quarta-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2009

"So Yesterday" by Scott Westerfeld

A few days ago I got bored of Fitzgerald's short and frequently tragic stories and decided to give "So Yesterday", a book I had bought more than a year before (period also known as GG novels), another try. I carried it around with the embarrassment of reading an openly teen book on "coolness". I actually carried my notebook of quotes with me to block any chance of regognition from seeing bits of the cover in my bag. Now that I've finished it I realise I was probably terrified of looking "uncool" for reading something so seemingly shallow. Bit ironic really.

The novel is a summer light read, no big concerns or doubts over it, only a mystery concerning "the coolest shoes ever" and fastastic innovative characters. It is narrated by a male main character, which I think was one of the reasons I bought this (why are all teen novels' narrated by girls? All of them think pretty much the same things). Hunter is a very likable character, who keeps on making comparisons with useless facts he gathers up, which ends up being quite interesting – he talks about germs and epidemics (his dad is an epidemologist), he talks about the French Revolution and cobblestones, about the origins of neighborhoods' names like SoHo, and even the trades of the Phoenicians. All mashed up with the Trendsetters, the Innovators, the cool hunting, and shoes, lots and lots of shoes.

To help them find the creator behind the mysterious bootleg that was better than the original, Hunter and Jen meet his cool-hunting friends. Odd personalities, really. One of them a science geek, Lexa Legault, who spealises in special effects, wears thick geeky glasses and nice fitting clean clothing, and lives in an apartment where dust is a "Very Bad Thing" and therefore demands daily vacuuming and shoes off – oh, and who despises the lack of capital letters. All the characters seem to have a passion, something that defines them, whether it is OCB people who'll take nothing but perfection, an undying love for desserts, or an obsession over Japan.

Which leads to the simple conclusion that this might be actually a quite good shallow teen book on "coolness" - after all, good story-telling, good characters, good laughs... acceptable plot. That's something I can deal with. Plus, this is one of those great books they write the name of the font style and a brief description of it and its creator in the back – I love that. Will attempt "Uglies" from the same author some time in the future.

January 21st, 2009

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