Review: See You Yesterday

See You Yesterday

by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Simon & Schuster, 2022

Category: Young Adult
Reviewer: Ronda Einbinder
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It’s Wednesday, September 21, and Barrett Bloom’s first day of freshman year at the University of Washington. She awakes in her dorm room to learn that her high school nemesis is her new roommate. She messes up her dream job interview for the Washingtonian college paper. She meets Miles Kasher-Okamoto (the son of the physics professor, no less, of whom she is not too fond and accidentally pepper-sprays) before knocking down a tiki torch and setting a frat house on fire. Wouldn’t you want a do-over after that kind of first day of college? Well, Barrett magically gets thirty first days of school when September 21 repeats over and over again.

Award-winning author Rachel Lynn Solomon embarks on a journey back in time in See You Yesterday, a page-turning story traveling repeatedly through one day with the protagonist, who experiments with various ways to get from morning to night, trying to figure out what she needs to do to move forward. Laura Eckes’ cover art masterfully depicts Solomon’s description of the two main characters and the dorm elevator.

Day Three of September 21 takes a turn when Barrett discovers that Miles has been stuck in time for months. Solomon’s characterization of Barrett’s independent spirit is depicted when she wants to work alone, but soon the two decide working together may be the best way to get out of their own Groundhog Day.

Solomon’s plot encompasses the Sydney Taylor Book Award criteria when Judaism connects our main characters. Miles tells Jewish Barrett that there were few Jews at his school, and he was the only Asian Jew. It was refreshing to read a teen story where Jewish life bonds the characters but is not the main theme. The two decide to light makeshift candles for Shabbat. Miles recites the prayer and wonders if what they are doing is blasphemy since the day is Wednesday. One of my favorite lines was “much of Judaism is about making do with what you have, and I’ve always loved that there are so many ways to observe.”

The relationship grows as they open up to each other about past pains and decide they can go out and explore because the day just repeats. Solomon brings in Barrett’s inferiority complex to the reader seeing a sexy side to Miles.

Without giving too much of the story away, Barrett's journalistic questions and Miles' physics research return them to Thursday with one last twist but a final happy-ever-after. The Seattle vibe is felt throughout the story, putting a smile on my face thinking of my daughter who graduated from UW, and like Barrett majored in journalism. This is a fabulous read for both high school and college teens and an opportunity for everyone to think about how they would do a day over if given the chance. 
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Reviewer Ronda Einbinder is a teacher/writer currently working on a young adult novel and picture books. She is a reviewer for Goodreadswithronna and a member of SCBWI and 12x12. She is also a 500-Hour Registered Yoga Instructor. She was a published writer and publicist for ObesityHelp Magazine and non-profit medical facilities. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from San Diego State University and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State Fullerton. She enjoys writing in her yard in the hills of Pasadena, CA listening to the birds chirp, with her constant companion and very handsome mutt rescue Eugene by her side, when not tutoring at-risk youth.