November 26, 2012


by C. K. Kelly Martin
Doubleday Canada
355 pp.
Ages 13+

Sixteen-year-old Freya just wants "living to feel the way it should." (pg. 78) Not like her sister Olivia (10) isn't really her sister. Not like Freya has all the details about her life but can't recall what she likes or feels or can do well. Not like she can only remember the facts of the memories but not the memories themselves. What she does know is that it is 1985 and that she, her mom and Olivia have recently come to Canada after the death of Freya's father, a diplomat, in an explosion in New Zealand.  And she gets lots of headaches and can almost tell what's going to happen before it does.

While at the museum with her class, Freya sees a handsome, green-eyed boy on the street and she is convinced that she knows him.  Following the young man, she learns where he lives, and returns another day to confront him.  Through questioning the boy, Freya learns that Garren's dad was also a diplomat who was killed in an accident in Switzerland but Garren does not recognize Freya at all.  In fact, he is infuriated with her insistence that he should know her.  It isn't until Freya returns with family photos and newspaper clippings that the two realize they share the same grandfather, Henry Newland, and both were seen by Dr. Byrne when they were stricken with the flu when they arrived in Canada.  But confronting their grandfather just sets them on the run when Freya "sees" him contacting men in dark suits with guns to come after her and Garren.

To avoid putting their families at risk, Freya and Garren hide out while they try to find some answers.  In fact, Freya convinces Garren to let her visit a hypnotherapist to help clarify her memories.  What Freya learns is that her memories are actually 78 years into the future, in the year 2063, and that Garren was a part of her life then.  Unfortunately, Garren's trust in Freya's memories is waning, realizing that he is giving up everything to follow her and help her while he himself has no memories of a life in the future.

So Freya's Yesterday is actually taking place in the future, or has taken place in the future, or will take place in the future.  I'm not really sure what verb tense is appropriate here.  But, while I may be confused with the timeline of Freya's life, those shortcomings are my own; C. K. Kelly Martin has no difficulty conveying those details to the reader.  Freya's anxiety about feeling out of place, actually out of time, is expertly handled by C.K. Kelly Martin whose book My Beating Teenage Heart (Random House, 2011), reviewed here, similarly takes the reader back and forth between times and experiences.  As a teacher-librarian, I know that this play between the past (future?) and the present can be a difficult concept for younger readers to follow and appreciate for its complexity and the richness it lends to storytelling; young adult readers of Yesterday should have no difficulties grasping and relishing this approach. 

I've just learned that C.K. Kelly Martin has her own YouTube channel at where you can see a book trailer and teaser for Yesterday, as well as trailers for several of her other books.  For those readers who enjoy video overtures for books, I'd recommend checking the author's channel out. I will include her book trailer for Yesterday here, though.

Yesterday Book Trailer

Published on June 24, 2012 by ckwriter to YouTube.

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