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I Belong

Early Review: Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin

Yesterday by C.K. Kelly MartinTitle: Yesterday

Author: C.K. Kelly Martin

Genre: YA Dystopian

Series: N/A

Publication Date: September 25, 2012

Format: Hardback, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 0375866507 (Random House)

ISBN-13: 978-0375866500 (Random House)

Reviewed by: Sheila


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.

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.

Yesterday will appeal to fans of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner, Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Amy Ryan’s Glow, Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Ally Condie’s Matched.

Quick & Dirty: Time traveling teenagers that lost their memories of the future, but try desperately to seek out the truth behind their situations.

Opening SentenceWhen I wake up I have a pounding headache behind my eyes just like I’ve had: every morning lately.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin is a tale of futuristic dystopian madness, or is it?  Sixteen-year-old Freya Kallas keeps having visions of a time far removed from good ole 1985.  Is her sense of disassociation and anti-social tendencies because of her father’s untimely death and her family’s subsequent move abroad, or is it something far more science fiction?  And who is this mysterious boy that she has never met before, but has a deep seated feeling of familiarity with?  This is a story of fantastical realities and two kids caught up in an attempt to secure a future for the human race.

Freya Kallas’s character is hard to pin down.  The girl we get to know in the beginning of the book is nothing like what we are left with at the end: it is on purpose.  Though she becomes obsessed with these feelings and dreams so different from the life she knows, there is a kernel of doubt lingering on the sidelines.  It is as if she is either a girl from the future with her memory wiped or delusional and in need of psychiatric treatment.  Lucky for Freya, she finds a kindred soul amidst the madness.

Garren Lowe is 18 and happy with his lot.  At least he was until a girl stumbled into his life with these totally outrageous claims of them knowing each other.  Although Garren’s character is the voice of skepticism in this duo, his mere presence drives Freya to seek the truth behind their mutual pasts.  He is either akin to Jiminy Cricket or a Devil’s Advocate for Freya.  Any kind of sexual tension between the two is overshadowed by their discoveries and subsequent pursuit.  Is there a happy ending in store for these two or will it be more akin to a Greek tragedy instead?

This book reads a lot like a roller coaster ride.  Slow going until half way through then BAM!, craziness ensues and you don’t catch your breath until the ride is over.  It has a terrific plot, imaginative background, and extraordinary world in which to reside in.  The world itself would be appealing to a much more diverse group of readers than just young adult.  I personally enjoyed the mixing and usage of 1980’s pop music and famous quotes to emphasize scenes and emotions, adding to the complexity and unrealness of it all.

Notable Scene:

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. Winston Churchill’s making pronouncements in my head again, like when I woke up from my first dream about the blond boy.

And what Churchill said fits. The majority of my life feels as though it’s been some kind of lie. I don’t know where I’ve picked up his words— they seem to have always been with me, a kernel of authenticity in a web of falsehoods. Is my mother in on the pretense? What does she know that I don’t?

FTC Advisory: Random House graciously provided me with a copy of YesterdayNo goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.


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