ARC Review: See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon

  • Title: See You Yesterday
  • Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Release Date: 5/3/22
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Publisher’s Summary: From the author of Today Tonight Tomorrow comes a magical romance in the vein of Groundhog Day about a girl forced to relive her disastrous first day of college—only to discover that her nemesis is stuck in the time loop with her. Barrett Bloom is hoping college will be a fresh start after a messy high school experience. But when school begins on September 21st, everything goes wrong. She’s humiliated by the know-it-all in her physics class, she botches her interview for the college paper, and at a party that night, she accidentally sets a frat on fire. She panics and flees, and when she realizes her roommate locked her out of their dorm, she falls asleep in the common room. The next morning, Barrett’s perplexed to find herself back in her dorm room bed, no longer smelling of ashes and crushed dreams. It’s September 21st. Again. And after a confrontation with Miles, the guy from Physics 101, she learns she’s not alone—he’s been trapped for months. When her attempts to fix her timeline fail, she agrees to work with Miles to find a way out. Soon they’re exploring the mysterious underbelly of the university and going on wild, romantic adventures. As they start falling for each other, they face the universe’s biggest unanswered question yet: what happens to their relationship if they finally make it to tomorrow?

Groundhog Day is one of my dad’s favorite movies, so when I heard my favorite author, Rachel Lynn Solomon’s, next book is about a time loop, I was especially excited. I was even more thrilled when I had the chance to read an ARC of See You Yesterday ahead of its May release date.

From the get go, the premise of See You Yesterday is intriguing. Barrett has a particularly bad first day of college, which certainly many people can relate to. However, unlike most of us, Barrett is able to relive that day and explore the different possibilities that September 21 has to offer. I was eager to find out what would allow Barrett and Miles to finally move on to September 22.

Solomon’s work has a special quality that makes you feel like you’re talking to a friend as you read. Her characters let you in as their stories unfold. In See You Yesterday, the reader even sees certain words crossed out, giving the impression that Barrett is letting the reader in on her thought processes.

Solomon’s characters are always imperfect in a way that makes them feel incredibly realistic. Barrett and Miles are both messy, and they don’t shy away from it. Barrett acknowledges to the editor in chief of the UW newspaper that she’s not afraid to make enemies. Miles isn’t nice to Barrett when he first meets her; he is impatient with her and embarrasses her in front of their physics class. Their humanity is what makes them so special to read about and fall in love with.

Like me, Miles has one parent who was raised Jewish and one parent who was not. Also like me, his parent who is Jewish is his father. Because Judaism is matrilineal, some Jews would not consider Miles and me Jewish. I found the conversation Miles and Barrett have about his relationship to Judaism so poignant and relatable. The way Solomon treats her characters’ Judaism always makes me feel very seen and represented.

Like in many of Solomon’s other books, See You Yesterday has very thoughtful portrayals of her character’s mental health struggles. Barrett struggles with panic attacks as a result of bullying she experiences at the end of high school. The second time Barrett has a panic attack, Miles is able to support Barrett and takes her through breathing exercises. He reveals to Barrett that he did research on how to help someone having a panic attack. This moment is so lovely, and I was so moved that Miles did that for Barrett.

Veronica Mars has been a favorite show of mine since I discovered it in middle school. I was so excited that Barrett loves the show as much as I do. I got a lot of joy out of reading about Barrett’s Neptune High sweatshirt. It is a little thing, but these references made me feel a little bit more connected to Barrett.

I absolutely love Solomon’s work and See You Yesterday is certainly no exception. I can’t wait for her next book, Unquotable. I know I will continue to be first in line to read all of her work.

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