All Our YesterdaysFeatured
Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.
Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.
Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.
"All Our Yesterdays" is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.
By the end of the first line, I was essentially hooked. There was this constant battle of questioning and discovery to find out answers for all the things that Em knows. Cristin Terrill's prose is gorgeous - it is that special style of writing that sticks with you and just keeps luring you in, reading faster and faster. I think every page I read got me a little more hooked and made me a little more desperate to just keep reading.
With one of the most unique premises I've read in awhile, I was just so intrigued by all the events of the book. I loved Cristin Terrill's time travel as it was so different from the others in its genre.
By the time I had finished, I instantly wanted to go back and start rereading it all over again. It was that sort of book.
Seriously y'all, All Our Yesterdays is one of the best books of the year and one of the finest debuts I've read in a long while. Every word just screams talent and I fell in love with the characters. The bar has been set and I cannot wait to read more from this promising new author.
Terrill tells this complex time-bending story through two first person perspectives, Em and Marina. The two girls could not be more disparate. Em is hard and desperate to save the world. Locked in a prison with only Finn, her friend in the neighboring cell to talk to, she schemes her escape so that she can travel back in time and save the world from an evil dictator. Marina meanwhile has more average teenage concerns: friends, appearances, and a boy. Marina is selfish and vain. These perspectives are brilliantly done, even Marina's though I was not a fan of her.
My favorite aspect of the novel is the relationship dynamics. Marina and Finn have a connection forged over years, specifically the same set of years over and over. They've had to watch one another be tortured and been separated by the wall of a prison. Though technically still fairly young, they're aged and matured by their experiences, ones such as no person should ever have to go through. Hardened and prepared to kill, they have this intense and touching love. Even more delightful is that, though their love feels real, they do not put that first, and are ready to say goodbye to one another to save the world. They both put survival first and love second.
Marina, on the other hand, has romance foremost in her mind. She's been in love with her best friend for ages now, still amazed that he turned into such a hottie and grateful that, in so doing, he raised her social status at school. Unfortunately, he treats her like a kid, both because he's slightly older and a genius who graduated early and is off at college being brilliant. When he comes home to visit, she can't make much progress because James' other friend is always there like one big, obnoxious cockblock. Of course, the friend has an obvious crush on her, well, obvious to me but not to Marina. Both guys are fantastic, and, frankly, Marina does not deserve them, though she is young and may learn.
Terrill really does some surprising and daring things with her plotting, and I loved that too. Where a lot of YA novels really wimp out on the villains, this one is epic and terrifying. At several points, I was surprised by what happened, even in ways not surrounding the resolution, with which I took some issue. The plot is dark and intricate, and kept me constantly curious to know where the story would go.
What Left Me Wanting More:
However, the time travel elements all depend on whether you can accept her time travel theory which suggests that time will take care of a paradox. Personally, I don't. It's all just too convenient, and really doesn't make sense to me. In the end, I'm left feeling like that convenience took what should have been a devastatingly heartbreaking ending of amazing into a sad but hopeful ending. That will work for some readers, but for me was frustrating. Now, I've always been completely awful at science, so it may be that Terrill's explanations make perfect sense, but they don't to me and that's all there is to it for my personal reading experience.
The Final Verdict:
The plot of All Our Yesterdays is full of drama, action and will make you scratch your head more than once. I loved how dark and thrilling the story was. Assassinations, chases, fights, kissing all combine to make All Our Yesterdays an edge of your seat read. For readers who are less particular about time travel mechanics, All Our Yesterdays is a must read.
What I Loved: Let me start with the author, who I had the pleasure of meeting last year when I attended my very first book signing. I have seen Cristin Terrill several times since then, including BEA where she so graciously signed my ARC for me. She is just as awesome as this book she's written.
With it's fast-paced, heart-stopping action, ALL OUR YESTERDAYS is time travel at it's best. It had me on the edge of my seat with my heart in my throat from page one and left me in a puddle of feels at the end. (I hate to cry in front of anyone including my husband, who saw the struggle I was having to finish and suggested I turn the shower on when I escaped into the bathroom, where I buried my face in a towel and proceeded to SOB for the next fifteen minutes.) That's how good this book is.
It's beautifully written and expertly plotted, but it's the characters who take hold of your heart refusing to let go with their unyielding love and steadfast loyalty to one another.
Em is a good person tasked with doing a bad thing and my heart broke for her repeatedly. James is complex and often times frustrating, but he has such a good heart, it's easy to see why Marina loves him. And then there is Finn, *clutches Finn tightly* the boy whose unwavering devotion and courage, not to mention witty sense of humor, makes for the best of friends as well as a finntastic love interest.
I loved every minute of this story, even when I thought for sure it was going to kill me, and I can not WAIT to read the sequel!
Final Verdict: Brilliant debut and one of the best books I have ever read!
Favorite Quote: "There's always hope for us."
