Book Reviews

Review: Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson

All you have to do is tell me, “time travel” and I’ll come running. It’s my kryptonite. My one true catnip. Combine a queer love triangle and a Black MC? And you get the ultimate catnip. I’ve been waiting for a book from Jackson for a while and I am beyond thrilled about Yesterday is History! Keep reading this book review to find out if time travel is for you!

Summary

Weeks ago, Andre Cobb received a much-needed liver transplant.

He’s ready for his life to finally begin, until one night, when he passes out and wakes up somewhere totally unexpected…in 1969, where he connects with a magnetic boy named Michael.

And then, just as suddenly as he arrived, he slips back to present-day Boston, where the family of his donor is waiting to explain that his new liver came with a side effect—the ability to time travel. And they’ve tasked their youngest son, Blake, with teaching Andre how to use his unexpected new gift.

Andre splits his time bouncing between the past and future. Between Michael and Blake. Michael is everything Andre wishes he could be, and Blake, still reeling from the death of his brother, Andre’s donor, keeps him at arm’s length despite their obvious attraction to each other.

Torn between two boys, one in the past and one in the present, Andre has to figure out where he belongs—and more importantly who he wants to be—before the consequences of jumping in time catch up to him and change his future for good.

Review

(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Yesterday is History is intriguing and entertaining from the very beginning. I’m a huge sucker for time travel in general, so you know that I went into Yesterday is History with huge hopes. I first want to just say how much I love this premise. I’ve always been entranced with time travel, all while knowing that for POC and queer people, time travel is more than just fantasy – it can be a source of danger. That not all times, not even now, are safe for these marginalized identities. So reading Yesterday is History – and the ways Jackson delves into these issues – was incredibly refreshing.

Now that Andre’s life expectancy has been lengthened, what will he do with this future? What if the dreams that lulled us to sleep at night with promises, look different as they become within our grasp? Yesterday is History is a book that I loved for so many reasons. First of all, I adored the characters – all of them. They are detailed, caring, flawed, and endearing all at once. Exposing all their mistakes, failings, and limitations at once. Secondly, I loved the both the action and the pacing of the story. I never felt like the emotional tension was ebbing away. It always had just the right amount of give – which is so hard to nail! Finally, I loved the themes of this book.

Themes

At the heart of Yesterday is History is the knowledge that the past has a way of changing us. We can become too involved in the past. It has a way of clawing into our dreams and nightmares. Of haunting our footsteps with mistakes, guilt, and regret. But there’s a reason it’s called the past. It’s supposed to stay in our rear view mirror. We are meant to learn from it but never to remain in it. Resisting the pull of change can tear us apart.

Yesterday is History is a book about beginning and endings. About grief and moving forwards. It is thrilling, entertaining, and intriguing all at once. If you loved Opposite of Always, this is a fabulous book for your TBR! Find Yesterday is History on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.

Discussion

Do you have a favorite time travel book?


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