As soon as I read the tagline for Yesterday, by Felicia Yap, I was hooked.
How do you solve a murder when you can only remember yesterday?
This debut thriller has a few sci-fi elements combined with a fast paced plot that had me equally confused to what is going on and intrigued enough to let myself go and become lost within the world Yap has created.
The novel opens with the discovery of a body and Hans, the cop on the scene has about 13 hours to solve the murder before his brain, and every other duo, resets. The world is made up of monos (those who has memories for 24 hours) and duos (those who have memories for 48 hours); all of these members keep detailed diaries of their discussions and whereabouts for reference. So when the victim’s diary is discovered and a writer, turned politician, is the prime suspect, the race is on to bring justice before time (and memories) have run out. After all, how can a confession be given when no one remembers the crime?
Told through diary entries and personal perspectives, we hear from four different people directly affected by the murder: the victim (Sophie), the detective (Hans), Mark (the main suspect who happens to be a duo) and Claire (Mark’s wife and mono).Sound a little bit confusing?
Sound a little bit confusing?
But do not let that deter you from this book!
I’ll be honest, it took me about 20% to really get into my groove, but once I understood the language of this parallel universe, I was completely hooked and entranced by Yap’s prose.
The characterization in Yesterday was my favourite part; every single character, big or small, adds something so significant to the plot. Are you a fan of an unreliable narrator? Well, imagine that every single character in a novel is unreliable. They physically cannot remember what happened days prior and are working solely off written “facts” in a diary. Absolutely none of these characters can be trusted and that is what makes this novel so delicious. There is nowhere to turn and no one to trust. No one’s motives are made completely clear.
And that cover? Come on. GORGEOUS.
Overall, the originality of the plot and the wit in Yap’s writing won me over completely; I do think this will be a love it or hate it type of book but I know that I loved it.