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  • Yesterday
  • Written by C. K. Kelly Martin
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Written by C. K. Kelly MartinAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by C. K. Kelly Martin

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On Sale: September 25, 2012
Pages: 368 | ISBN: 978-0-375-89644-6
Published by : Random House Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

THEN: The formation of the UNA, the high threat of eco-terrorism, the mammoth rates of unemployment and subsequent escape into a world of virtual reality are things any student can read about in their 21st century textbooks and part of the normal background noise to Freya Kallas's life. Until that world starts to crumble.

NOW: It's 1985. Freya Kallas has just moved across the world and into a new life. On the outside, she fits in at her new high school, but Freya feels nothing but removed. Her mother blames it on the grief over her father's death, but how does that explain the headaches and why do her memories feel so foggy? When Freya lays eyes on Garren Lowe, she can't get him out of her head. She's sure that she knows him, despite his insistence that they've never met. As Freya follows her instincts and pushes towards hidden truths, the two of them unveil a strange and dangerous world where their days may be numbered. Unsure who to trust, Freya and Garren go on the run from powerful forces determined to tear them apart and keep them from discovering the truth about their shared pasts (and futures), her visions, and the time and place they really came from. Yesterday will appeal to fans of James Dashner's The Maze Runner, Veronica Roth's Divergent, Amy Ryan's Glow, Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Ally Condie's Matched.  

Excerpt

one

When I wake up I have a pounding headache behind my eyes just like I’ve had every morning lately. At first my eyelids refuse to open fully, and when they do the weak winter light wafting through my window burns my retinas. My brain feels sluggish and confused as I take in my surroundings: the white chest of drawers and matching mirror across from my bed; a collection of freshly laundered clothes folded neatly on top of the dresser, waiting for me to put them away; and a wooden desk with an open fashion magazine lying across it. Sometimes it takes me ten seconds or so to remember where I am and what’s brought me here . . . and as soon as I remember I want to forget again.

My mom says the headache’s probably a remnant from the bad flu we all caught flying back from New Zealand, but the other day I overheard her friend Nancy whisper, as the two of them peeled potatoes in the kitchen, that it could be a grief headache. The kind that strikes when you suddenly lose your father to a gas explosion and the three-­quarters of you left in the family have to move back to a place you barely remember.

Today is unlike the other days since we’ve been back because today I start school here. A Canadian high school with regular Canadian kids whose fathers didn’t die in explosions in a foreign country.

I’ve gone to school in Hong Kong, Argentina, Spain and most recently New Zealand, but Canada—­the country where I was born—­is the one that feels alien. When my grandfather hugged us each in turn at the airport, murmuring “Welcome home,” I felt as though I was in the arms of a stranger. His watery blue eyes, hawklike nose and lined forehead looked just how I remembered, yet he was different in a way I couldn’t pinpoint. And it wasn’t only him. Everything was different—­more dynamic and distinct than the images in my head. Crisp. Limitless.

The shock, probably. The shock and the grief. I’m not myself.

I squint as I kick off the bedcovers, knowing that the headache will dull once I’ve eaten something. While I’m dragging myself down to the kitchen, the voices of my mother and ten-­year-­old sister flit towards me.

“I feel hot,” Olivia complains. “Maybe I shouldn’t go today. What if I’m still contagious?”

My mother humors Olivia and stretches her palm along her forehead as I shuffle into the kitchen. “You’re not hot,” she replies, her gaze flicking over to me. “You’ll be fine. It’s probably just new-­school jitters.”

Olivia glances my way too, her spoon poised to slip back into her cereal. Her top teeth scrape over her bottom lip as she dips her spoon into her cornflakes and slowly stirs. “I’m not nervous. I just don’t want to go.”

I don’t want to go either.

I want to devour last night’s cold pizza leftovers and then lie in front of the TV watching Three’s Company, Leave It to Beaver or whatever dumb repeat I can find. All day long. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

“Morning, Freya,” my mother says.

I squeeze past her and dig into the fridge for last night’s dinner. “Morning,” I mumble to the refrigerator shelves.

“They’re behind the margarine and under the bacon,” my mother advises.

