I Wax Lyrical About Felicia Yap’s “Yesterday”
I Wax Lyrical About Felicia Yap’s “Yesterday”

I Wax Lyrical About Felicia Yap’s “Yesterday”

Photo credit: www.goodreads.com

Note: Here’s a spoiler free review of Felicia Yap’s “Yesterday”.

What did you have for dinner yesterday?

Two days ago?

Now, do you remember dinner three days ago? (I had pepperoni pizza with watermelon. Simultaneously. So it’s more like pepperoni-watermelon pizza)


A world where everybody remembers yesterday’s dinner, some remember dinner the day before, and absolutely nobody remembers dinner two days ago. Except the odd psychopath, that is, who will eventually end up in a mental asylum on a deserted island.

Those who remember only yesterday are “Monos“, “Duos” remember up to two days; and this memory disparity is the gaping abyss that separate class- a system that favours Duos over Monos, may it be career opportunities or social dogma.

So when a steaming hot chick washes up dead from England’s River Cam, how does one solve the murder, if only yesterday’s memories remain?

Felicia’s story unfolds in first-person narrative from four different perspectives (hence breaking her teacher’s max three first-person voices rule). These four characters are Duo Mark, a successful novelist and aspiring politician; his Mono wife- housewife Claire; vengeful but dead Sophia; and detective Mark, the case’s assigned investigator.

The dead girl is identified. Her name is Sophia Alyssa Ayling. And she’s been sleeping with Mark. How does Claire feel about this? And does detective Mark have what it takes to solve this murder?

This is more than a murder mystery. The tale also explores a realistic view of love and marriage. How does memory affect one’s ability to love? In fact, without the lucid recollection of falling in love, can one remain in love?

In this fictional world, people record their lives with an iDiary every night (rendering Steve Jobs richer than ever). And before this technological advancement, people scrawled their lives on paper diaries. These written information is then reviewed the following morning and committed to long term memory, hence morphing the writen accounts into vacant, cold hard facts.

This novel is a blatant page turner. Humour your cognitive mind and forge theories along the way. Its plot resemble a spaghetti of climbing rope- a tangle of enigma. But as the book progress, we tug one end of the dynamic line, and the narrative untwine smoothly into a chain of seamless answers.

The reading journey is like a roller coaster, with penned up suspensions, a couple of emotional loops, followed by a majestic unveiling. This series of manoeuvres lead to the divulgent of who killed Sophia Alyssa Ayling.

Dear friends, I urge you- run, not walk, to your neighbouring bookshop and snag yourself a copy of Felicia Yap’s Yesterday. Claim for yourself the book 8 publishers relished a bidding war to print, the book now translated into 13 different languages.

The book written by a Malaysian!

Photo credit: www.feliciayap.com

Felicia Yap hails from Cheras, Kuala Lumpur with modest beginnings. Her father’s car had holes in its base so water spills in each time he drives through a puddle. According to Felicia’s blog, her parents lack funds to send her abroad, a feat she achieved purely through scholarships and sponsorships. Her less privilege background led her to understand the disadvantage monetary woes may present, and hence was born the Yesterday Scholarship.

Frankly, her personal story tears me up. I love a good underdog success story, and tangible proof that Malaysians have what it has to kick ass in an international arena. She is living proof that hard work pays of, that we reap what we sow. She is my inspiration.

Once again, run- no, sprint! Sprint to the nearest bookstore for a copy of Yesterday. Do it! And do it yesterday.

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