First, I LOVE the way the way All Our Yesterdays uses time travel. I wrote a post about different timeline theories, and All Our Yesterdays uses the alternative time lines theory. The way Terrill plays with time and uses it to both create and explain paradoxes fascinated me. The time travel system in this book is intricate and it makes my head hurt a little when I try to think about it too much, but I’m in love all the same. The Em and Finn who are trying to prevent the invention of a time machine are like shadows in a different timeline of the original Marina and Finn. They’re the same, but yet not at the same time. Em is a bit tougher and harder than Marina–she’s had to be. Seeing the two sets of the same two characters took me a bit to get used to, but once I settled in I was along for the ride.
The villain in this book, the doctor, is so intriguing. It’s pretty easy to spot who he is early on in the story, and even if the reader doesn’t figure it out before hand, it’s not that far in when his identity is revealed. That being said, his character arc was heartbreaking and part of me wanted to kill him and part of me wanted to root for him just because of some of the things that happened. The villain is completely terrifying in the end, though–he’ll stop at nothing to complete his task, and has abandoned all sense of decency long ago. It makes the second half of All Our Yesterdays quite a race.
So the time travel system and the villain are both awesome, but man, the characters, Finn and Em, are the real stars of this show. They’re both so beat by everything that’s happened to them but they’re still holding on despite that. The romance is sweet and subtle–definitely a small part of the book–and it works so well because it’s between two people who have no hope of going back to where they were before the story starts. They know this may very well be the end for them, but they’re willing to do it to save the rest of the world, because the alternative situation is not acceptable.
And oh man, that ending. It fit perfectly with the book. It made so much SENSE. But oh, it was a heart-breaker, that one. I’m pretty sure when I finished reading I walked around my apartment in a bit of a daze. It sort of just took the wind out from me. That being said, I’m a little worried about the fact this book has a sequel, but you know what? Terrill did an amazing job with All Our Yesterdays, so I’ll continue to be optimistic.
Final Impression: This is such a “STORMY!” book that I had SO much trouble writing the review. I felt like this book was written for me. It has everything I absolutely love and I was so captivated by the story and the characters. This is definitely a time travel book I’ll be reading again.
I saw everyone talking about all the feels in this one, and let me just tell you, it is completely justified. I felt EVERY FEELING EVER while I was reading this. From being scared, to falling in love, to hatred, to triumph, to closure. Terrill is an amazing writer that will take you to happiness and before you can get too comfortable, will snatch it back and replace that glorious feeling with terror.
Speaking of all the feels... THAT ENDING! Holy crap, that ending! That's really all I can say or else I'll start rambling. I was glued to the pages and I loved every bit of it. I was so glad I was reading this by myself as I read it because I was shouting at the book, telling them all that they should've done. I was just a mess. I barely had any nails and my hair was a wreck from me running my hand through it. I'm not kidding you guys, it will do that to you.
With that being said, Terrill is an amazing author. This book is super intense and full of emotion. THROUGH OUT THE ENTIRE THING. Not just that superb ending, but through the whole thing. The chapters themselves had cliff hangers. It was just one of those books where you can't rely on "just one more chapter." It will leave you hooked on its pages until the end.
The time travel aspect of this is pretty good as well. It isn't confusing and you can easily tell when its the present or the past. And the small glimpse of the change is easy to spot as well. I just wish we had more information on it. Such as how it was finally done and what they needed to do it. I feel like it could've been explained a little more. (But I guess that's what the sequel is for... Right?)
The one complaint I have with it is the world building. I understand they're in cells in the beginning and all that, but I wanted to see what the world was like outside the cell. How the world looked as it was during war. We had that amazing cover, I was expecting to see some of that reflected in the book. It just wasn't there. I think had it been, this would have been a solid five star read for me.
All in all, this book is a force to be reckoned with. I was a little surprised to see that was a debut. It was a little over hyped, but that is easily overlooked as you fly through the pages to get to the end.
The suspense, the confusion, the puzzled pieces that start to fit together, the world building, the character development (both in the past and the future)… Should I really tell you how much I loved this story? It was absolutely AMAZING! It blew my mind, so of course I loved it!
I’d spend all my yesterdays reading this book :) only to feel this joy with which it filled my heart, because there’s nothing better than finding a new favourite book – and this one here is a keeper.
I love the concept of time traveling, still it’s usually hard to find a good book that touches this subject. So, why “All Our Yesterdays” worked for me you wonder?
Well, it doesn’t spend a lot of time explaining how things work, but the details it gives seem believable. Also, the connection between present and past is really strong – the characters are completely different now, you see how time has changed them, but you also feel the need to see why is it that they changed so much, how wrong did things turn out for them in the time between, and how the future selves might make things better.
What I loved the most is that the characters are flawed, they make mistakes, but they have also depth; they fight for the right things, but they still have a heart to lead them. They seem real and they question the things they need to do, they fear the possibility failure (they can even accept it) and they simply want to make things better for each of them. I loved them all and it pained me to see how unfair life can be sometimes, and how easily some beautiful things can break into thousands of pieces just in an instant.
The decisions are hard to make, the plans go wrong more than right, there are turnarounds after turnarounds and even though you might feel that things don’t add up, in the end you will see that they actually do.
Conclusion: I loved it!
Review originally posted at: http://www.readingaftermidnight.com/cristin-terrill/review-all-our-yesterdays.html