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10 March 2006 @ 03:59 pm
Scott Westerfeld's SO YESTERDAY (4.5 stars)  
"Never give us what we really want. Cut the dream into pieces and scatter them like ashes. Dole out the empty promises. Package out aspirations and sell them to us, cheaply made enough to fall apart." ~ SO YESTERDAY

Cool is the new black. Oh nevermind. Scott Westerfeld's young adult novel SO YESTERDAY is a clever chase after what exactly is cool and who defines it, or (perhaps better said) who finds it. Teens either want to be told what is cool, or they want to tell the world what is cool. After all, everything cool had a beginning and a beginner, a starter, a creator, an innovator.

See, the world divides up nicely:

Innovators
Trend Setters
Early Adopters
Consumers
and
Laggards (aka Classicists).

Cargo pants...wide belts that don't go through any loops...gaucho pants...propeller hats (okay, so that never really caught on)...patches with safety pins...heelies...wife beaters...chained-up wallets...etc. Wrack your brain for the most obscure trend, and someone started that too.

Our friend Hunter is a trend setter in search of an innovator, and he finds one in standard, logo-exile Jen. And after he finds her, his weekend spirals into a frenzied flight from the anti-client (No, I'm not going to tell you about them) and a welcomed discovery of who he hasn't know he is. Until now. Until Jen.

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Newport2Newportnewport2newport on March 11th, 2006 01:40 am (UTC)
I feel like I should be posting this as "Anonymous," 'cause my opinion seems so out of the mainstream. But here it is, publicly posted: I'm sorry, but I really didn't like "So Yesterday." (GASP!) Yeah, the premise was good, but I just wasn't that hot about Westerfield's writing. But then again, I don't Faulkner, Hemingway, or Wolfe, either, so there you have it. It's probably just me.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on March 11th, 2006 02:15 am (UTC)
(Ag!) No, not really. I've just my doing one of those chick-lit parenthetical emotion things would be a little liberating. I can definitely see why people might not like his writing style. Terse. Fragmented. Avoidant. I didn't like quite a few of his historical inclusions/explanations. Those always seemed to drag.

At the same time, I loved his descriptions of logos/namebrands, like word puzzles or something. The whole idea of cool and this world of people who decide for others (the hierarchy, the launch parties, etc.) intrigued me. I guess I learned from his writing style whether or not I liked it all the way through.