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Yesterday

by Felicia Yap

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10341187,987 (3.54)2
How do you solve a murder when you can only remember yesterday? Imagine a world in which classes are divided not by wealth or religion but by how much each group can remember. Monos, the majority, have only one day's worth of memory; elite Duos have two. In this stratified society, where Monos are excluded from holding high office and demanding jobs, Claire and Mark are a rare mixed marriage. Clare is a conscientious Mono housewife, Mark a novelist-turned-politician Duo on the rise. They are a shining example of a new vision of tolerance and equality-until... A beautiful woman is found dead, her body dumped in England's River Cam. The woman is Mark's mistress, and he is the prime suspect in her murder. The detective investigating the case has secrets of his own. So did the victim. And when both the investigator's and the suspect's memories are constantly erased -- how can anyone learn the truth? Told from four different perspectives, that of Mark, Claire, the detective on the case, and the victim -- Felicia Yap's staggeringly inventive debut leads us on a race against an ever-resetting clock to find the killer. With the science-fiction world-building of Philip K. Dick and the twisted ingenuity of Memento, Yesterday is a thriller you'll never forget.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Yesterday by Felicia Yap

is about people that have short term memories they are classified as Monos that only remember the day before or Duos that remember more than Monos the story about the murder was motivating and interesting to me ( )
  Arina40 | Aug 1, 2020 |
"It's the sum total of remembered grievances that makes hatred potent."

Yesterday takes the amnesia / memory-loss thriller to the next level. Yap's world is one in which the short-term memory gene has been switched off. Peopled with Monos and Duos - the former only able to retain one day's worth of memories while the latter two - don't expect to dive deep into the realities of such a world. The story is tightly centered on its players, so, while the concept is super cool, it's mostly superficially applied. I say "mostly" because - in keeping with human nature (to date anyway) - Duos are treated as superior, Monos as second-class citizens. At times the plot teetered on convoluted, but the mystery was such fun and the promise of twists hiding around the next corner so strong, I willingly overlooked any shortcomings.

Claire, Mark and Sophia aren't likeable. If you're a reader who needs someone to root for in a thriller, Yesterday may prove difficult. Well, I guess you could pull for Hans - the seasoned detective who is a Mono passing as a Duo - because he's good at his job and wants to solve the case.

The ending does seem to leave an opening for a sequel. Not sure I'd read it though. I wouldn't want it to fail by comparison to this one.

Read this is you enjoyed Gone Girl, The Breakdown, and/or Before I Go to Sleep.

4 stars

"Your diary says what you want it to say. Memory equals the facts you choose to retain. We are all victims of the pasts we prefer." [Mark to Claire]

SPOILERS

The twists

Sophia is actually Anna May Winchester. Sophia had plastic surgery to make herself look like her stepmother, Aggie. It is not Sophia's body pulled from the river, it's Aggie's. Payback for Aggie talking Sophia's father into giving his wife, not his daughter, his fortune. Sophia frames Mark as payback for rejecting her and marrying Claire. ( )
  flying_monkeys | Jun 8, 2018 |
fascinating concept but plot waaaay too convoluted. ( )
  WinonaBaines | Jan 5, 2018 |
In a present that is almost our own, the world is split in two: the Monos who can only remember yesterday and the Duos who can also remember the day before. Everyone keeps a diary, meticulously recording the important events of each day in order to study them tomorrow in the hope of learning them as facts.

When a beautiful woman turns up drowned in the Cam, her diary makes clear she was having a torrid affair with a famous author - one on the verge of running for Parliament. Can his career - and his marriage - survive? Can he and his wife ever be sure what he may have been up to more than a day ago?

This is a great concept, and I was really excited to read it. Unfortunately, it's badly executed, and I ended up finding it tedious, repetitive and overwrought. While I can forgive unlikeable characters (especially in narrative like this one), they've got to be interesting.

Full review

I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  imyril | Dec 19, 2017 |
Very inventive alternate universe with a good mystery. However, the twist was lacking basis. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Oct 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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For Alex and Han Shih
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Let me tell you a couple of horrible secrets.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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