So Yesterday: a novel by Scott Westerfeld
Some things are in fashion, and everyone knows. But where do these trends start? Someone did it first, before it was cool/trendy/whatever term you like, and then somehow everyone else followed. Hunter doesn’t start these things – he’s the next step, a trendsetter, he gets paid to find and identify things that are actually cool and not just weird. His boss then sells these things onto various companies who sell the “cool” product to consumers everywhere. It’s a good deal for Hunter until he meets Jen, an innovator who designs shoelaces. Together they have to find Hunter’s boss who disappears amidst a brief sighting of the most fantastic shoes Jen and Hunter have ever seen.
A mystery story which is still secondary to the fact that Scott Westerfeld has somehow come up with a (scarily possible) explanation for how trends are started and then spread. Great read, recommended if you like any of his other books or Unidentified by Rae Mariz.