And they are. I pinch the Saran Wrap–covered slices between my fingers and let the fridge door swing shut. Then I plop myself into the seat next to Olivia’s, although she’s junked up my table space with her pencil case and assorted school stuff. I could sit in my father’s place, which is junk-­free, but nobody except Nancy or my grandfather has used his seat since he died. This isn’t even the same table that we had in New Zealand, but still Olivia, Mom and I always leave a chair for my dad.

If he were here now he’d be rushing around with a mug of coffee, looking for his car keys and throwing on his blazer. You’d think a diplomat would be more organized but my father was always in danger of being late. He was brilliant, though. One of the smartest people you’d ever meet. Everyone said so.

I shove Olivia’s school junk aside and cram cold pizza into my mouth with the speed of someone who expects to have it snatched from her hand. My mother shakes her head at me and says, “You’re going to choke on that if you don’t slow down.”

I thought sadness normally killed appetite but for me it’s been the opposite. There are three things I can’t get enough of lately: sleep, food, television.

I roll my eyes at my mother and chew noisily but with forced slowness. Today’s also a first for her—­her first day at the new administrative job Nancy fixed her up with at Sheridan College—­but my mother doesn’t seem nervous, only muted, like a washed-­out version of the person she was when my father was alive. That’s the grief too, and one of the most unsettling things about it is that it drags you into a fog that makes the past seem like something you saw in a movie and the present nearly as fictional.

I don’t feel like I belong in my own life. Not the one here with Olivia and my mom but not the old one in New Zealand either. My father’s death has hollowed me out inside.

No matter how I happen to feel about things, though, I have to go to school. After breakfast Mom drives Olivia to hers on the way to work but since mine is only a couple of blocks away and begins fifteen minutes later I have to walk.

C. K. Kelly Martin

About C. K. Kelly Martin

C. K. Kelly Martin - Yesterday

Photo © Patrick Hickey

Many of my earliest memories contain books –— my parents reading me nursery rhymes before I could read them myself, flipping through the pages of Babar and Madeline books and listening to my parents read aloud from tThe Hardy Boys series. Later I devoured Judy Blume’s children’s books, the entire Anne of Green Gables series, fantasy novels like A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and still later contemporary teen novels about various social issues and romantic relationships (offerings by Richard Peck, Norma Fox Mazer, Norma Klein, and others).
 
I began writing my own stories at the age of seven. My third- grade teacher placed them on the shelf at the back of our classroom along with the published books so my classmates could read them, but it would be a long, long time before any book by me landed on the shelves again.
 
I never really stopped writing though. In high school, I used to pass on my short stories on to my favourite teacher, Mrs. Burns, to read and makes notes on. Between high school and university, I wrote a Choose Your Own Adventure book, which was promptly rejected by the publisher in New York who already had an entire team of people writing books for the series. In university, I penned several short stories (submitting a few, without any success, to literary journals) and did a bit of writing for the university newspaper. But somehow I sensed I wasn’t ready to devote the necessary time to writing so after graduating from York University in Toronto with a Film Studies Degree in the early nineties I gave in to the pull I’d felt towards Ireland since first visiting a couple of years earlier. In Dublin, I worked in an odd assortment of places –— including a couple of bars, a lingerie shop, video store, and a division of the Irish post office –— but spent most of my time hanging out and enjoying the buzz.
 
It wasn’t until I’d gotten married (to a lovely Irish guy) and was on the verge of moving back to Canada that I began writing my very first YA novel, inspired by the fantastic writing on TV show Party of Five. Several years (and books!) later Random House bought and released I Know It’s Over. Since then I’ve written many more YA books, but I’m not really any wiser now, about where the stories come from, than when I was seven years old. When asked, sometimes I say that I feel like medium Allison Dubois, only channeling characters instead of spirits. One thing I’m certain of is that the initial inspiration to write sprang from my love of an elephant king in a three- piece suit, a spirited little French orphan girl, and a collection of nursery rhymes from The Little Mother Goose.
Praise

Praise

Starred Review, School Library Journal, December 2012:
“Sci-fi thrillers are hot right now, and Yesterday does not disappoint.”

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