Placement in Series: 1/?
Author: C.K. Kelly Martin
THEN: The formation of the UNA, the high threat of eco-terrorism, the mammoth rates of unemployment and subsequent escape into a world of virtual reality are things any student can read about in their 21st century textbooks and part of the normal background noise to Freya Kallas's life. Until that world starts to crumble.Review:
NOW: It's 1985. Freya Kallas has just moved across the world and into a new life. On the outside, she fits in at her new high school, but Freya feels nothing but removed. Her mother blames it on the grief over her father's death, but how does that explain the headaches and why do her memories feel so foggy? When Freya lays eyes on Garren Lowe, she can't get him out of her head. She's sure that she knows him, despite his insistence that they've never met. As Freya follows her instincts and pushes towards hidden truths, the two of them unveil a strange and dangerous world where their days may be numbered. Unsure who to trust, Freya and Garren go on the run from powerful forces determined to tear them apart and keep them from discovering the truth about their shared pasts (and futures), her visions, and the time and place they really came from.
(Only slightly spoiler-y -- nothing that would ruin the book or anything major with the plot, I promise)
A mix of time-travel sci-fi, apocalyptic, and Canada (!!!!), Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin was a fascinating read. It opens up with a prologue that pulls the reader right into the action, with the main character, (futuristic) Freya, in serious distress (her brother has just been taken from her through sickness, and she is being taken somewhere unknown with her mother for protection).
The book then takes us to the life of 1985 Freya, who has just moved from Australia to Canada to start over after her father died. Except nothing feels right to Freya; she has all of these memories from her past, but feels no connection to them. Then on a trip to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum, for all of you non-Canadians/Torontonians/GTA'ers), she catches sight of someone who seems very familiar to her, someone who she is sure she knows, but cannot place her finger on how or why or from where.
The first few chapters take us through Freya's mind, as she seemingly becomes crazier and crazier - getting headaches, passing out, stalking a familiar-looking guy... But once she musters up the courage to confront the guy, things take a tail-spin downhill as Freya is forced to go on the run just as everything is finally clicking into place.
I found myself pulled so far into the book that one minute I would look at my clock and it would be 11pm (I'm a night reader), and what would feel like only a few minutes later I would look again and it would be past 2am (I didn't mean to be a morning reader!). The action and suspense of Yesterday dragged me in. Though I was certain I knew what had happened to Freya (I don't think it was supposed to be much of a secret to the reader), I found myself gripping the pages wanting to know what would happen to Freya, how she would remember, if she would remember, and how she would convince Garren (the aforementioned familiar-seeming guy) what she felt was true.
This book was an interesting mix of suspense and action and mystery, with just the right amount of romance. Yes, there is romance (Of course!). The relationship between Garren and Freya is gradual, which made it entirely believeable (no insta-love here!). And a nice plus for those of you sick of romance in YA - it far from overshadows the rest of the story. Natural, gradual relationships are always the best (and most believeable), and Yesterday has just that (because let's be honest: who doesn't want a little - or a lot of - romance in their reads?).
What I found most interesting was the future C.K. Kelly Martin dreamed up for this book. It is not until the midpoint of Yesterday where the reader finally learns (and Freya remembers) where she came from. While it is all thrust upon the reader at once, I enjoyed the few pages of world-building. They were well-written and intriguing, and since they were thrust upon Freya, it made sense they were thus thrust upon the reader. I have seen reviews where other readers did not enjoy the dumping of information all at once, but I found no issue with it, for it made sense with the story. The future world the author built seemed entirely realistic (although I pictured this future being a lot more far off then under eighty years, but you never know!) and threatening, which is what I love when it comes to dystopias and (post-)apocalyptics.
There is one small thing I want to mention/point out that really impressed/pleased me with this book. One character (Garren) has two moms (married to each other), and it was written in in the best way. There was no special mention, no paragraph or anything about how this was unnatural to some or anything. It just was. He has two moms and Freya and every other character accepted it without question. I admit I was waiting for the paragraph I assumed would follow the mention of his moms to say something about the fact that he has no dad or how this happened or anything (especially considering that part of the book took place in what used to be the USA before the UNA-United Nations of America) was formed, and gay marriage is still not legal/accepted everywhere in the States yet. If there's one thing we can hope the future takes from this book, it's that amount of acceptance. And I just wanted to point that out because I thought it was awesome.
And of course I have to add in a little bit about the book taking place so close to where I was born, raised, and still live. I have read some books that take place in Canada, but this is the only I've read that's taken place so close. And even though I did not exist in 1985, it was fun reading about street names and subway stations and places (Eaton Centre and The ROM most specifically) I've been to/know of. That's something I'll miss when it comes to the sequel (date TBA, title: Tomorrow).
I recommend this book for: Highly recommended for those of you who love action, sci-fi, and apocalyptics. Heck, even if you only like 2/3 of those elements.
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