So Yesterday (novel)

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So Yesterday
Author Scott Westerfeld
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult
Publisher Penguin Group
Publication date
September 9, 2004[1]
Media type Print (hardback)
Print (paperback)
Pages 240 pp (hardback)[2]
256 pp (paperback)[3]
ISBN 978-1-59514-000-5

So Yesterday is a novel by Scott Westerfeld published in 2004. It has won a Victorian Premier's Award[4] and is also an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.[5] So Yesterday, the author's third publication, is considered his "breakout novel" and has been optioned to be made into a film by one of the producers of Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine.[6] This YA novel explores issues surrounding marketing, especially marketing targeted at youth.

Synopsis[edit]

A seventeen-year-old high schooler named Hunter works as a cool hunter, finding and selling new trends to his corporate sponsors. His latest find is Jen, an honest-to-goodness 'Innovator' whom he spots based on her unique shoelaces. Together they are drawn into a mystery when one of Hunter's bosses disappears after she runs a 'cool tasting' for a new brand of shoe. What he finds ends up to be nothing like he had expected.

Characters[edit]

  • Hunter is a teenage boy who is what is known as a 'cool hunter.' He is paid by corporations to go out on the streets and figure out what is 'cool.'
  • Jen is a teenage girl and potential love interest for Hunter. She is what is known as an 'innovator,' meaning she is creative and comes up with new fashion trends.
  • Mandy is Hunter's boss. She works for 'the client,' which is a shoe company (presumably Nike)and at the beginning of the novel she mysteriously goes missing.
  • The Bald Man is someone involved with Mandy's disappearance who follows Hunter and Jen.
  • NASCAR Man is a mysterious person working with the Bald Man in some sort of conspiracy.
  • Mwadi Wickersham is a roller skate enthusiast who is also involved in Mandy's disappearance somehow.
  • Futura Garamond is a mysterious man who has been fired from countless jobs and is known for creating text that is unreadable (his name is a combination of two different text fonts).
  • Hilary Winston-Hyphen-Smith is also a cool hunter like Hunter. She is a socialite and reluctantly helps Hunter and Jen in their search for Mandy.

Conspiracy Theory Theme[edit]

Many of Westerfeld’s novels include a theme of uncovering a conspiracy and rebelling against what is expected. Typically the protagonist is happy to conform (like Hunter in this novel who doesn’t want to be an innovator and is content to comment and record trends rather than create them). When Hunter meets Jen, however, his current way of thinking is challenged. Ultimately, Hunter begins to see the benefit to Jen’s way of thinking as he starts to question the way things have always been. This novel explores consumerism as a conspiracy and pushes against the ideas that we as a culture should support businesses and trends, and instead suggesting that it is better to be an innovator of our own life. Like all of Westerfeld’s books, the reader comes away feeling a renewed desire to think as an individual and to be conscious about the choices made each day.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Penguin Group
  2. ^ Borders.com
  3. ^ Borders.com
  4. ^ "The Prize for Young Adult Fiction: Winner 2005", State Library of Victoria, retrieved March 5, 2010 
  5. ^ "Best Books for Young Adults 2005", Young Adult Library Services Association, retrieved March 5, 2010 
  6. ^ "The king of cool codes", The Age, January 28, 2006, retrieved March 5, 2010