday didn't present any new ideas. And it was generally one-sided. Basically, So Yesterday wasn't criticizing cool, but criticizing the system for which preprocessed ideas of cool are distributed. Hunter has his occasional doubts and Jen is (kinda) antiCool, but for the most part, there wasn't much depth.

Parts we all liked: History tangents, six degrees of separation, the plots

The crux of it is, there wasn't much to discuss with this book! Hopefully this month's book will be better.

Have you read So Yesterday

2 comments:

  1. Ive heard of a book like this one! I hope I can check this out!

    www.booknerdsjourney.blogspot.com

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  2. So Yesterday definitely was not my favorite Westerfeld book. My mother liked it but I wasn't a huge fan. In my opinion, his Leviathan or Midnighters trilogies are MUCH better! You should check them out! He is one of my favorite authors

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