Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So Yesterday

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld
Hunter Braque is not your typical New York City teenager. He makes spare cash by "cool hunting" on the streets - spotting emerging trends and snapping photos with his phone to forward on to his employer. When he sees Jen (and her shoelaces - which are tied in a way that he has never seen before) he realizes right away that she is an innovator - she is one of those people who come up with new cool ideas. As Hunter introduces Jen to his world of watching and reporting, she introduces him to spontaneity and adventure. When a meeting with Mandy, who works for a major shoe company, goes awry, it looks like Mandy has been kidnapped. Some weirdly dressed, highly stylized people are chasing Hunter while he tries to locate Mandy and trying to stop Jen while she searches for the coolest shoes anyone has ever seen. Hunter and Jen have only known each other a few days, but they will have to trust each other if they are going to survive the weekend.
For a book about consumer culture, popular brands, and the next best thing in shopping, author Scott Westerfeld introduces a marvelous twist on name-dropping. He consciously refers to the companies through sarcastic description (a certain credit card company that is a four letter word) (A certain shoe company that shares its name with a Greek goddess) that share the inside joke with the reader instead of seeming like a product-placement. Hunter's unique voice, his observations about what he sees, and his insights about what it means to be cool make this book worth reading, although the mystery, adventure and romance don't hurt!
I listened to it - 6.5 hours.
Also, - I read about 50 pages of short stories by Edgar Allen Poe for book group this week - even though So Yesterday had already ruined Murders in the Rue Morgue for me...Seriously the day before I needed to read the story, Hunter was talking about innovators on this audiobook and said something like "And one day, Poe's child bride asked Edgar to write something new and he created the modern detective story and wrote Murders in the Rue Morgue. I'll save you some time - the monkey did it." AHHH! Sorry if I just gave it away for you too, but you see how this was bad for me in a coincidental way?


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