Author: Felicia Yap
Release Date: 10th August 2017
Reading Time: 7-9 Hours
Claire, a Mono who has only one day’s worth of memory, and her husband Mark, a Duo who has two, are a shining example of a new vision of tolerance and equality in a world where mixed marriages are frown upon.
Until Mark’s beautiful mistress turns up dead, and he becomes the prime suspect in her murder. When both the investigator’s and the suspect’s memories are constantly erased—how can anyone learn the truth?
Yesterday is set in an alternate reality where society is divided by everyone’s ability to retain new memories. Monos, whose memories reset every day, are the majority, while the elite Duos, who retain two days of memories, look down on them. Everyone gets by with the use of personal diaries, where they store every minute fact about their lives. Claire and Mark have been in a rare mixed marriage for 20 years, but not everything is as idyllic as novelist-turned-politician Mark wants the world to believe. And the facts in Claire’s diary might not be as real as she believes they are.
The premise reminded me a lot of Memento, which I absolutely love, and so I was really looking forward to reading Yap’s debut. I’m sad to say that I was rather disappointed with the whole thing, though.
I found the world building to be severely lacking. Yesterday is set in an parallel universe of sorts, where the only real difference to ours is people’s lack of long term memory. I was surprised at how very similar our worlds were; I find it hard to believe a society with such an impairment would have developed exactly the same, and at the exact same rate, as ours. It felt like Yap hardly put any effort into developing the world her characters inhabit. In fact, the more I read the more I was sure that the memory thing was nothing more than a gimmick.
I found the characters unlikable, and I never felt invested in their stories. I didn’t care about Sophia or her revenge plans, I didn’t care about Mark and Claire’s relationship, and I didn’t care about the detective and his secrets.
Despite taking place in a span of 24 hours, the action moves along sluggishly, the plot twists are predictable, and the whole thing felt repetitive and tedious. The ending was convoluted and unbelievable, brought on by perfect coincidences rather than clever actions. It was my favourite part, though, because it meant it was over and I could finally move on to something else.
If you find the premise interesting, by all means give it a shot, but keep your expectations low to avoid disappointment.
TL,DR: A bland, predictable thriller with a poorly fleshed out premise and dull characters.
*I received this ARC free from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*