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So Yesterday Paperback – September 8, 2005

3.8 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10–New York City is the backdrop for this trendy, often surreal novel with a message about the down-and-dirty business of inventing and marketing pop-cultural fads. Hunter Braque, 17, is part of a focus group that views advertisements for shoes. A product gets the nod if it is "skate," but it is more important to point out what might be "uncool." When the teen brings Jen to the next meeting, she spots uncool right away and lets Hunter's boss, Mandy, know. The next day, the woman tells Hunter that the client appreciated Jen's original thinking, and that their help is needed for a "big deal." Jen and Hunter quickly find themselves caught up in a strange turn of events when Mandy disappears. Their search for her begins in an abandoned building in Chinatown and leads to a wild, drunken party at the Museum of Natural History where people are viewing advertisements for a new shampoo. This is a somewhat entertaining story, but awkward phrasing throughout defeats the "coolness," and the scenes involving Hunter's epidemiologist dad slow down the plot. Readers will better appreciate the satire and humor about the consumer world in M. T. Anderson's Feed (Candlewick, 2002), in which the characters are far more realistic.–Kelly Czarnecki, Bloomington Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-12. Like M. T. Anderson's Feed (2002), this hip, fascinating thriller aggressively questions consumer culture. Seventeen-year-old Hunter lives up to his name. A "cool hunter," he's paid by corporations to comb his native Manhattan in search of street style that could become the next new trend. Hunter meets and falls for fellow teen culture-watcher Jen, just before Hunter's boss mysteriously disappears. Jen and Hunter hold the most clues, and their wild, increasingly dangerous search uncovers a plot to subvert a consumer system that dictates what is cool. Readers may have trouble sorting through some of the plot's connections and anticonsumerist messages. But Hunter tells a captivating, suspenseful story about how product desire is created, using a first-person voice that is cynical ("magazines are just wrapping for ads") and precociously wise (he riffs on the origins of everything from the Internet to neckties) while remaining believably naive and vulnerable when it comes to girls. Teens will inhale this wholly entertaining, thought-provoking look at a system fueled by their purchasing power. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 770 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill; Reprint edition (September 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595140328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595140326
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. S. VINE VOICE on September 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"The guy walking past was wearing a shirt five sizes too big (innovated by gangbangers to hide guns in their waistbands), shorts down below his knees (innovated by surfers to save their thighs from getting sunburned), and oversized shoes (innovated by skaters to save their feet from injury). Together all of these once-practical ideas made the guy look like he'd been hit by a shrink ray and was about to disappear into his clothes screaming, 'Help me!' in an ever-tinier voice."

Why did our ninth grader begin wearing pajama pants to school? Why, when she wears them, must the top of those pajama pants be folded over just so, to reveal the tag and the inside of the waistband? Why did Target start carrying rack after rack of pajama pants in dozens of patterns?

How about a couple of years ago, when all of the kids I knew began either buying peds or feeling compelled to fold their regular white socks down into their shoes so that no part was revealed to the public? Why did they begin to lace their shoes in a manner that caused the kids to fall out of them every fifth step (or to land on their faces if they actually tried running in them)?

Why, also a number of years back, did an army of girls begin wearing sweatshirts over only their arms?

It doesn't matter at which middle school I booktalk. Wherever I look, the kids will simultaneously begin making the same "fashion statement."

And does anybody really think that Britney, Madonna, Christina, or Beyonce themselves think up those looks that are eagerly copied by millions?

"One thing about being a Cool Hunter, you realize one simple fact: Everything has a beginning.

"Nothing always existed. Everything had an Innovator."

Hunter Braque is a Cool Hunter.
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Format: Paperback
"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:

Trend Setters
Early Adopters
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 known he is. Until now. Until Jen.

Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What fun! An adventure-filled page turner about those cool kids who set trends....the ones we all envied back then. Beautifully paced, richly plotted story with a handful of interesting characters, and a lot of food for thought for the curious, and a certain amount of delicious snark. Who knew that what we called 'sneakers' could actually be a plot Mcguffin?
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Format: Hardcover
Seventeen-year-old Hunter is aptly named. He's actually a "cool hunter" --- a Trendsetter whose job is to find "the latest thing" and make it a must-have for everyone. He meets Jen, a true Innovator (defined as the first person to do something totally new) when she dazzles him with her stylishly tied shoelaces. Hunter takes Jen to a focus group to watch a shoe commercial, where she gives such startlingly insightful comments that Hunter's boss, Mandy, asks them both to meet her in Chinatown to consult on a big deal.

Mandy doesn't meet Hunter and Jen, although they can hear her phone ringing ominously inside an abandoned building. The two make like action heroes (but bungling believably and humorously) to get into the building. Inside it's dark, but using the light from Hunter's cell phone, they find Mandy's phone, the most amazing shoes ever made --- and a frightening bald man who chases them. During their escape, Hunter loses his own phone.

So what's become of Mandy? The last picture taken on her phone is dark and blurry, and potentially horrible. Luckily Hunter's friend is a special effects computer expert. As they're deciphering the photo, Mandy's phone rings...and it's the sinister guy who chased them earlier. He has Hunter's phone and he may be a killer. How long will it be before he tracks down Hunter?

The action nabs readers instantly and tumbles them along. Hunter's biting and hysterical cultural insights invite serious contemplation (you may never look at a magazine or a logo the same way!) Characters are quirky and believable --- you have to love a main character who calls the public library's reference desk to learn how to tie a bow tie and can also discourse entertainingly on the history of the necktie.
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